A red, yellow and orange sunset, set along a cocktail of fuchsia pink, sky blue, and lime make for an exotic, and timeless summer palette. Rustic boho with gold trimmings add an authentic twist, while delicate silks glide over the feminine frame. Taking you from the beach, the high-street to a bar or club, the Catriona Rose dresses are perfect for any summer occasion. Hot of the press from Company and Harper’s Bazaar, I manage to catch a few words with Catriona herself between travels, we talk about her business, new collections and up-coming Cosmo début.
How did you come up with the idea for your business?
Catriona Rose all started in my last year of University for my final project. I always planned on starting a business and I knew exactly what I wanted it to look like. I had already been making the dresses for a year and had great feedback, it was unbelievable, so I was pretty set and ready to go, and confident that it would all work out.
What was the inspiration for your dresses?
A lot of my inspiration comes from Ibiza – it is my favourite place in the world. Everything is so stylish and effortless there, so that’s where the ideas for my dresses really came from. I’ve worked there for 2 summers and 4 months at a time and I am about to do my 3rd season. I am constantly generating ideas while I am out there, so for me it is the most inspiring place.
What has been your biggest achievement with your dresses and business so far?
I think being featured in Company magazine was a massive achievement, and now the up and coming issue of Cosmopolitan – I am really excited about it – which is out in May by the way.
Where can you wear your dresses?
You can wear Catriona Rose dresses everywhere, the maxi dresses can be worn on summer days walking in the park, shopping and on the beach, but also in the evening with flip-flops or heels. The sparkly dresses are wicked for nights out and they always get noticed. You can wear them with jeans or leggings or just heels and a few bangles. Catriona Rose dresses are so easy to wear, so comfy, effortless and elegant. They are also very flattering for all shapes and sizes.
Describe the ‘Catriona Rose’ woman?
The Catriona Rose woman is someone confident, a hippie boho chick, a woman with style and elegance. I love receiving messages from customers saying they have felt so confident wearing the dresses, and I have had loads of compliments. It makes me so happy to know how my customers feel, I want them to feel super sexy and feel like they stand out.
What are you working on at the moment?
This summer’s collection is really exciting, I am bringing out a new t-shirt range to raise money for the Katie Piper foundation. Katie is only a young girl and aspired to be a model and TV presenter, but her boyfriend paid someone to viciously attack her and throw acid in her face and she spent 2 months in a coma. She is still recovering now but has set up her own charity to help children and adults who have also been affected by burns. £5 from every t-shirt will go to her charity – there will be t-shirts, vests and crop tops. I am launching my own swimwear collection which I am very excited about too, think flirtatious frills and bohemian beads and prints.
What is your personal style?
I am very girly, I love my sparkly embellished dresses, and I love to over dress when I go out – big frills and lots of beads and always heels of course. One of my favourite shops is Reiss, I love their dresses because they always make such a statement. I like to dress very elegantly but look effortlessly chic at the same time.
What is your favourite, or most unusual item in your wardrobe?
Probably one of my vintage dresses, it is so heavily beaded and sparkly it hurts your eyes. I’m not sure how unusual it is but it is definitely my favourite – I missed it so much when I was living in Australia.
What is the one item you couldn’t live without?
I am not a massive make-up girl in the week but when I go out I do love a pair of eyelashes, and I love big eyebrows so probably my eyebrow pencil and mascara. I also have a pair of gold sandals and I rely on them to go with everything.
Where are you living and working from at the moment?
I am working from home in Surrey but driving to Ibiza with all my stock in the middle of May, and I will be there until September.
Where would you like to be in ten years time?
I would love to have my own menswear range and for my swimwear to be bigger. I would also like to have a family and start my own kidswear range. I want to be in all the big department stores and I want people to know my name. The world is our oyster and if you can see your dream you most certainly can get it.
What has been your biggest hurdle with your business and how did you overcome it?
Finding the right supplier for my fabrics and getting it all delivered in time as most factories tell you it will be with you within a few weeks, but then send it to you within a few months. It’s hard to find someone and build up a good relationship and trust with them, but I can always see my light at the end of the tunnel. Keep your chin up and concentrate on that light, and you’ll always get there in the end.
How did you raise awareness of your dresses and get the word out about your designs?
Mostly through Facebook, I kept all my friends updated with the plans for the business and by the time the dresses where ready to be sold everyone was so excited it started with a bang, everyone has been so supportive.
What do you do in your spare time?
I finished Uni last year, then I worked in Ibiza, travelled and set up my business in Australia for 6 months, which was pretty tough starting from scratch but the dresses went down a treat at the Glebe and Bondi beach markets in Sydney.
What fabrics do you use for the dresses?
The dresses are all made of a silk and polyester blend, they are beautiful and comfy against the skin.
How much does each dress cost and where can we get one from?
Each dress ranges from £28 – £60 and you can get one by messaging me on Facebook, or through my website www.catrionarose.com
You can snap up something special from Catriona Rose this week – BUY ONE CATRIONA DRESS AND GET ANOTHER ONE FREE. This offer ends Wednesday so be sure to grab a summer bargain early to avoid disappointment – a mad rush is expected with the launch of Cosmo this month.
Please visit the above website or Catriona’s Facebook page for more information.