B meets Rosita Bonita
Like illustrations, like leather, like prints, like handcrafted, you’re going to love Rosita Bonita. Like Margate? You’re going to love it even more as everything is handmade by Rowenna herself in her shipping container studio – oh we do like to be beside the seaside!
Rowenna puts her illustrations skills to good use and creates striking, nostalgic jewellery. All her hand drawn designs are cleverly printed onto soft leather, creating something completely different. We’ve never seen anything like them, and we’ve seen a lot of things – ahem! Rowenna collects antique and vintage pieces, loves the interiors brand Silken Favours (as do we, those cushions!) and cites Madonna in Desperately Seeking Susan as one of her style icons and Twin Peaks as her latest inspiration. We can definitely see all these influences and more in her brand and she also, of course, loves Margate too. Another thing we love from Margate is @bettymagazine – check them out too!
SHES A SPECIALIST
I specialise in creating illustrative printed leather jewellery. This was never my life-plan, but evolved out of making things for myself to wear, and trying to utilise my drawing & crafting skills. I studied illustration then ended up managing a vintage store, which fulfilled a passion but made me realise that I didn’t want to work for anyone else. Luckily, just under a year after making my first collection I was able to say goodbye to the day-job and, somehow, almost 7 years later I’m still going strong.
I’ve made jewellery & accessories for myself since I was very small. In 2010, when I was trying to think of a less conventional way of making a living from my drawings, I decided to try making prints on some bits of soft leather I had knocking around. The results turned into my first collection. To describe my brand, I’d say I make striking, unforgettable jewellery in luxurious lightweight leather. B – We love a statement but also something comfy; lightweight earrings are the way forward!
Nostalgia & day-dreaming have a big part to play in my designs. My collections all feature familiar imagery with universal appeal but that trigger different associations in different people. I love the transformative and mood-enhancing possibilities of dressing up. My latest collection was inspired by my love of Twin Peaks. I’ve tried to make it so fans (like me) will get the references, but so that the pieces will be intriguing and beautiful even if you have never seen it.
DRAW, DRAW, DRAW
With new collections, I often see the whole look of the collection, including how I want to shoot it, at the beginning. This then inspires lots of scribbles and image research. Then for the printed parts I draw, and draw, and draw until I think it’s right! Then that drawing will go on to a silk-screen, or be made up into a metal embossing stamp. I’ll then play around with construction. I hand-make everything myself in my little studio in Margate.
The hardest part is finding the time to make new collections because I make everything myself. The best thing is not having to fit with someone else’s schedule. I work long hours in the studio, but don’t do early mornings, and can keep it flexible.
My advice to setting up on your own would be have a go, and be prepared to work your ass off!!