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Inside Birchbox · May 4, 2015

Emily Schuman on Building a Lifestyle Empire, Everyday Luxuries, and Pink Wine

What has been the most surprising thing youve learned about yourself since starting Cupcakes and Cashmere in 2008?

That I have a far more impressive work ethic than I ever thought I had. I'd been known to take shortcuts whenever possible in old jobs or in school, but I never compromise when it comes to my brand.

What was your first Ive made it! moment?

My purse collaboration with Coach [in 2010]. [Seeing] my small, emerging brand working with such an established and respected design company was surreal.

What do you love most about being your own boss?

Having complete control over my work. It can be stressful having [everything] rely so much on me, but the rewards far outweigh the challenges.

How do you balance working for yourself with finding time to unwind?

I make clear delineation of when I'm working versus when I'm not. It's important to set regular hours, even if I have the flexibility of having no set schedule.

On that noteat the end of a long week, red or white wine?

Ros for spring, always.

What advice would you give to someone who wants to start her own business?

Have a clear vision of what you want to achieve and be prepared to make mistakes (but learn from them). Don't lose faith if your first attempt is not successful, persistence is key.

Your second book, Cupcakes and Cashmere at Home, is coming out soon! Why did you want to devote it to decorating and entertaining?

I've always been inspired by interior design and think one's home should be the place where they're happiest. The posts I've shared on Cupcakes and Cashmere over the years that have been focused on entertaining and how I decorate my house have always been the most popular, so it made sense that my second book be focused on the two topics. It's a fun read, with lots of great tips and tricks that are both aspirational and attainable.

What are some of your everyday splurges at home?

I buy fresh flowers at the farmers' market each week, light nice candles (Diptyque and Le Labo are my favorites), and sleep on really soft sheets.

Whats your favorite recipe that youve posted and why?

Sea salt caramels from several years back. It was the first time I'd successfully made caramel and was really happy with how they turned out.

In addition to home design and cooking, youre known for having amazing style. What are three things youll be wearing all the time this spring?

Striped shirts, denim cut-offs, and gladiator sandals (with a cherry red pedicure).

What is the one beauty product you wear every day?

Concealer.

Whats your best advice or trick for great hair?

Dry shampoo for great, lived-in texture.

Finally, what about your collaboration with Birchbox are you most excited about?

How the box design came together. It's so pretty that I look forward to having it on display in my office.
[Editors note: Us too!]

Author

Maura M. Lynch

Burt's Bees addict. Watches way too much TV. Has never turned down a french fry.