Countryside Conversations: Andrea Phillips, Founder of Rosie Cotswolds
It's an absolute honor to have Andrea, founder and CEO of Rosie Cotswolds, joining us for our Countryside Conversation series. Not only is Andrea one of the loveliest people I've had the pleasure of "meeting" through Instagram and our shared love of the English countryside, but she's a savvy business woman with a beautiful brand. Read below to learn more about Andrea's journey as an entrepreneur and what we can expect to see next for Rosie Cotswolds in 2022!
How did your brand come to be? My background is originally in finance, but after business school where I studied marketing and entrepreneurship, I decided to launch my own womenswear line using high quality fabrics that I sourced from Europe. My husband and I lived in London at the time, so I went to all of the fabric shows in Paris and started a luxury womenswear line of special occasion dresses that I sold to upscale retailers for seven years. However, after recently becoming a new mom and with the shift in 2020 to a more casual lifestyle, I had an idea to create pieces that I could wear every day that would be functional yet still make me feel special. My love for the English countryside became my inspiration for the new collection, which I named Rosie Cotswolds – a play on of words describing my favorite part of England – an idyllic area of ancient villages in the countryside where my ancestors are originally from. Due to the pandemic in 2020, I was not able to visit fabric suppliers, so designing the collection and learning how to make my own fabrics became my creative outlet. I launched Rosie Cotswolds in 2021, a direct-to-consumer boutique collection of womenswear, mommy & me, linens and market baskets all inspired by the English countryside, my love of flowers, color and everything that brings me joy.
What inspires you? I draw my inspiration from everything ranging from non-manicured gardens where flowers grow in a natural, organic way and vines cascade down honey-colored stone houses, to interior design elements of a relaxed English country house: antique tiles, textured floral wallpapers, vintage furniture, and muted colors that come from the world of natural – namely, sage green and the warm tones of wicker and sisal.
What is the challenge of being an entrepreneur and what is one of the biggest rewards for you? The biggest challenge as an entrepreneur is doing something for a sustained period of time until you hit that tipping point. Most business owners have to push water uphill - so to speak and work very hard behind the scenes for years and years; the concept of an “overnight success” is very rare.
One of the biggest rewards of being an entrepreneur is being able to engage with people who wear my products. When you create a product and then see it on someone - it is a very rewarding feeling.
How do you define success? Success is pursuing something that you are passionate about that brings you joy, and that you genuinely get excited about each morning while also staying positive and persevering during the inevitable ups and downs of business.
What inspired you for this next collection? There’s nothing more beautiful than the English countryside during the Spring when it’s in full bloom. This collection draws inspiration from fields of hellebores that pop up all over the English countryside this time of year. Bursts of white and pink florals set the tone for this romantic collection while berries and garden bird motifs are seen throughout and are reminiscent of a Springtime Cotswolds farm or garden.
What are you looking forward to for the brand in 2022? This year I’m looking forward to designing more collections throughout the year rather than just a Spring / Summer and a Fall / Winter collection. I plan to design my first holiday collection of party dresses where I’ll incorporate novelty fabrics: silks, jacquards, cloqués and French tweeds. I also look forward to collaborating with more artists, creators, and entrepreneurs this year!
For more inspiration from Andrea and Rosie Cotswolds, follow her on Instagram @rosiecotswolds_