Following the Dream. Meet Laura & Mary of Emerson & Oliver

(photos by Jenny Berliner of Jenny Berliner Photography)

Tell us a little about yourself & and what you do.

We are Laura Bascomb-Werth & Mary Presutti and we have been best friends for 25 years. Our company is called Emerson & Oliver. We named it after two of our children. It is a lifestyle brand, which began in our heads many many years ago, and came into fruition over the last 3 years.  We make or design the jewelry line ourselves, and our Home & Children’s line, “Isobels Corner” (ode to another child!) are hand selected by us, from small USA businesses or international fair trade brands.

What are you passionate about? What makes you tick?

Following a dream. We love the unknown, it makes us push forward. There is something to say about not being afraid to be afraid!!

(Lettering by Shelby Zink see more of her work HERE)

How did you get started? What were some of the difficulties you faced?

It all began with a conversation that asked “why not?”.  There was no good answer, so we just started! Our major difficulty was that we lived in different countries, and Oliver was due at anytime. But Laura built a website, Mary started making jewelry! We also started completely out of pocket. So we really had to make smart decisions about when to go for it verses when to take baby steps. We had to ask ourselves “will that benefit this company/brand and help it grow to tomorrow?”

Tell us about your creative process. What inspires you?

There is a lot of back and forth. When we are not together we are constantly sending each other pictures, links, and ideas. We take inspiration from everywhere. This summer we are feeling the 70’s vibe…the flare pants & platforms, so our horizontal tusk necklace and our suede bags are definitely throwback inspired.

What is your biggest regret?

Our only regret is not starting sooner!

What is your best advice to someone just starting out? What advice do you wish someone had said to you?

Ask questions and go with your gut. You have to be willing to put yourself out there, learn from your mistakes and trust your instincts.  That, or fake it till you make it.

What is your favorite part about what you do?

Getting to hang out with my best friend, and calling it “work”. Meeting small business owners and building relationships with people who inspire us everyday.

Name some local creatives that you really admire.

Kelly and Aaron Metras.  Not only are they really kind & funny people, they own 2 successful bars/restaurants (Selena’s & Nox) they have started RYCE (Rochester Youth Culinary Experience) AND they have 3 small children.

Erika Sorbello. This gal opened Gallery Salon before she was 30…She makes doing it all look easy.  

Mark Nimeh. He has become a mentor to us. He is a jewelry designer & owner of Blueground Jewelry in Pittsford. His sense of humor, experience and eye are unparalleled.