Emma McIlroy

The Rebel



Emma Mcilroy

The Power of Yeah, Maybe

CEO and Co-Founder of Wildfang

Renowned Branding Strategist

Emma Mcilroy's company, Wildfang, began with a question: "Why don't we start a clothing company that allows women to wear whatever the hell they want?" It was the simple response—"Yeah, maybe"—that sparked the revolution. Within its first month, Wildfang amassed tens of thousands of followers without spending a single penny. A down-to-earth and hilarious speaker, Emma shares Wildfang's influential brand story and reveals what we can do to open ourselves up to our next big idea.

Emma Mcilroy is CEO and co-founder of Wildfang: a lifestyle brand that was created to remind women that they can be whoever the hell they want and wear whatever the hell they want. Wildfang.com launched in March 2013, with 20k+ girls joining the family in just 30 days. It has since grown into a multi-million dollar omni-channel business with four stores in three states, and has been featured in the Guardian, the New York Times, Vice, Refinery 29, and Vogue. Its passionate international fanbase includes celebrity supporters Evan Rachel Wood, Janelle Monae, Kim Gordon, Chvrches, Blondie, and Ellen Page. In 2018 alone, Wildfang raised over $500k for charities that support reproductive, immigrant, and women’s/human rights.

Emma has 15 years experience in brand marketing at two world-class brands: Nike and Barclays. Last year, she was named one of Inc.’s Female Founders 100, Oregon Entrepreneur of the Year by OEN, and Executive of the Year by the Portland Business Journal. Her "Yeah Maybe" TED talk garnered over 100k+ views.


Yeah, Maybe: The Power and Possibility of Two Little Words

"Each of us has a choice every single day," says Emma Mcilroy. "To be a 'Yeah, right' person or a 'Yeah, maybe' person." That important distinction is what propelled Emma to start her uber-popular clothing company Wildfang—and has become her guiding principle in business and in life. In this talk, Emma explodes the status quo and the rules we think we have to live by. When we're stuck—when our thinking becomes constrained—innovation is impossible. Emma shares her key strategies for stimulating creativity, embracing failure, and boosting ingenuity. It's a smart talk, from an accomplished entrepreneur—but it comes with a whole lot of heart.  

Contact us to learn how Emma Mcilroy can craft a topic for your audience.

It’s easy to shut ideas down and criticize others, or even yourself. It’s easy to break things down — it’s so much harder to build things up. Some of our best ideas have come from either failures or unlikely sources, so I try to remain open to possibility. If you can be a “yeah, maybe” person [instead], you’ll be someone others want to follow. Remember — opportunity often comes from the unexpected.
— Emma Mcilroy