If you are looking for a company that hasn’t lost that “mom and pop” focus in their growth, then EMU Australia should be at the forefront of your list to check out. Focusing on the relationships that they have with their retail partners, and supporting them with the weight of the brand, EMU is at the front end of the product curve, making the absolute best merino and sheepskin products in the world. Tommy Monette, the Regional Sales Manager, speaks to this High Fashion Examiner about the operations behind one of the fasting growing shoe and apparel companies of our time.
Courtni Vecchiarelli, High Fashion Examiner: What sets EMU Australia apart from other sheepskin/wool companies such as UGG?
Tommy Monette, EMU Australia: First and foremost, we’re actually Australian. We’re a privately held company, owned by a father and son, and based in Geelong, Australia (about an hour outside of Melbourne). Our main competitor belongs to a family of brands under the Deckers umbrella, based in Goleta California. We still have a functioning Australian factory in Geelong, use only the finest Australian Sheepskin and Merino in our apparel and footwear, and are known for our high quality standards. We’re the only sheepskin brand in the world right now using water resistant sheepskin as well, an innovation unique to the EMU Brand.
XMNR: Who is your “ideal consumer?” Do you cater to a particular market?
EMU: We cater to the intelligent, educated market. With the features and benefits of our product, including water resistance, removable (machine washable) insoles, fiberglass heel cants, two piece outsoles, and the use of high-quality Australian sheepskin, we really do make better product than our competitors. While it doesn’t take a keen eye to see this, sometimes it’s hard for people to get by brand names at times.
XMNR: What is EMU Australia’s biggest accomplishment in your eyes?
EMU: Our biggest accomplishment is staying true to our Aussie heritage. We’re the original; we made the first ugg boots in our factory. We still use that very same factory today, and in staying true to that heritage, we have grown to a 90 million dollar brand in 67 countries worldwide. We’ve done all this while staying humble, true to our roots, and understanding who we are and where we came from.
XMNR: Where can people buy EMU Australia products in Denver?
EMU: In Denver, EMU is available at the Garment District, Scarpaletto, Little Me’s and Little Feet for Kids, the Sheepskin Factory, Dinea, and Pome. We have another 10 retail partners in the greater metro area, but those are Denver proper. We only work with independent, high quality boutiques-and don’t work with big box/mall stores.
XMNR: What are the company’s goals for the future? Are there any new and exciting developments for the brand?
EMU: Each and every season we take feedback from our retail partners, and develop not only technical benefits (such as the water resistance) but come out with new fashion based styles for each range. This keeps us new and exciting year round both in apparel and footwear.
Celebrities everywhere are taking note of EMU Australia, so don’t be left out of the loop! Be sure to keep your eye out for EMU’s new Fall & Winter 2011-2012 styles! For more information, visit www.emuaustralia.com.