This week I had lunch 🍛with Rosie which was delightful. We chose the King’s 👑 Road as she borrows a rather fun office space there (I suspect full of other cool entrepreneurs 👧👦 , I am rather jealous!). I was at school with Rosie, and about a year and half ago she decided to quit her super job in advertising 💯 and start her own company making lamps 💡 @rosanna_lonsdale.
Rosie is one of these incredibly positive 👩 people, and is always genuinely interested in what you have been getting up to – she always asks the good questions, the ones other people forget to ask and you always feel very at ease in her company. So after a quick catch up (blogging ✏️, different career paths 📷 and, of course, love life💕 😉) we got down to lamps 💡💡.
Rosie started making her marvellous lamps 💡 a year and a half ago, and her business is now in full swing. She uses a decorating technique passed down to her by her Grandmother 👵which I think is rather nice. And she hand paints 🎨 all the lamps 💡 herself 👩, it was fascinating hearing her talk about this process.
She starts with a glass vase which she hand paints 🎨 and decorates from the inside. The technique she uses is called Decalcomania, and each vase requires 3 layers of lacquer 💧 and 3 layers of paint 🎨 in order to achieve the perfect finish ✨. She hand ✋ paints 🎨 each vase herself and it is amazing the time ⏰ and energy 👩 that goes into this very delicate process, particularly as every layer has to dry before another can be applied. It took her a while to find the best paint 🎨 and lacquer 💧combination (there are all sorts) – and the final result is fantastic, the lamps 💡 have a really wonderful lustre 💎.
Once the 6 layers of paint and lacquer 🎨💧have dried, brass bases 🔆 are added, and they are all wired 🔌 up with electrics, so that they can be plugged into the wall etc (this part of the process hadn’t even occurred to me, I was concentrating so much on how pretty they look 😍). Rosie really focuses on the details, each lamp is fitted with a proper brass base 🔆 and a silk cord wire 🎐 , certainly not something easy to come by at a reasonable price 💰 anymore.
She also provides the lampshades 🔔, which are silk, with silk linings and are all handmade in England. You can have empire shape – gathered (more traditional) or rolled (modern) – these are simple and very elegant, and sit perfectly with the beautiful bases they are standing on. She is also planning on introducing ikat 💈patterned lampshades, so if you are looking for a bit more pizzazz 💥 in your lampshade, this will soon be an option.
Most exciting for me are the designs 💕🌴. Rosie has an excellent eye and the designs are fresh, and fun, but not too invasive. She started with flamingoes, and has branched out into zebras 🐎, humming birds 🐦, banana leaves 🍌🌴 and chillis among others – 9 designs in all. You could quite happily have any of these charming lamps 💕💡 on your bedside table and I think they would fit happily into both a traditional interior and a more contemporary one. She also makes plain coloured 💙💛 lamps 💡(a particular favourite of mine is the coral orange 🍊), so if you are not a pattern person these are the perfect option.
The really nice thing is that she does bespoke projects, so if you are wanting a lamp to match the colour tone of a newly decorated room 🔵, she is happy to do this for you. Or if for instance there is an animal 🐩 that is particularly special to your, this works too (we might have to be encouraging a dachshund lamp soon Rosie 🐶😉).
It was so intriguing to hear her talk about her lamps 💡💡, and starting her own business. The whole process, from painting 🎨the lamps, to sourcing the parts 🔆, deciding on the designs 🌴, to selling 👩 all takes a huge amount of dedication and I am so impressed. It is no mean feat to get a business up and running yourself, with such success so early on.
Her first sale last year was at our old school 🏤 annual christmas 🌲 fair, and I love the idea of all the girls 👧 and their mothers 🙎eyeing up Rosie’s superb lamps 👌💡💕. I hope every school girl is demanding a Rosanna Lonsdale lamp 💡 for Christmas 🎅 this year!
Photos by: Katrina Lawson Johnston