Hello, I am Willie Mae Emperator. Owner and creator of Designs by Emperator and I Love Attention Designs. My companies are about creating unique and personalized gifts for you, your friends, family, business and beyond. I hope my attention to detail, creativity and personal touch on each item that is produced, gives you the same satisfaction while you are wearing, sharing or gifting the products.
My interest of sewing was brought about watching my mother and grandmother as they made all my clothes. I would pick up the scraps from the floor and make doll clothes by hand at the age of 12. In high school, I enrolled in home economics to learn even more about sewing and using a sewing machine. Even after high school, I studied tailoring, textiles and other classes to enhance all I had already learned about garment construction. As technology advanced, and machines became more intricate, it was necessary for me to learn the new products.
I spent 23 years with General Motors. During my tenure with GM, there were three relocations and the last one was to Atlanta, GA. Not long after the Atlanta move, the company made the decision to move my position as car distribution specialist to Michigan. All the while, I continued to sew for myself and a few others. Thus, the birth of Emperator’s Sew and So. This adventure afforded me the opportunity to focus 100% on my love/craft. I enjoyed making ties, handkerchiefs and other small wares.
How we grew
One day, I met the late Frank Willie, a longshoreman for the local 1408. He suggested that I meet his friends to see the ties and handkerchiefs. Mr. Willie went from customer to salesperson. Because of the quality and professionalism that was put into each item crafted, Frank Willie made a connection with Charles Spencer who gave me the “green light” to attend their ILA Dock and Marine Council Meeting at the Omni. To be prepared, I stayed up a few days and nights to make sure I had enough product to display for those who would be in attendance. After that sale and networking meeting, I joined the Local 1408 of Jacksonville. Charles Spencer was intrigued with the quality of the work and asked me to be prepared to attend the Quarterly ILA Southeastern Dock & Marine Council. From ties to caps displaying the ILA logo, our products are now a staple within the ILA. I changed the name of my company to Designs by Emperator, now internationally known and respected.
Designs by Emperator continues to create custom unique items for individuals and companies as well as The International Longshoreman’s Association. I continue to travel from The International Longshoreman’s Association’s meetings , from the United States all the way to Puerto Rico. I feel blessed to have been chosen to provide the gifts for the 57th Annual International Longshoreman Association which was held in Puerto Rico.
Designs by Emperator is also proud to be working with The “ILA Longshoremen’s Association” mobile app. as ILA Cool Gear.
From not knowing how the next day would be after resigning from GM, I have been blessed to not only make a name for myself among the International Longshoreman’s Association, but God has favored me to build a BRAND. I am extremely proud to be able to create unique items for my clients and appreciate the opportunities that I have been given.
God Bless you and God Bless the ILA!
Please contact me directly if you have any questions or need a custom gift for a loved one or your business.