Emily Sutherland

Delicate Dime
Emily Sutherland

Emily Sutherland

Hometown: Treynor, IA
Major: Psychology
Minor: Sociology
Graduation Date: December 2019

Delicate Dime

What is your story?

I grew up in the small town of Treynor, Iowa with my family that always seemed to have an entrepreneurial spirit without ever using the word. "Side projects" and new hobbies were constantly being started in my home by both my parents and my older brother. I never liked being defined by one activity or skill so my high school career consisted of learning as many musical instruments as possible, playing hard in sports, and learning about whatever caught my eye. I also volunteered at our local library where I pioneered a reading program that paired playlists with books to enhance the reading experience. As I came to college I felt confined by the narrow coursework that majors described. I found an outlet on campus in the Outdoor Adventures Program that allowed me to learn about rock climbing, camping, bike maintenance, and paddling. I also found my passion for the environment through this community which helped inspire my first business, Delicate Dime, that sold sustainable hair accessories.

What is your business?

Delicate Dime, formed in January 2019 - https://delicatedime.wixsite.com/website

Who is your entrepreneurial inspiration OR biggest hero?

Elle Luna became my entrepreneurial inspiration after I heard her speak at a startup event. This woman has lived a life within the world of tech startups and displayed her art in galleries in L.A. She is a great example of what it means to be tuned into yourself, your passion, and your purpose. She has written a book titled "The Crossroads of Should and Must" to help others along this road of discerning what to do with their lives. She inspires me because even though she was well established in the tech world after helping to design the Uber app, she knew that creating was an important part of her story as well. Her ability to make room for both of these things inspires me to pursue my purpose as well.

What advice would you give to a student starting their entrepreneurial journey?

Break. It. Down. After every big picture planning session, make sure you're coming away with your next step even if it is a small one. When you don't know what to do next, think of one small thing that you know will move you in the right direction. You don't have to save the world, sometimes you just need to make the next right step.

What has been your favorite "Engler Experience" to date?

The Letter of Intent Ceremony! I was part of the first round of this new Engler tradition and it was such a special experience to reflect on the pillars of the Engler program. It was also incredible to sit in the future home of the program in the CY Thompson library as it is under construction and dream of all the incredible entrepreneurs to come!

What has been the biggest hurdle or struggle you've dealt with in your entrepreneurial journey?

One of the biggest struggles of my entrepreneurial journey has been committing to the journey. My tendency is to justify the safe choice, the most logical way of proceeding when deep down I know innovating and creating new ways are what I was put here to do. These thoughts are based on fears of failure as well as inefficiency (what if I put in all the work only to have to turn around and start all over?). Many of these thoughts have been fought by creating a community around me that says "do it anyways!" I am also always in need of the reminder that failure is okay and that I am on the path that I am supposed to be on even if it doesn't lead directly where I'm hoping to end up!

Emily sewing
Emily with goat