A local designer has hit the big time after the prestigious American lifestyle brand Anthropologie approached her to design and supply some products for its US stores.
Rosey Willis, from Raunds, Northamptonshire, set up a business designing and making wedding stationery in 2009. She does this is in her spare time, while working as a dental nurse in Rushden, and sells products online via Etsy. Buyers at Anthropologie, part of the US retail giant Urban Outfitters, spotted Rosey’s products on Etsy and thought her vintage style fitted well with their brand. They asked her to design and produce something for their holidays range, she came up with the “New Year’s Resolution Kit” which will go on sale in 99 Anthropologie stores across the US, and retail for a total exceeding $50,000.
The New Year’s Resolution kit designed by Rosey is contained in an illustrated presentation box which includes a glass corked bottle with a tag, pieces of decorative paper for writing resolutions, an inspirational quote and an instructions card. The outside of the box reads: “Let your dreams take flight”. Rosey has shown that with creative talent, hard work, some expert help and a bit of luck, dreams can become reality!
When Cassie Nentwig, the stationery and gift buyer at Anthropologie first saw Rosey’s new designs she said: “They look amazing…I love this style.”
Rosey was delighted with the interest but did not know how she would fulfil the order. She had the problem of meeting the production, price and shipping requirements of the American retailer, so turned to Lance Jones of Working Strategy, also based in Raunds. He helped to turn her time-intensive, craft-based business into a larger scale production/manufacturing business with lower costs, while still maintaining the quality of the product.
Working Strategy focused on the operational and financial aspects of the business, allowing Rosey to develop her relationship with the retailer and to design the next product. Working Strategy re-engineered the original product, reducing costs by 75%, which was achieved by bulk-sourcing materials and more cost-effective shipping. They financed all production costs, assembled and shipped the product, handling export regulations, US customs and duties.
The first order of 1,667 New Year Resolution kits was delivered to Anthropologie on 4th November and Rosey is currently preparing samples of the next product which will be shipped to Anthropologie in early December. These are the first products in Rosey’s new ‘Message in a Bottle’ gift range.
Rosey comments: “It’s so exciting to have my first commercial order from such a prestigious international brand, but without Lance’s help, I would have had to turn it down. Providing the know-how to scale up production and trade with the US was vital. My business has advanced dramatically in the last couple of months and we have shown that there is demand for British design.”.