Lunachick is super excited to introduce Emily Paulino, creator of Bloom Customs, as our featured women entrepreneur. Emily has created custom graphic inspirational tees for Lunachick. All Proceeds from the sales of these tees will be donated to the Rainbow Room of Bucks County in honor of Pride Month. The Rainbow Room supports and provides a safe haven for local LGBTQ+ teens and young adults.
Interview with Emily Paulino of Bloom Customs
As if full-time student with a double major while also a Sixers dancer wasn’t impressive enough, the multi-talented Emily Paulino can, as of last May, also add “business owner” to her already admirable resume. Emily Paulino, a now recent Drexel graduate, is the founder of Bloom Customs which is her very own self-made business rooted in custom loungewear designs with a mission to give back. Given her lengthy and impressive resume, it’s clear that Emily thrives with a constantly jam-packed schedule. Therefore, it’s also no surprise that, according to Emily herself, Bloom Customs was born out of the boredom of quarantine. For Emily, Bloom Customs began as a fun side hobby to occupy her newfound free time but before long proved to be something much bigger than that. Follows is my interview with Bloom Customs founder, Emily Paulino, about how she started, where she’s going, and everything in between.
How did Bloom Customs begin?
It started back in May 2020 out of boredom and was really just a fun project. I was living in sweats, so I decided to make my own considering how expensive some of them can be. Soon enough, other people started inquiring about them. I started the business solely with custom designs where people would send me their ideas and I would then send them back a sketch. I continued with these custom designs and then, in December of 2020, partnered with a big influencer and did her merch for her, which was over 600 orders! I did not expect this to turn into a full business but that experience really solidified for me what this could truly be.
You started this business during quarantine when you had ample free time. What motivates you to keep the business going post-quarantine and how do you now manage it all?
Well it’s definitely been a lot but I’m also used to juggling a lot. From being a double major, sorority chair, and a Sixers dancer, I’m used to it and have really learned how to prioritize. Oh, and I also love a to-do list! But I really just use any free time I have, whether that’s between classes or practice to sketch and work on the business. I try to not get too wrapped up in the business of it all and remember why I started in the first place, which was to express myself and give others an opportunity to express themselves with a unique product made for them.
What’s been the best part of starting your own business and what’s been the hardest part?
The hardest part is learning as I go. Bloom Customs was something I randomly started, so I’ve literally had to teach myself everything. I run every aspect of the business; I do social, shipping, ordering, design, it’s all just me! So it’s definitely tough but also super rewarding. I’ve learned a lot about managing a business, communicating with customers, and just so many transferable skills for my future career. I’d have to say though, that the truly best part of starting my own business is how rewarding it’s been to be able to give back. I love having a creative outlet that also gives back. It’s rewarding to be able to make a profit and give back some of that to causes I care about. For example, after the murder or George Floyd I made crewnecks that gave back to the George Floyd Memorial Fund. From there I’ve continued to pick charities that are important to me and that, as a minority myself, support minority groups.
Lastly, Where do you see Bloom Customs going in the future?
Well I’ve recently expanded into jewelry but I think I’ll try to stay within apparel and jewelry. I want to keep it simple and really perfect what I’m doing! I also like the idea of possibly finding a way to get into upcycling clothes, and doing my part to help reduce excessive textile waste. I’d also like to potentially get more into wholesale custom orders, like what I’m doing with my partnership with Lunachick now.