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Deskside with Emily Hertz of Born on Fifth
By Kelsie Allen Barton | Photo: Photography by Heidi Geldhauser | March 29, 2017
Stylish blogger Emily Hertz lets JEZ into her lovely light-filled creative space.
Emily Hertz has Sara Blakely to thank for inspiring her lifestyle blog, Born on Fifth. After moving to Atlanta in 2008 and spending eight years working for Spanx, the University of Georgia grad—who came up in the fashion industry via gigs at Cosmopolitan and Intermix in New York—moved into a consulting role with the shapewear empire. While the two were collaborating on a project one day, Blakely turned and said to her, “I always want to see what you’re wearing. You should start a fashion blog.”
That simple advice proved to be just the push Hertz needed. “As you may know, Sara’s a good salesperson,” she says, “and that was that.”
The 30-year-old launched Born on Fifth with the vision of creating a place for women to come spend a few minutes discovering something new on the subjects of style, fitness, motherhood (Hertz’s precious daughter, Elle, just turned 1 in February) and more. She even started a Five Minutes With... section to introduce readers to fellow superwomen—Paper-Cut-Project founder Amy Flurry and Blakely among them—through short Q&As. “Five minutes really is enough time to get to know a good bit about a person,” she says. “I like to delve into the importance of mentorship and ask each woman her favorite NYC spots.”
Though New York is near and dear to Hertz’s heart, Atlanta is now home. Her Buckhead residence has the feel of a chic Parisian studio, but with Southern flair—a perspective that influences both her design and wardrobe aesthetic.
Hertz’s Pinterest-worthy home office, specifically, is the perfect embodiment of her style tendencies—light and airy, yet inviting and warm; feelings she also tries to evoke on her site and Instagram feed (@bornonfifth). A cozy sheepskin rug (a hand-me-down from husband Michael’s grandfather) balances two crisp white Sugar Paper x Target desks, which provide a surface for essentials like the computer, in addition to books, baubles and shiny objets d’art. The focal point of the room is the oversize mood board with nailhead trim—a replica of a pin board in the Spanx offices—that houses inspirational swipe, from magazine clippings to mini works by Atlanta artist Kristen Giorgi, in a palette of blush, gold, black, green and blue. “I’m highly selective about what makes the board!” she admits.
Hertz turned to local interior designer Melanie Turner for help with a few rooms in her house, but “the office came together pretty organically,” she says. “I tear pages out of magazines like Elle Decor and am constantly screen grabbing on Instagram—the save feature is a godsend!”
For Hertz, the space is ultimately an extension of her enviable sense of personal style. “A word I always come back to is sophistication,” she says. “That’s my filter.”