I had the pleasure of meeting Elle back in March at a PR event for Belk Department Stores. Elle was one of the winners of Belk’s 2013 Southern Designer Showcase. Rosie Olive, her unique children’s clothing line, is named after her mom and beautiful daughter. Her designs feature bright, colorful and playful prints that any little girl would look adorable wearing. I had a moment to chat with Elle about how she started the brand, her keys for balancing work and family and her personal style.
Me: Tell us how you came up with the concept of the brand and how you started it?
Elle: I am a self taught seamstress. Since I was young I have loved fashion, print, textiles, art, theater, you name I love it. I would design pieces and go fabric shopping with my mom and she would sew my designs for me. Once our daughter Olive was born I quickly realized I was in need of sweet pieces that she could get good west out of,esp with her being so long.. When she was around 15 months old I began deconstructing her clothes and creating pieces that she could grow with.. My first sale came 4 months after I began Rosie Olive named after my mother and daughter. The business has grown since then. A year and a half after starting ROD,I decided to enter The Belk Southern Designer Showcase.I thought go big or go home. (My aunt told me about the contest). I decided to design all my own prints every detail. The olives for owl eyes, instead of my birds in power lines they sit perched on my hand penned Olive signature.The umbrellas have the floral border buds, the owls chevron wings and widows peaks, and the olive signature tucked into each umbrella..I believe in little girls being cute and modest. Growing into young ladies and to feel beautiful in every piece they wear. There is nothing like being a part of the memories these families create.
Me: What advice would you give on how to balance work ad family?
Elle: It is hard especially with the attention and recognition that have come since the becoming part of the Belk family. You have to stay grounded and remember what is important.It is especially difficult since I home school our little one (4yrs old). I have a schedule and we have a good routine. I have a ton of support from her and her father. I would be lost without them. They are why I was able to accomplish such a huge dream. Lots, of communication, setting a schedule, and making list and a calendar make this possible. Mommy and me Froyo dates or manicure dates with the little one and date night with the Mr.
Me: You design beautiful girls clothes, but tell me what your “go to” style is?
Elle: I grew up in the South (born & raised in Raleigh,NC). I grew up in private school. So, skirts and jumpers during the school day. Outside of school I wore dresses, skirts, and jumpers. Present day I love wearing a sweet fitted bodice full skirt, knee length dress with oxfords and a cardi or a Rosie Olive skirt, cuffed fitted cigar collar shirt and booties or oxfords. Also,I believe combat boots, motorcycle boots, and cowgirl boots are an essential part of the wardrobe especially when paired with a dress or skirt!
Me: Who or what inspires you?
Elle: My daughter Olive inspires me as she is my muse, my heart, my joy. Children in general (majored in Early Childhood minor children’s theater). Nature, and the South with the edge of the North!
Here are two of my favorite pieces from the Rosie Olive Collection at Belk.