Emily Somers is the founder of Bravery Co., a motivational speaker, an Art Director, coffee addict, a beach lover and a Mum. She founded Bravery Co. after her second stint with cancer after struggling to find any cool cancer headwear. She resides in sunny Bayside Melbourne and spends her days creating colourful, mood-boosting scarves for chicks going through something she knows only too well.
Tell us a little bit about yourself and how Bravery Co started:
Hi! My name’s Emily. I’m 37, I live in Melbourne, I run a small biz called Bravery Co, I’m a coffee addict, I love a flea market and the beach is my happy place.
The idea for Bravery Co. began to brew during my second stint with cancer. I was shiny bald, sick of my itchy wig, and frustrated with how lame cancer fashion is. After creating Pinterest boards of old Hollywood stars and beautiful African women, I started to develop my own scarf style. Headscarves make me feel like me, Emily – not a cancer patient.
We now create scarves in collaboration with artists that empower the women that wear them. Your self-confidence, energy and appearance takes a beating through treatment. Our scarves are designed to uplift the wearer as soon as they put them on - to make them feel beautiful, confident and powerful. Like a kid with their safety blanket, we can conquer so much more in life when we feel confident – whether you have cancer or not.
While scarves sit at the heart of what Bravery Co. represents, at our core we’re an online community that connects cancer warriors at a time which is often full of isolation and fear. We make the journey feel a little less lonely and work to cultivate a place of refuge; a place where cancer warriors come to feel completely welcomed and understood.
Your scarves are so vibrant and full of life, do you find the artists yourself or do they come to you?
Aw – thank you!
It’s a bit of both. Every year we run our #braveryscarfcomp on Instagram where the winning designs make up our next collection. Last year I was blown away with the number (we had over 500!) and the calibre of entries. It was ridiculously tough to choose!
Then we often have artists and brand collabs that come up organically – often through the power of social media.
If you could share one piece of advice about taking care of our bodies, what would it be?
To firstly state what might be obvious and say we only get ONE body. It’s the most precious thing we own because without it, there’s no looking after yourself, no looking after your family, no going to the pub, no walking your dog or attending any Tay Tay concerts. I can safely say - life is pretty shitty when our bodies are not working well. Therefore we need to make looking after these miraculous machines we live in, a priority.
Secondly, to make an effort to listen to your body. Life is so fast and busy that I don’t think many people have a chance to just sit with their body, breathe and check in. If anything, just to know what your body feels like on a normal day as it might one day make it easier for you to know if there are any alarm bells going off. Even if you take a moment to ask ‘what do I need today?’, your body will often answer with stuff like: more sleep, more water, a good stretch or a big hug. It can be hard to hear these simple things through the daily noise and they’re often easy things to fix.
What is the best piece of advice someone gave you when you got sick?
I WISH someone had told me how important rest and recovery is after you get sick. I assumed that once I’d finished treatment and been given a gold star of remission, I could jump back into the pace of my normal life. This led to many days of being disappointed and frustrated and my mental health took a hit, which isn’t something anyone gives you the heads up about.
What is your number one priority today?
My family - my son and my partner. Nothing else really matters.
Bravery Co’s very special Pamper Day at Peter Mac is coming up in October. It's like a mini oasis for cancer warriors – a day where they can forget about the tough stuff and just enjoy some well-deserved pampering. Massages, music, mocktails, makeup, and of course, a Bravery headscarf is given to each cancer warrior attending.
We’re looking for some kind-hearted souls to contribute in the way of a scarf donation. Donation can be made here.
We’re super grateful for any help!
You can also shop our collection of Bravery Co scarves here
- Words by Freya Bennett
- Photography by Mia McDonald