004: Joy in the Power of We with Emily Sexton


Joy in the Power of We with Emily Sexton of Flourish Market

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Entrepreneur Emily Sexton went to college with the goal of becoming a backup dancer for Britney Spears, went to work at a Swiss investment bank after graduation, and is now the owner of Flourish Market, a boutique that features products made from artisans all over the world. A 2 a.m. Pinterest scroll sparked the idea for a fashion truck or, as she calls it, a “boutique on wheels,” which has now become the Flourish Market shop. The shop is based in Raleigh, North Carolina where this amazing lady lives out her message.

Looking for Purpose

    • Emily’s shop features artisans from all over the world through Flourish Market, some of whom are from third-world countries.
    • “The women in our community want to join a story that is bigger than themselves.”
    • Her hope is that women in the first-world can learn from the women in the third-world countries represented in her shop. “They hold on to the truth of who they are.”
    • She remembers opening Flourish Market on Black Friday and not having any discounts, but having women buy products anyway. “Women aren’t necessarily looking for deals; they’re looking for a purpose.”

The Luxury of Excuse

  • Emily is a Type 3, or “The Achiever” in the enneagram test. This involves a fear of failure. Emily often thinks about the women in third-world countries who can’t afford to be afraid to fail.
  • She notes in her advice to herself, that sometimes it’s easy to stew in your worries and frustrations.
  • She acknowledges that we are our own worst critics, and we shouldn’t be. She tells the women who come into her shop, “In honor of [these women in third-world countries], let’s not let our inner critic win today.”

Living Her Message 

“My hope is that when people shop with meaning with us, and they wear the pieces from our shop, they feel the dignity and worth they’re sending to the women on the other end of the purchase.”


  • When she was first having her shop built, she invited 20 women to come in and write their insecurities and fears on the foundation wall of the dressing rooms. After these were covered up in the building process, the same women wrote words of affirmation that spoke to their worth on the wall to be seen by all who step inside a dressing room.
  • “My vision in life is to meet women in their most insecure moments and flip that script for them.”

Be Aware of Your Community

  • How much time do you spend online? Probably a lot. That old saying that you are the sum of the five people you interact with the most doesn’t just mean in person anymore. Emily realized this and decided to limit herself to following 100 people on Instagram and it shifted everything in her life towards good things.
  • She opens up about a time she challenged herself to not say anything negative about another woman, no matter if they were directly in her life or a celebrity she will never know. She thought it would be easy, but it was not. She remembers thinking, “Lord, change my heart.”
  • She appreciates the idea of community over competition and has learned these lessons from the artisans she works with.
  • One of the most important people in her life is her husband, Chris. She notes that they’re completely different but feel so known by each other. “One hug from my husband, Chris, completely disarms me.”

Emily’s Favorite Things 

  • Fake succulents are perfect for anyone who struggles to keep real succulents alive. It’s not as easy as it looks!
  • She’s loving globally inspired textile trends because it allows for artisans to do their trade.
  • She also gushes about Sara Blakely, the founder of Spanx. Sarah has amazing Instagram stories and had an interview Emily loves on the podcast How I Built This.

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Kat Harris

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