Apparel alumna finds balance between work and her accessories company

ISU alumna Emily Kammeyer works as a technical designer at Aeropostale while designing her own accessories line, E. Kammeyer Accessories.

Mary Kate Knabel

Emily Kammeyer, alumna of the apparel, merchandising, and design program, has taken her Midwest education to New York where she works at Aeropostale and has launched her own line of accessories. 

Following graduation in 2007, Kammeyer took a job with Aeropostale in New York City and has since been promoted twice to her current position as a product developer. Kammeyer spearheads the knits and sweaters division of Aeropostale that targets girls ages four to 12.

Although she primarily studied creative design in school, Kammeyer said her transition from creative design to technical design was easy due to Iowa State’s focus on technical design for students.

After seeing friends fall in love with overpriced bridal accessories, Kammeyer began designing custom-made veils for friends as wedding gifts.

“It was a wonderful thing to do for my friends because being a part of a wedding is very special,” Kammeyer said.

Her designs grew popular as word spread and Kammeyer said she started receiving more requests.

From the growth of her designs, Kammeyer branched into jewelry a year and a half ago after an experience with a signature neon yellow leather wrap she made for a friend, who is a model.

“She wore it to all of her bookings one day. She called me halfway through the day and was like ‘I know you don’t think you’re going to produce that piece but I have 35 orders for you,'” Kammeyer said that was her jump start into the jewelry industry.

Today, E. Kammeyer Accessories, has seen success in boutiques, both brick-and-mortar and online, and Kammeyer has even been working with Nylon magazine.

During her time at Iowa State, Kammeyer studied both merchandising and creative apparel design and was involved with Trend Magazine and Delta Delta Delta sorority. Her senior collection won first place in collection at Iowa State’s The Fashion Show and she also spent a summer at a design internship with BCBG Max Azria in Los Angeles.

“All of those different things gave me management skills, creative skills and the ability to manage people,” Kammeyer shared when speaking of the after-college gain from being involved during her time here.

Kammeyer utilized her busy schedule as a tool to prepare for her future.

“Having a limited amount of time, you become much more aware of what you need to get done in the hours in the day,” Kammeyer said.

She said she believes carrying time management skills from college to career life has been an important part of her journey.

Kammeyer said she understands the keys to success in the fast-paced industry and wants current students to know how to approach the fashion industry as a designer.

“Be really, really passionate. You better really love it because you’re going to eat, sleep and breathe whatever that thing is,” Kammeyer said. “Figure out the things you’re good at and figure out the things you’re not good at.”