5 Mins with La Tribe Designer Emma Bidois

Monday 18 December 2017


Tell us the story behind starting La Tribe? La Tribe was born from frustration at not being able to find shoes with a bohemian high-end feel.

You are a business owner, director, HR manager, designer, mum, wife and stylist. How do you juggle all these roles and which is your favorite? To be honest I don’t juggle, I survive, haha. A good friend gave me some advice before Nyla was born – she said: “Theres no gold medal at the end.” I think sometimes as women we try so hard to be on top of everything but the reality is when your operating on no sleep and a job list that never ends, you just got to hustle the best you can. I’m definitely not perfect and being a mum has humbled me a lot. My biggest tip is not to compare yourself to others and be kind to yourself when you don’t live up to your own expectations or the people around you. As a mum, my favourite thing is making my daughter giggle, theres nothing like a hearty baby giggle to brighten up a crappy day. At work it’s being able to acutally complete jobs from start to finish. At home this is almost impossible with a busy little person around.

As an ex-mountie what are the things you miss about home most? The beach! And also the community feel. It’s so nice at home to walk down the street and bump in to people you know. We are beach people, my husband surfs and I love hanging on the beach to relax so not having this is hard in Auckland. When I had Nyla I moved home for a month to the mount while we did some renovations, and I was so overwhlemed by the support of friends and family. It was such an awesome transition into motherhood.

You have just recently become a mum – can you explain how you juggle this with work? And how was your recent family holiday? I’ll be honest we are like a traveling circus on holiday at times, my husband will misplace his wallet, I’ll lose my phone, and then find it. Nyla will need a nappy change in the back of the car and in between that we’re both taking turns checking emails. For some people this might sound a bit crazy but its just our natures, we’re a busy family unit. Lucky for us, Nylas personailty is happy-go-lucky so she loves being around the action. As long as we’re all together!

At the moment I’m very fortunate to have a lot of family support. My mum babysits for me four days a week so I can keep on top of my business and I’ve split my role up in order to priortise the most important parts of my job in order to keep the wheel turning. Some days Nyla even comes to work with me.

La Tribe has shot off in the last couple of years. Are there any key milestones that you think have helped you reach this point? La Tribe is built on loyalty, we are so grateful for the support we have had to be able to grow as fast as we did.

Some of our milestones: The ‘Duke Boot’, ‘Penny Heel,’ and ‘LA Slides’ sales defintiely helped to cement La Tribe in to the NZ market.

Doing a photo shoot with Zippora, one of NZ’s most successful models for our SS16 Campagian.

Seeing La Tribe on some of NZ’s leading bloggers – Anna Reeve, Chloe Zara, Bridget Lee, Mandy Duncan, and Laura Hadlow.

Is there anything important you wish you had known earlier about business or life that you would like to share with people starting out? On being a mum – I’m definitely no expert but here’s my learning. Before you have a baby … sleep as much as you can! When you have a baby, people will shower you with tips and advice but at the end of the day don’t be afraid to go with your instinct of what you think is best. Dane, my husband, jokes about our parenting style being ‘hot mess parenting’ but our little girl is happy and well adjusted. Don’t be too hard on yourself with your parenting style, no-one’s perfect as long as you’re trying the best you can.

On business – having a business isn’t just about being creative. There is a lot of talented people out there but you need more than talent to succeed today. It’s not enough to just be the designer you need to wear a lot of different hats to make a successful business. Learn to do budgets, basic accounting, and understanding profit and loss statements and margins – all of these are just as important as being creative. My greatest challenge at the moment is trying to keep up with technology, online marketing is a crucial part of the business but it definitely challenges my resolve at times.

How would you describe your personal style? Casual and understated. Nyla had a bit of reflux when she was born so I learnt pretty quick that anything that’s not machine washable isn’t gonna work for me. Lucky for me I’ve always been a jeans and tee-shirt girl so I try and incorporate a mix of different denim and tee styles into my everyday.

What are the three key summer shoe styles this year? Loafers, slides, and sneakers.

What are your 5 essential items in your wardrobe for this summer? A good pair of Levi’s denim shorts, Ragdoll tee-shirts, La Tribe fluffy slides, Ksubi denim skirt,  and Anine Bing bag.

One thing we don’t already know about you? I’m an open book, I can’t actually think of anything – hehe.

Who would you invite to your dream dinner party? Anine Bing – I love what she’s doing at the moment, she has two kids and runs a huge business so would be so awesome to get some tips from her.

One piece of fashion advice you can give our readers? Clear out the clothing clutter every few seasons – sell it, donate it to charity, it’ll make you feel good and have less to clean up. Buy quality over quantity where you can.

What music would we find on your playlist right now? Big little lies sound track, Lenon Bridges – River.

What’s next for the brand? We’re busy sampling up leather bags at the moment, please send us your feedback too on what new things you’d like to see from the brand as well, always open to ideas!



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