The Sybarite spoke to Rosie Fortescue, jewellery designer and star of the BAFTA-winning show Made In Chelsea, to talk about running a business as a young entrepreneur.
Having just launched her first collection at the end of last year and her second a few months ago, Rosie’s self-titled luxury jewellery line has already made impressive headway. Both collections are available to buy from renowned London retailer, Fortnum & Mason and on also her own sleek website, Rosie Fortescue Jewellery.
Despite having become a known persona in the UK off the back of the BAFTA-winning television show, Made in Chelsea, setting up her own business has not been without its struggles, but she is keen to be as hands-on as possible with the business to make it succeed. “I learn new things every day. The first time I sent my orders to Fortnum’s, I had to barcode the items myself and fill in the forms and separate everything” she says. The young designer even keeps all the boxes of stock at her home, packaging up the goods and taking it to the post office herself.
“Jewellery has always been my thing. I have been a magpie for as long as I can remember” Rosie tells me. “I knew I wanted to design and have my own range, but I didn’t want to leap at the first chance to do it off the back of Made in Chelsea, I wanted it to be serious.”
Being a millennial herself, 26-year-old Rosie is evidently aware of the powers of using social media to market her business to the see-now-buy-now generation. With an impressive following (323k on Twitter, 508k on her personal Instagram and 22.4K on her jewellery line’s Instagram), it is no wonder that the brand is quickly gaining traction.
Despite the growing popularity of Rosie Fortescue Jewellery, the designer lets me know that she has been saving up for a long time to start her brand and is therefore in no rush to procure investment. Instead, she is happy learning everything she can on the journey, to “avoid being naive in the process”.
She names her style and business inspirations as Natalie Massanet, founder of luxury e-commerce giant, Net-a-Porter, and close friend Charlotte Simone, designer of must-have accessory the ‘Popsicle’. “They’re girl bosses and I love that” Rosie enthuses.
One of Rosie’s main concerns when designing her jewellery is quality. She wants to guarantee that her pieces will not tarnish, enabling buyers to wear the items every day as a “staple to their wardrobe”; the “finishing touch.”
With her own personal style changing on a daily basis, Rosie wanted to create a collection that was adaptable. “Some days I’ll wanna wear all spikes because I’m just feeling a bit more feisty, but others I’ll want to wear the pink heart necklace and feel really feminine and girly”, she says.
With a passion and understanding of the arts from a young age (her father is a fine art consultant and she studied History of Art at Goldsmith’s, University of London), it is no wonder that Rosie has such a creative eye.
A regular at Frieze Art Fair every year, Rosie’s love of the arts (particularly contemporary) is mirrored in her design; “I do love the angles of the jewellery when I’m designing them” she tells me. “I do take inspiration from architectural angles when I’m out and about”.
Her favourite piece from her line is the handcuff, a sparkly, edgy and eye-catching piece that can often be seen adorning her Instagram posts and photographs for her fashion blog, At Fashion Forte.
With a busy schedule (Rosie’s work commitments centre around managing her jewellery company, her blog, writing a weekly column for the London Evening Standard and filming Made in Chelsea), the London native finds solace in the gym as a way to relax. “You lock your phone away, don’t have any distractions, just 45 minutes to yourself and be selfish”, she tells me. Rosie regularly updates her thousands of followers with posts about her workout routines and fitness trends she tries, such as resistance classes at Kensington’s Core Collective. “At the end of the day, if I’m not physically fit and mentally strong enough, if I have exhausted myself then that is just going to be detrimental to my blog and to the jewellery”, she says.
Despite visiting countless hip venues around London as part of filming, Rosie’s favourite hangout will always be The Wolseley for “the food, the atmosphere, the interiors, it’s just stunning, it’s my favourite restaurant.”
“I love New York. I am a London girl at heart but I do love travelling. In fact, I’m hopefully going to the Maldives in November.”
So what does a typical day in the life of Rosie Fortescue look like? “It could be filming at any time of the day, posting jewellery, taking a delivery to Fortnum’s, taking pictures for my blog or doing special projects for my blog and general meetings” Rosie lists.
With a long list of plans and projects in store for the coming months, we can’t wait to see what the future holds in store for Rosie, and we’re sure it will be as bright and sparkly as her collection.
By Aimee Phillips