How Does She Dudley? Building Community.

Ailsa Emmel, the phenom also known as Happy Go Curly, doesn’t believe in perfection. As a U.S. Navy nurse at the start of her career, she found herself convincing female patients that the pursuit of perfect is a myth. “These amazing women would tell me their stories and share how anxious they were,” she says. “I’d tell them, ‘You’re normal. We all struggle.’”

It’s a message she now shares with her 13k Instagram followers, who see her sans makeup, keeping it real through challenges that may roll her way. “Authenticity is most important to me,” she says. “Life isn’t perfect and sometimes your fire may not burn so bright, but you can try to turn around and reignite it.”

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Resilience may be Ailsa’s middle name. As a proud military spouse—husband David is a Marine Corps Officer—she’s learned to adapt to constant change, most recently moving to Boston after David’s eight-month deployment. Through it all, her hats have included mother to now-college-age twin girls, nurse-midwife and clinical instructor for undergraduate nursing students. Happy Go Curly started out of a passion for classic clothing (hence her #dsgoods devotion), but quickly became a way to build community. “It’s really how I connect with women I wouldn’t otherwise meet,” Ailsa says. “It lets me use my voice.”  

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That voice is strong and clear, especially when it comes to women and wellness. Ailsa’s Women’s Health Wednesday series has won instant popularity by separating myth from fact when it comes to under-discussed health questions. “I thrive when working with women and teaching them about themselves, whether it’s prepping them for doctor’s appointments or delivering their babies—the most intimate moments of their lives.”

It’s a passion that will help Ailsa expand her community once again, when David is soon reassigned to a yet-unnamed city. “I love lifting women up and helping them to look and feel their best,” she says. “I think that’s why I identify so much with the Dudley Stephens founders and brand, who stand for those very same ideas.”

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