Greeting card publisher and designer has 600 WI members in raptures about her beginnings in greeting cards – and the audience voted on the designs they liked best from her brand new never-seen-before collection.
I was absolutely chuffed to have been asked to speak at the Buckinghamshire Federation of WIs annual council meeting on 4 May. I had spoken to WI members before when one of my card stockists asked if I would speak at a local event. The vice chair of Buckinghamshire WI heard me speak then and said “I’m so impressed, would you speak again at our annual event.”
I was speaking alongside Lindsay Boswell the ceo of Fareshare, a food waste charity and broadcaster and MP Gyles Brandreth. To my shock the event started with the Star Wars theme tune and a president of WI waving a light saber around – it was less of a shock because it was the 4th of May.
My presentation was all about my journey with Rose Hill Designs, so I started at the beginning, when I graduated from Chelsea University of the Arts with a First class BA Hons in Textiles. After seeing my work at the degree show I received my first commission from Charles Saatchi making his daughter a dress, followed by a waistcoat for Amanda Eliasch’s son and to logos for tailor Charlie Allen (who designed England’s world cup kit in 2010).
Next I went freelancing for many prestigious companies such as Ted Baker, Debenhams, John Lewis as well as working for a print studio called Lemon Ribbon and living in Australia for two years designing womenswear for MYER.
One of my most recent achievements has been the much-loved ‘make your pet famous’ range as seen in Harrods whereby a client supplies photos of their pet and I illustrate it in my pop art style. There was lots of cooing from the audience at the very cute cats and dogs that I’ve already illustrated. They loved all the celebrity customers: Sadie Frost, Robert Webb and Spencer Matthews from Made in Chelsea TV show, which caused a big laugh because of his expression. There was also a lot of interest in the collaborations with ZSL London Zoo, Whipsnade Zoo and the British Museum.
The WI members were the first 600 people to preview my brand new designs in a completely different style, inspired by my beautiful baby daughter. I will be releasing these at PG Live in June. The audience even helped with part of the design process and picked which design they preferred from two background options using their official gold papers that they use for voting for council.
It was an incredible day. I was mobbed at lunchtime with questions and WI members buying cards and notebooks. I had a very interesting conversation with Lindsay Boswell, who said, “We’d love to invite you to come to see us in Deptford in South London, and see if there is any link-up around food that we could do……we could do with being a bit trendier.”
All of this was while three Storm Troopers were walking around!
I would love it if you could visit me at PG Live on 6 and 7 June, stand 662 in Springboard opposite the lounge to see all the new exciting designs and see what the WI women voted for.
Pictured at top: Rose in her studio. Image taken by Vicki Couchman.