The Scottish Design Exchange is a unique concept store and not-for-profit creative community, bringing artists and designers together to share a new retail space in Edinburgh that benefits the both makers and customers.
An itch of an idea for many years, Rosamund of Scotland is taking its first steps along the catwalk and into the high street.
Fashion designer Chloe White, together with her mother, textile designer Susan, are the creative force behind this emerging Scottish fashion brand. A case of life inspiring art; the post box, front door and stamp motifs peppering their current collection are inspired by Chloe’s Royal Mail career. Painstakingly brought to life from Chloe’s patterns the duo incorporate Susan’s fabric-printed artwork alongside machine applique and hand embroidery. And with their eye on limited run, high quality, timeless clothing made using local suppliers this pair aim to counter the wastefulness so often associated with the fashion industry.
Creative from a young age, Susan learned to sew at 9 and went on to study Fine Art and later Textile Design at Leicester Polytechnic. And by unwitting coincidence several years later Chloe attended the same, now-renamed De Montfort University, to study Fashion Design.
Starting any type of business is never easy and despite obvious enthusiasm and creative expertise. each day can be an unpredictable mix of perseverance challenges and hard-won victories. Mum-of-four Chloe juggles toddlers (sometimes literally!) alongside designing and pattern making while Susan’s land grab over the dining table (aka their workspace) occasionally leads to marital disharmony. A critical activity for any new online brand, organising photoshoots, has meant calling in a few favours and current promotional activity is dedicated to organising a shoot by Fife photographer Richard Newton in the picturesque 18th-century village of Culross.
Film folk often lament working with children and animals and business folk seem to hold working with family in the same regard. Any new business partnership is susceptible to disagreements and this mother-daughter team are no exception. Although with clear roles and only a small overlap in contribution the main squabbles centre on the more detailed elements of each design rather than the fundamentals of business ethos or brand direction. People only argue when they care, and so any such heated debates are simply a natural road bump on the journey to create a beautiful finished product. In the world of artisan business there is no room for self-defeating British politeness.
Rosamund, after Chloe’s middle name, is joining the Creative Industries sector identified by the Scottish Government to receive to encourage sustainable economic growth. The contribution of such creative businesses should never be underestimated as statistics show that in 2016 they generated £3.7 billion for the Scottish economy and the majority of these registered enterprises were soletraders, partnerships and those with fewer than 5 employees.
So what does the future hold for Rosamund? This pair knows that fashion never sleeps and by prototyping future product lines, including envelope clutch bags, and connecting with potential new stockists, they are determined to make their business flourish. True fashion is being confident enough to express your individuality and if you want something to write home about, take a look at the capsule collection from Rosamund available to purchase from The Scottish Design Exchange. Prices range from £45 for a silk scarf and £90 to £250 for clothing.
Written by Roz Vidler (www.whimsicalfurnishings.co.uk)