Good American founder Emma Grede on how she got into business with Khloe Kardashian
Emma Grede describes herself as a "natural hustler."
Meet Emma Grede, Khloe Kardashian's business partner and co-founder of Good American, a brand that creates new sizes and fits and had the most successful denim launch in history, earning over $1 million in sales on their launch date.
Good American is recognized for using multiple sized e-commerce models for their photo shoots and creating the size 15 to accommodate more body types. They have expanded from solely selling denim to include dresses, activewear and tops and will launch their sleepwear line Nov. 14.
"Khloe and I right from the get go said we're going to have a company that's based on a set of principles because we don't want to negotiate every step of the way. You have to do it our way or it's a no go," Grede told ABC News' Rebecca Jarvis on an episode of "No Limits with Rebecca Jarvis" podcast. "It completely cleared out anyone just wanting to be in this for a stamp of body positivity approval."
While Grede continues to break down barriers and make history within the fashion industry, it wasn't until she was in her late teens that she realized she wanted to pursue a career in fashion.
"Fashion has always been something that I had a passion for, I was really drawn to that world but I never saw myself as a creative like in the strictest sense. I thought design and creativity was for someone else," Grede said.
Grede took a job at a fashion show event production company and said she found herself brokering contracts between artists, fashion designers and brands, eventually coming to the realization that not only creatives were needed to work in a creative industry.
"I understood how contracts worked and I was very good at getting stuff off of people and I kind of finally felt like oh I've hit my stride," Grede said. "Even though I wasn't a creative I was very good at working with very creative people and bringing their ideas to life."
She took those talents and started her own entertainment marketing agency, ITB, at a time when brands were beginning to put more of their money into reality TV stars and influencers instead of focusing it all on A-list actors. Grede grew up in East London with no Hollywood connections.
"I think everything I didn't know led me to a place where I had that naiveté," Grede said. "I didn't know what could go wrong and so in a way I just got on with things that right now just would seem scary or stupid."
Her confident and courageous mentality led her into business with Kris Jenner, which is how Grede was connected to Kardashian, and years later after deciding that she was ready to move on from ITB, took her idea to Jenner to explain why she wanted to create Good American and why she wanted Kardashian to be her business partner.
"I decided denim because I really wanted to take a pain product, something that I know women struggle with, and for me it was like what do you really struggle with denim and swimwear," Grede explained.
After meeting with Jenner and being told she needed to talk to Kardashian, Grede recalled not being nervous to pitch the idea because she "thought it was genius."
"I know at the end of day what happened is that Khloe got it," Grede said. "I pitched her that idea and a light bulb went off in her head and she literally finished my sentences and what I understood in that meeting I was like she is the girl. She has felt like this she has experienced it firsthand and I knew in that moment that Khloe was the person that I wanted to work with."
When it comes to co-founding a company, Grede describes the different day to day roles of she and Kardashian, Grede focusing on logistics and warehousing and Kardashian focusing on media and marketing strategies.
"We know what we do and we have the utmost respect for one another and both bring entirely different things to the party so I think that we start from a place of real respect for what each other bring," Grede said.
As the company continues to create a more inclusive experience for consumers, Grede discussed just how far the industry at large still has to go.
"Fashion is still largely dictated to women by men based on their size and that's just ludicrous," Grede said. "There's some real shaking up of the industry that has to be done and plus size women have been on their own having to fight that fight which is ludicrous because sometimes you know you need the outsiders to come in and make everybody realize what's happening."
Hear more from Emma Grede on episode #137 of "No Limits with Rebecca Jarvis" podcast.