emske offers products and services that are ethically made in Canada, environmentally responsible and happen to be designed with accessibility in mind.
emske is all about the love of design, art and fashion firstly, and sharing that with others. creating with accessibility in mind is the cherry on top, because access to style should always be a level playing field. We want to create items that otherwise may be hard find, products that celebrate all the ways that we live life.
emske is a full service design studio that is driven by an empathetic core. The mission of the brand is to work towards mitigating stigmas around disability and chronic illness. Counteracting everyday ableism one slow design step at a time.
We offer in house designed products (coming soon), and custom service offerings from illustration, co-design and consulting.
Join us in creating space to learn and grow together.
You can find more thoughts in our journal, where we jot down ideas and topics that interest us.
Em Harmsen has a deep love for design in all forms, she has a keen eye for detail and stays well informed about contemporary style, art and fashion.
Em freelanced for many years while working in public sector, but decided to switch gears in 2021 to focus full-time on the studio. She dreamt about running a design studio while completing an undergrad degree in Fashion Design at Toronto Metropolitan University. It wasn't until years later while finishing a masters focused on inclusive/accessible design from Cultural Studies at Queen's University that she conceptualized the focus of the studio.
After being diagnosed with a chronic illness, Em better understood the experiences of temporary and nuanced symptoms, mobility issues and bodily changes. Learning from family members and friends with disabilities, chronic illnesses and all around diverse lived experiences aside from her own, has always improved how she approaches design.
If nothing else, she hopes that the ethos of this studio might create a conversation for people or spark a thought around fashion, creativity and style that otherwise may not have come up.