mariaferres-portrait[1]

The head and soul of EMA neckwear on protecting smiles and loving the mountains

Photo by Crista Leonard, interview by Anna Langer

I got into boardsports a long time ago, it’s a hard time being a Spanish girl and in love with boardsports!!! It was really difficult to find magazines, videos or anything about snow, surf or skate in Spain, and even more difficult to find other girls with the same passion… But over the years, Barcelona started to become a meeting point for skaters and my family started to spend all the weekends and holidays in Andorra, which is how I got really involved in this world. Today Barcelona is considered one of the skate capitals in the world and Andorra one of the best mountains in the Pyrenees… I'm happy I can say that I've lived this progression and evolution myself.

And that is although my first time on a board was one of the worst experiences in my life… I started skiing when I was 2 and from the first time I heard about snowboarding I became the most annoying girl alive to my parents so they would let me try it. I was 14, with one of my sisters, a hard board and hard boots… Obviously a hard day… I remember thinking something like 'Oh well, I'm exhausted and all my body hurts but… I love it'. Still I didn't really get into until I was 20, before that all my life was focused on dancing and studying, but once I gave up dancing I spent all my free time on a board.

I consider myself a creative and imaginative person, I love customizing all my clothes and being different. So I started creating my own bandanas and other snowboard accessories and people started asking, it was amazing! So I can’t really say when EMA - Protect your smile, my neckwear company 'handmade' in Barcelona started, it just happened. I’ve also never really thought about it as a proper brand, it's all about people's reaction on my creations, that’s what I love most about it. EMA started with bandanas and now we have 4 different products, we can't stop creating and innovating to protect as many smiles as we can around the world with a lot of style!

I’ve always known that I didn't want a normal life where everything was a perfect organised plan. I just wanted to feel free and happy doing something different, I just wanted to love my life in all the ways but never thought about something like this, I still can't believe I have my own company but I can say that I'm really happy!

I think nowadays a lot of people forget that snowboarding is a passion and a lifestyle, not only a business or a money machine… I would really like to make it real and authentic again, just take it back to the roots. And of course give more power to the girls!!!!!

Maybe we don't have the best snow in Spain and a lot of people don't even know about it but we have beautiful mountains, amazing weather, good snow parks and a lot of motivated people working hard to make the snowboard scene bigger and better. I love the Pyrenees, I love living in Barcelona and have the opportunity to go to Andorra, especially Grandvalira, every week! That's a really good lifestyle between the sea and the snow!!!!

I would like to say "Gràcies" to my family, friends, riders and all the people around the world believing in EMA, that's my energy. All the smiles, good vibes and support I get are my motivation to keep working hard and dreaming everyday!

If you'd like to support Maria and her brand EMA as well, vote them into the ispo brand new award for 2012! Click HERE, select EMA from the list, and click the LIKE button in the pop up window that appears. Your vote is only counted if it appears on your wall.