C5’s Entrepreneur Series continues with Lore Emelio, owner and creative director of Lore Emelio Design Studio. Emelio, 41, was trained at Parsons School of Design in NYC. After an extensive career working in high fashion, she chose to make Charlotte her home nine years ago.
I met Emelio at her studio in South End. She was enthusiastic to show me how her space transforms into a place for mock-fashion shows, summer camp and design work.
Like her studio, Emelio has had to change to accommodate life experiences. Until 2010, fashion shows at places like the Bechtler Museum of Modern Art and the NASCAR Tower were bi-annual events, but becoming a mom three years ago changed her perspective.
Now, her focus is on teaching classes, offering custom design work for clients and “creating experiences” like pop-up boutiques for Easter or Queen’s Cup Steeplechase.
Why is Charlotte a good place to start a business?
The beauty of Charlotte is that it provides the time and space to create. I can experiment and there are always people interested in seeing what you are doing, interested in helping you succeed. My work thrives in Charlotte.
Who has been your biggest influence?
Wilton Connor (owner of Wilton Connor Packaging in Charlotte). He is an exceptional person. He is not shadowed by his success, he is kind and generous and a person whose tremendous intelligence catches you after the fact. Connor taught me to take action and reach out to put my work within the greater public.
How do you begin each day?
Music is usually involved. I leave the house around 6:50 a.m. I consider what I want to get done and then evaluate what is possible. Lately, as a family, we have been starting the day with the Knight Rider theme.
What do you see in your future?
We want to share more! Our custom curriculum is ideal for a subscription-based component as well as franchise opportunities. I am exploring audience expansion that contributes to the integrity of our community and our studio experience with global outreach, interactive international live exchange of ideas and design.
Where do you go in Charlotte when you need to chill?
I wander and lounge around South End Exchange. It reminds me of roaming the seventh floor of Bergdorf when I lived in New York. It is equally relaxing and inspiring.
Photos: Brandon Scott, Lore Emelio, Josh Vasko