- Bags & Accessories
- Bed & Bath
- Cushions & Throws
- Garden & Outdoor
- Home Decor
- Kitchen & Dining
For our very first blog post we meet the woman behind the blooms – Dawn Rose. In a frank and behind-the-scenes interview, we hear all about her passion for the brand, daily life with her gorgeous golden doodles and the roller coaster ride of running her business. Grab a cuppa and a hobnob as Dawn invites us into her fascinating world…
Having worked with companies such as The White Company, Designers Guild and Cath Kidston, I really felt there was a gap in the market for more colourful, affordable homewares and gifts. Also, after I’d spent the last few years in a corporate role, I really missed the creative side of designing an actual product. My love of both textiles and strong colours, meant I was able to combine the two and Ragged Rose was born!
Ragged Rose is based on my surname and the fact a rose is rarely pristine. The petals can be quite ragged around the edges – just like me! A simple packet of garden seeds in bold vibrant colours, inspired the first ideas for the prints, creating a modern take on pastel vintage fabrics. This developed into powerful visions of all over floral prints in roses, anemones and tulips.
The company was launched to the trade in June 2011 at Pulse, closely followed by RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show. Bringing together a home & gift concept of furnishings, the collection developed to include beauty wash bags, kitchen aprons and textiles, table linen and most recently garden gifts and bunting. By coordinating bright colourful plains in both cotton and velvets to match the prints these products have grown from strength to strength.
In my previous jobs, I was lucky to travel extensively, sourcing products from around the globe for well known retailers. This experience gave me invaluable knowledge of working with manufacturers in Far East Asia and India, the latter being my choice for Ragged Rose.
I can’t describe enough how much I love India with its passion for vibrant colour that matches my own. Each trip really is an assault on the senses and I always come back so inspired.
India’s creativity, manufacturing methods and beautiful vibrant fabrics are a complete inspiration and I knew this was the country best able to translate my ideas into reality. Using the latest technology in roller printing we use 11-12 colours in each print, each requiring a roller engraved to the Ragged Rose design.
2) What is your background and what lead to the formation of Ragged Rose?
I left my home in Sheffield at 16 and went to the London College of Fashion to study fashion, design and textiles. Having completed a 4-year degree based course in Clothing Management I then went onto work for various fashion houses including Paul Costelloe, before joining the Burton Group as a trainee buyer for menswear. Here, I climbed the ladder to senior buyer of menswear which is when I first began travelling around the Far East and Europe to source men’s casualwear. After Burtons, I moved onto the C&A Group and then House of Fraser, first launching Linea Menswear, followed by Linea Home in 2000. At this time I was Head of Buying for Home and knew this was where my passion lay, hence my last role as Head of Home at Selfridges.
Our target audience tends to be female and aged between 15 and 75. We appeal to an ABC1 demographic with interests in gardening, home decorating, crafts, baking, modern vintage and of course bright vibrant colours. The pink velvet pouffe is always a hit with teenage girls and our cushions are adored by glamorous grannies!
When we first launched I had 3 personalities in mind, Pixie Lott, Billie Piper and Jo Woods – all feisty, slightly bohemian, glamorous, sexy women.
Bobby pompom cushion with the most popular colours being pink, lime, and duck egg blue;
Betty vintage style apron in pink or duck egg blue;
Velvet range including Belinda throw and Arabella cushion, especially in pink, gold and duck egg;
Christmas bunting and tablecloths in red folkloric print.
Never give up and I am too nice!
Raising finance for production overseas has been a challenge, especially with the lack of funding from Banks not lending to small businesses. This has also made investment in stock holding more difficult. Retailers rarely pay on time which means we have to be very careful with day-to-day cash flow too.
I love being in charge of my own destiny and that I can spend my days being creative with colour.
It’s vitally important to ensure systems and logistics are set in place, as well as always double checking factory standards. Any business needs sound financial advice from the offset and having a good team around you is indispensable.
Fuchsia pink – of course!
Betty apron has become our signature piece with its 1950s vintage style combined with a modern contemporary floral print.
Rufus cushion because it’s our Ragged Rose.
My sunny conservatory in duck egg blue and gold.
Dawn Rose – Managing Director and Jack of all trades
Chloe Hilder – Graphics Designer and media
Rachel Jones – Office admin and E-commerce
Marie Gamage – Accounts
Gary Speed – Head of Operations/IT
Maxene Dainty – Sales
Lucia Lopez Galmes – e-marketing assistant
Various freelancers in social media and PR