Ema Iwata of Heath Ceramics, Amazing Rollerskater

Ema Iwata of Heath Ceramics, Amazing Rollerskater

By Alexander Walker

Ema Iwata of Heath Ceramics, Amazing Rollerskater

Today we speak with Ema Iwata from the home decor brand, Heath Ceramics. Founded by Edith & Brian Heath over 70 years ago, Heath Ceramics has become one of the premier homeware brands in America. From the Serengeti Weave Entrance Mat to the Leather Oval Chair, Heath Ceramics has you covered when it comes to bringing your space to life. In the interview, we discuss the future of interior design, her favorite et Tigre pieces, and how the brand stays true to its values. 


Heath Ceramics started in 1948 as a small-scale pottery company and now has expanded to encompass everything from furniture to tote bags. All products have the thoughtful design details that the brand has become renowned for. How has it been scaling the business while remaining true to its humble roots? 

We look at the history of the company. Heath Ceramics was founded by a husband and wife team; they moved to San Francisco in the 1940s to start a new life. Raised during the Depression, they were frugal, creative, and resourceful. They had little formal training but kept going. Fast forward to now, we can relate to so much of what Edith and Brian Heath built, and that continues to inspire me. Times may change, but the willingness to keep going and doing what you believe in never changes.

What do you see as the future of interior design? 

I’m sometimes conflicted, and I confine myself to picking a specific style. But individualism in interior design; I’m fascinated by. Looking into someone’s space to understand the person further or maybe relate to. I’m amazed when I see a space, and I can feel that person’s energy. Space is an experience, a room to go beyond a room.

What fundamental advice would give someone looking to share their space a refresh? What should people avoid? 

I genuinely believe if something doesn’t stir a reaction or an emotion, there’s no point in having it around. Your space should be occupied with necessities vital to your life. Avoid following trends. Fill your space with items that make you happy.

Have you made any updates to your own home that you’re excited about?

No significant updates, but lots of decluttering! It’s liberating to shed.

You’ve been a long-time friend of the brand, so it was only natural that you would collaborate with us here at et Tigre. We have a range of exclusive nail polish colors slated to be released soon. What can people expect from the release? 

I love this idea of re-connecting the dots wherever I end up. I’m very excited to work with et Tigre again and share a sliver of my experiences from my previous life (Brand Director). This season is special because the Summer Seasonal collection from Heath features my favorite original Heath glaze, Moonstone.

What et Tigre pieces have you been obsessed with lately?

Ryanne Sweat + Shorts in Mustard!

You’re known for being a killer on roller skates! When did you first get interested in roller skating? 

Thank you! It all began when I was in the 4th grade. I wanted to skateboard because my older brother did. My mom was not a fan of the idea. One day after school, I went over to a friend’s house, and she had an extra pair of rollerskates. We would skate in her driveway from morning to dinner time almost every day. I’d spend most of Friday nights at the roller rink, Skate King (RIP). I stopped skating for several years, but I was introduced to a group of friends back in the 00s who were a part of the Seattle roller derby group (rat city!!!). I never participated, but it introduced me to a group of amazing people who would always encourage me to skate anyway. Recently, I picked it back up during COVID, and I’ve fallen in love all over again.

Heath Ceramics Website: https://www.heathceramics.com/

Heath Ceramics IG: @heathceramics

Ema's IG: @funnycat666