This month's featured #bloomgirl is Emily Bonistall-Postel! Emily is a longtime #bloomgirl and friend! We love Emily's energy, optimism, sincerity, and passion! We are so inspired by Emily and we know you will be too! Read a little bit more about her below!
Tell us a little bit about yourself!
Hi! My name is Emily and I’m a 30-year-old living in Lexington, KY. I like to describe my life as living with passionate purpose, and I find that’s true for all aspects of what I do! I’m a professor by day (@doc_ebp), an Etsy shop owner by night (@tiesforteams), and when I have time I whip up healthy #whole30 recipes in the #postelkitchen. I’m happily married and we have the sweetest furbaby, Rooney, named after the Irish pub where we met on St. Patrick’s Day (luck of the Irish, am I right?!).
Who is your biggest inspiration?
My journey of getting to this point has a very tragic beginning. In 2005, my cousin, Lindsey, was raped and murdered on her college campus. I was heading off to college myself and had a difficult time processing what had happened. Everything seems so frivolous when you’re dealing with such tremendous grief, and for me, this meant being completely undecided on what major I would choose. I took a class to fulfill one of my graduation requirements and the professor had us read academic articles about sexual assault, about the impact on victims’ family (a term called ‘secondary victimization’) and it completely changed me. I finally felt that I had found a way that I could make a positive difference in this world, could honor my cousin’s legacy and could put my book smarts to good use. I decided to go to graduate school to pursue a Ph.D. in Sociology where I would focus on studying violence against women, campus sexual assault, and victimization.
After graduation, I came to Lexington because of the University of Kentucky, and I continue focusing on this work in my teaching and my research. I created a 400-level course called Victimology that takes a unique approach to learning about crime: instead of looking at the person who commits the crime, or the way the criminal justice system handles crime, we look at the person who has been victimized by the crime. It’s a victim-centered class that looks at patterns and trends of victimization, the impact of victimization on the survivor and their relationships, and resources that are available locally, regionally, and nationally. You can read more about my “award-winning class” here!
How did you venture into becoming an entrepreneur?
I started my Etsy shop when I was in graduate school. First, living on a graduate student stipend meant a side hustle would help bring in some extra cash. But more importantly, I was learning about the value of work/life balance and self-care. It became clear to me that I needed a positive, creative outlet to balance the heaviness of the work I was doing. When you study the kinds of things I study, you spend all day reading about really awful things. You spend hours hearing the experiences of victims and the impact that their experiences have had on their lives. It is an incredibly humbling area of work and one that I think is so necessary and so important. But it can be very draining. And so I decided to find a creative outlet that would allow me to make beautiful things, and to make a bit of money was just the icing on the cake. That’s how #tiesforteams was born and those roots are still an important part of my shop as I give back to the community, donate to organizations, and use my platform to spread awareness about these issues.
What else has helped shape your company?
In my Social Inequalities course, we talk in depth about the gender wage gap, the glass ceiling, and the impact of unconscious bias against women workers. It is important to me that I practice what I preach! I spend a lot of time in my small business collaborating with other female-owned businesses. I follow a community-over-competition approach to working with other entrepreneurs and have found incredible success by putting my relationships before my bottom line.
I’m also passionate about using my small business to help reduce the stigma around different social issues. Recently, I have been focusing on pregnancy and infant loss awareness. As more mamas (and dads!) are courageously sharing their experiences, they are raising awareness about the prevalence and impact of miscarriage and infant loss. This has given rise to the term “rainbow baby” – a baby that is born following a miscarriage, stillbirth, or infant loss – just as a rainbow follows a storm. I created a “Rainbow Baby” newborn headband set, and I make a donation to related organizations each time I sell one. I also gift them to mamas who reach out about their own rainbow babies and collaborate with photographers who are doing rainbow baby photo shoots. To me, this is such a small and easy thing that I can do to help parents know that they’re supported and to use my business platform for good.
How do our products help you bloom?
So many of the values that I hold dear in my own business are the same values that I see in bloom’s organization and their products. Their focus on empowering and supporting other women speaks to my heart and their products are both practical and cute. I couldn’t possibly begin to list which of the bloom products are my favorite because I honestly think I use all of them?! Of course, I use a bloom planner to keep my meetings and deadlines on track, my planning pads help me stay on top of my to-do list, and I’d be a mess without my meal planning pad. I also pass out bloom printables on the first day of my college classes for students who are fidgety and need something to keep their hands busy while they listen during my lecture. I also always use bloom note cards, and I include belief cards when I think someone can use a little pep in their step. There isn’t a bloom product that I don’t absolutely love, and I’m proud to support such a positive, empowering, female-led brand!
We hoped you loved reading about Emily's story! Do you have a #girlboss story to share? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org for a chance to be our next featured bloom girl!
the bloom team