When many people think of Sorrelli, they automatically think of the gorgeous jewelry and how it perfectly matches their new outfit. Many people, however, don’t know about the designer behind the jewelry, or even the design process itself. Sorrelli recently sat down with its resident Head Designer, Rose, and asked her everything there is to know about her journey with Sorrelli.
After switching from an Education degree to a degree in Fine Metals, Rose graduated from college in 2005 and the following week began a job at Sorrelli. Her career began with a simple position as Bench Assistant. Rose said, “I reported in to Lisa (Oswald, the owner and original designer) at that point, doing little things, and she’d make changes and there was a lot of back and forth”. Quickly Rose’s role in the company adjusted as she found herself stepping up and eventually finding her way to the role of Head Designer.
In order to start off a new season or collection, a lot of work goes in to make sure the best possible pieces are being created. “Each season I sort of research some trends, Swarovski crystals sends us some trend packets and they’re a great reference point for me because we do so much color,” Rose said. She first starts off by developing the color before moving into determining silhouettes. Looking at sales information is also vital for the start of a new collection. “I’ll design into what’s performing really well and what trends are really taking hold in our marketplace. I try to build something fresh each time.”
Rose makes it her goal with every collection to make something new and “fresh” as she likes to call it. “I’ll put some different colors together and move things around until they make something fresh and new. It’s always a challenge in this business because we do so many colors each season and to rearrange the same color wheel to create something that’s fresh is always challenging.”
When it comes to inspiration, Rose tries to stay away from looking at other jewelry designs or designers. “I prefer not to look too much at other people’s stuff or compare our brand to something else, you know keep Sorrelli what it is.” She does find inspiration in the fashion industry however. “I look at apparel, any kind of clothing that’s like out there, seasonal colors that are predominant each season.” She also talks about getting color inspirations from shoes and purses as well. But more than looking at what is currently popular, she looks at what Sorrelli has already offered so that she’s not duplicating things she’s already done.
When asked about merging her particular style with Sorrelli’s, Rose said that it was initially difficult but time in the position has helped her to know what to do. “Now that I really know the brand and I understand who she is, the Sorrelli woman is, it’s simple.” Rose also expressed that working with Lisa helped her to become a better Sorrelli designer. “Learning her aesthetic, you know you’ve got that What Would Lisa Do? So I’m able to stay true to what she originally dreamed up in the business.” However, over time Rose’s own personal style has slowly found it’s way moving in to be incorporated among the designs.
Just like other people in the creative field, any designer can find themselves in a design slump, but Rose says resetting is the perfect way to get back into it. “I garden a lot over the weekend, I sew, I cook, I have a lot of creative outlets. I couldn’t do this all weekend long,” Rose said. “The trick is to put my energy here (the workshop) and then recharge with something else that’s creative.”
Many times it can turn out that pieces created simply don’t fit with the overall collection, but what if that piece happens to be a piece you desperately love? Rose has a solution for that. “Typically what I’ll do is pull those out of the assortment and then make them the foundation for resort or spring or put them into something else and really like build a story around them.” Some pieces are just too precious to lose.
“I own it in way too many colors,” Rose laughed when asked about having a favorite piece that she had ever designed. The piece in question, NCU1, or the Cabochon Cluster Statement Necklace, which is featured below. “It’s got a lot of semi-precious stones and it also has a lot of sparkle to it. It’s statement without being too over the top and I love the way it just like, moves with your body.”
Throughout her time here at Sorrelli, Rose has found her calling and her passion. “The way this position has evolved, it’s really great because I’m doing what I love and we do the partnership with Kutztown University so I have two interns every semester and I’m teaching them and coaching them, so I’m kind of able to do all of those things I want to do.”