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At KF, we believe in the power of women. Each month, we'll introduce you to a 'Woman Who Inspires'. These incredible women are entrepreneurs, innovators and makers who are paving their own way in business, education, society, motherhood, and many more aspects of life.  Learn how they started their ventures, the challenges they faced along the way and see how they are building their future - all of our futures - while inspiring others.


Owner of Havlan & West Clothing Boutique, Emily Mckenney 


Introduce yourself

Hi there! I am Emily McKenney, mom of two beautiful girls (2 & 4 yrs old), wife to a successful entrepreneur and wonderful father and owner of Havlan & West, a women’s clothing boutique which opened in 2015. My background is deeply rooted in the arts; dancing since I was a child, dabbling in various media, and majoring in art history in college. In my early 20’s, I moved to New York and worked in some incredible art galleries and then decided to get a master’s degree in Museum and Exhibition Studies. Shortly thereafter, I had an epiphany, left the art world and opened Havlan & West in Bucktown.

Why did you start your own company or brand/ become an entrepreneur/ or be your own boss?  

I realized I wanted to create and grow something. I wanted to learn the ins and outs of a business, be the decision-maker, create a warm and welcoming space and ultimately help women find clothing and accessories that bring them joy (seriously!) and make them feel confident.

What has been your biggest failure in business and what did you learn from it?

I think lack of confidence. By no means would I describe myself today as 100% confident, but I have learned over the years that building confidence is something that I need to work on every day. Asserting myself more, asking more questions, setting better boundaries, comparing myself to others less and quieting my inner judgement.

What is the first thing you do after waking up to jumpstart a successful day?

I am still trying to figure this out! I feel like I am just coming out of the haze of 4 years with infants/toddlers and I am working on a morning routine. Right now, if I can guzzle down a glass of Athletic Greens before my coffee, I would consider that a win!

What tools (apps, books, podcasts, etc) would you recommend to anyone starting their own business/ makes your work day easier?

I am currently pivoting my business and rebranding, so I am in the midst of reading Be. by Jessica Zweig. So far so good! I also have been listening to Mel Robbins and Jay Shetty. Working on manifesting my destiny ;)

If this wasn’t your job, what’s something else you’ve always wanted to do/start/create?

I think I would like to create my own clothing line!


Let's Get Deep... 

What emojis do you use most when texting? 

The girl smacking her forehead

What is your go to cocktail?

French 75.

What books are you currently reading?

Be by Jessica Zweig.

Go to fave garment in your closet. 

The Cindy blouse by Stix & Roses

What is your signature scent?

Henry Rose Fog

Early riser or night owl?

Night owl For. Sure.


Follow Emily McKenney at her social accounts:  Instagram     Facebook   Website


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