Women of Charlottesville

Highlighting the unique and diverse amazing women of Charlottesville, VA.

Emma Shirey

This is Emma! She has a love for all things vintage. She’s a talented local actress and is extremely passionate about theater! Theres a good chance are you’ve seen her in a local show if you are a supporter of the many community theaters in and around town! Emma’s pops of color and flare for whimsical, vintage fashion is sure to bring a smile to your face and some brightness to your day–it’s the perfect reminder that spring is here and better times are on the horizon for this world/country/town! For her shoot we thought it’d be fun to display her love of style and fashion paired with some of the cool walls of Charlottesville as our backdrops! Enjoy!

*All interviews/photo shoots were done before the covid-19 quarantine. I truly hope these are helping to provide joy, encouragement, inspiration and a happy distraction to the challenges we are facing right now. Stay strong and positive–we will get through this!

us: So Emma, tell us a little bit about yourself . . .

her: If I’m being completely honest, I’m still finding that out myself. Currently, I am a college student attempting to cram theatre into every portion of her life not taken up by school or work. I work very early mornings at ACAC Charlottesville, and I love it. I love the people I get to see each day, and feeling like I’m making even the smallest difference in peoples’ lives.

us: What did you have for breakfast this morning?

her: Chicken nuggets. Don’t judge.

us: Does pineapple belong on pizza?

her: If I ate pizza, I would definitely say yes!

us: Do you sleep in your socks?

her: Absolutely not!

us: What’s your go-to midnight snack?

her: Cheese. And Nutella. But not together.

us: Mountains or beach?

her: I love both, but I’d pass either of them up for the chance to go to a big city.

us: Current favorite song?

her: It changes by the day, but right now I would say ‘Crimson and Clover’ by Tommy James and the Shondells.

us: Salty or sweet?

her: It’s a close call, but I have to go with salty.

us: Pet peeve?

her: Ignorance and rudeness. Those would probably be my top two.

us: Room entrance song:

her: ‘Bad Reputation’ by Joan Jett.

us: Favorite place you’ve traveled to?

her: New York City! There’s so much to see and experience there.

us: What’s your favorite room in your house?

her: Probably my bedroom. It’s full of things I love, and it’s a space that I have all to myself.

us: Who has been the most influential woman in your life?

her: There have been so many, but my mom is definitely at the forefront of those. She is such a doer. While some just sit on their ideas and wait for things to happen, she makes active strides, and ticks boxes every day to see her goals come to fruition. She developed and ran an incredibly successful business, all while homeschooling me and my brother and making each day special. Beyond that, she has taught me, through her own trials, about what it means to hold firm to my faith. I’ll never stop looking up to my mom.

us: What accomplishment are you most proud of?

her: I can’t honestly say that I’ve done anything worthy of accolades thus far, but I take pride in the things that I’m part of. I work for a company that helps people achieve their fitness goals, creating a community that promotes not only physical health, but also quality relationships and self-improvement. In addition, I am a tiny piece of a large community that creates beautiful performances and brings people from all walks of life together in one place. My goal in life is to find the thing that I was created to do, and to do it to the best of my ability. But while I’m discovering what exactly that is, I am so proud to be a part of such important ventures in our society.

us: If you could give your younger self a single piece of advice, what would it be?

her: Don’t build your life around one thing; when you lose it, you will feel as though you have lost your life.

us: Can you tell us about a challenge that you’ve overcome?

her: Anxiety would be a big one. Though I can’t say that I’ve completely conquered it, I have made really large strides toward doing so. It used to affect everything I did–pretty much every aspect of my day-to-day life, to the point where I basically had no life. Now it presents a challenge, especially in the theatre arena, but it doesn’t define me like it used to. I’m learning how not to feed the lies. It’s a process, but I’m learning.

us: Where do you find your inspiration?

her: In knowing that God has a plan and a purpose for my life, and that nothing is in vain.

us: Any funny or embarrassing nicknames we should know about?

her: Hmmm . . . Lulu or Lulabelle are what my family call me–it’s not really embarrassing, though.

Some of the records from Emma’s fun vintage record collection

us: Any hidden talents we should know about?

her: I can stick my whole fist in my mouth!

us: What are you most thankful for?

her: Being blessed with incredible parents who have loved and cheered me on from the beginning. I have never once had to wonder if my parents loved me, and for someone who second-guesses every little thing in life, that’s really saying something. They’re amazing.

us: What is your favorite thing about living in Charlottesville?

her: One of my favorite things about living here is that I’ve lived here since I was nine, so there are just a lot of really pleasant memories all over town, and it’s been cool to watch it develop over the past twelve years. I have a lot of roots here, and it’s absolutely the place I call home.

Thank you Emma for sharing with us!