Meet Emily DeRoo, Dia&Co customer and the winner of last year’s “12 Days of Dia” grand prize. We invited Emily and a friend to spend time with us at Dia&Co HQ and star in our latest photo shoot. We sat down with Emily between takes to learn about her experience on set with her best friend and cousin, Elizabeth, and to find out why she loves being part of the Dia Community. *Answers have been condensed and edited for clarity and length.
Where did you grow up?
I grew up in a suburb of Buffalo, New York. Upstate New York, western New York—virtually Canada. Now I’m on the Upper East Side. I moved here in August 2017. I love being in a really cool melting pot, and there are so many things to do. I mean, Buffalo is wonderful as well, but I had never seen a Broadway show before I moved here, and I love theater so much. One of my goals, when I moved here, was to see a show a month. Since then, I have definitely overachieved on that.
I went to Ithaca College. I was a film major, and for film majors, it’s either LA or NY. I did a study program in LA and did not like it. So, I was like, New York it is! I came here and worked in casting for a bit. I did background casting and helped coordinate one of the floats for the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade. I got to walk in the parade, which was an amazing, dream-come-true moment. Then I realized that I didn’t really want to be in entertainment anymore, so I’ve since switched to recruiting, which is kind of similar to casting. You’re sending them on interviews, not auditions, but it’s a very similar kind of process. I recruit currently for advertising and marketing jobs, which is nice because then I still get to use the creative side of things that I learned. So, my film degree isn’t an entire waste.
How did you first discover Dia&Co?
When I came to New York, I was like, I gotta step my game up! There’s, like, FIT (the Fashion Institute of Technology) around the corner, and all this stuff going on. I just felt I needed to up my game, but I didn’t know how—and that’s where I found Dia and that world. I was like, oh, cool, I can be fashionable. I kind of know how to do that now, which is really exciting, but on my initial style quiz, where it asks if you have a style, I was like, I don’t know. Help me—I just wear T-shirts. I was completely lost in figuring out that.
I think there was a targeted Facebook ad, which I’m usually iffy about, but in this case, it worked. I got my first box, I think, last summer in June. I’m now on box seven—and I think box eight is coming in a few weeks, which I’m excited about. I had one stylist for my first box, and then for whatever reason, that switched for the second one, but I’ve had that second one for the rest of my boxes. She’s wonderful and I love her so much. From box one, even though I didn’t have her, I just really appreciated how personalized it all was. Around box three was when I found the Dia&Co Facebook group, and I was like, oh, this is a whole other layer to it. I love that group so much. It’s so empowering and inspiring.
People who embrace their style no matter what have just been so inspiring to see and learn from. When I won “12 Days of Dia,” everyone was so supportive and said to send pics of my New York experience. It was so sweet of everybody. I got so many messages after that, too. I feel like we’re a mini family. We post about normal stuff, too, and it’s just really nice. I appreciate the Wellness Wednesday posts that we do a lot because it’s just another side of life, not just the fashion side of life. There are other sides of life that we can all talk about, and we kind of have the same experiences in some cases. On social media, you wanna post the good stuff. With this amazing group, we can share the bad stuff, too. And we’re all there for each other. I’m saving up to go on one of those trips with other women in the group one of these days. Not this year, but maybe a future year.
How has your relationship with style changed since you started getting boxes and found the Dia Community? What transformations have you gone through with your style, life, or confidence level?
I didn’t ever think I had a style before my boxes. I would buy whatever I thought was cute, but those pieces didn’t necessarily all, you know, tell any sort of story about me. I would just be like, “This is cute. I guess it fits. I’ll buy it.” With my Dia Boxes, I’ve kind of crafted my own sort of style. I understand what I like now and what I’m interested in. I really like boho, flowy stuff, I’ve learned, but I also like edgy stuff. I like being able to mix those styles. It’s definitely grown my confidence level and just kind of opened up a lot of options in that sense. Like, I didn’t think I could wear a moto jacket, but here it is in my life and it’s cool. I didn’t think about off-the-shoulder stuff much before, but now I love it. That’s my favorite trend. It’s really grown my perception of what I can wear and what I like, and how that crafts who I am and how I can outwardly present that.
I was talking to my boyfriend about it. He said, “I really like all of your Dia clothes, especially.” I think it’s partially that the clothes are great, but I think it’s also that I feel comfortable and confident wearing them. They’re things that I wouldn’t necessarily think to wear—and the fit has always been so good on the things that I’ve kept. It helps to have those styles you know will fit you. The pieces you feel confident in. I think that the boxes and the community have really been helpful, too—seeing a lot of the community members just being really confident in themselves. It made me think, oh, I should be more confident in myself.
I even had my “aha” jeans moment. I got my Molly & Isadora Leroy ankle jeans and I tried them on, and I was like, I feel like the girl in the promo video! I remember the ad of the girl trying on the jeans, dancing around, and being, like, these jeans fit so well. I’m like, this is exactly how I feel right now! It’s just empowered me so much and given me so much more confidence in an area that I didn’t really have much in. And it’s just been so great.
From left to right: Emily’s cousin, Elizabeth; Emily; and our Social Content Specialist, Sean
What it’s like being on set, getting your hair and makeup done, and modeling all these great outfits?
I had two hair dryers on me at one point, and I thought, wow, this is really cool. I’ve never really done many spa things, or self-pampering, so this is all a very new world and I’m loving every minute of it. Winning “12 Days of Dia” has just been a great experience and I’m really excited I get to share it with my cousin, Elizabeth. She isn’t part of the Dia Community yet, but I’m trying. I’m like, I have a promo code if you ever need one! We grew up together. We’re only a few months apart. We actually did child modeling together when we were little. We were Fisher Price models and were on toy boxes across the country. She’s about to start a nursing school program, so this is kind of like her last trip before she goes and learns how to save lives. I’m just really happy that she gets this moment, too.
I truly thought that I wasn’t going to win “12 Days of Dia” because I’m in New York. So when my name was called, I blacked out—like, completely. I was on my couch watching the Dia&Co holiday party and commenting, talking to other people, saying, “I hope you win!” I had also actually won one of the other prizes, so I thought that by default, that’s probably it. And that was totally fine. I completely just blacked out. I called Elizabeth as soon as it happened, then I called my boyfriend who was asleep because he’s in England. I was like, “Hey! I won this thing and you’re getting part of it.” I told Elizabeth she was coming to New York for one last hurrah and my boyfriend that he was getting a Winston Box. I woke up the next morning and never saw the end of the video because I was just completely blacked out from shock and excitement. I rewatched the end and thought, okay, it’s real. They said my name. I’m just so excited to be here and to be able to experience it and share such an amazing thing with the people I love the most.
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