Q&A with Shop Salad founder, Rosie Bess
July Child Founder, Sinead caught up with Shop Salad's Rosie Bess (one of the brands online at July Child). Rosie is a jewellery magpie, fashion stylist and shares our love of all things 90's <3
What inspired you to start your brand, Shop Salad?
I’ve been a freelance fashion stylist for over 12 years now and absolutely love accessories. Anyone who knows me would agree that I take my jewellery layering game seriously and love experimenting with colour! I wanted to create some beautifully vibrant and playful pieces for everyday wear whatever the season, beads are such a wardrobe staple and not just for summer holidays!
Where do you find inspiration? Beaded jewellery is so popular now, how do you differentiate your style and design?
My inspiration comes from many things, I’m obsessed with sweets and treats, interior design, 3D art, psychedelic prints and interesting floral displays. I used to skateboard and loved the grunge style, like true 90’s kids my sister and I would save up our pocket money and buy beaded flower chokers - I justneeded to bring those happy vibes back to 2020.
Yes, beaded jewellery is super popular now, there are lots of ‘trending’ patterns out there but I thrive off the challenge of creating new designs! What's the point in copying someone else? I hand make my own beads which separates my unique style to others. I studied art at A Level and had always felt it would come back to me one day! Pastels will always be my focal colour group but you’ll often see a burst of primary red or yellow in a Salad design for an unexpected clash, which differentiates my work to others too.
Colour and shape is really key for me, I spend a lot of time getting the layouts right by mixing different styles of beads and opting for more daring colourways. Lots of my necklaces are off-center and have quite complicated patterns which can take days to get right. When I’m not beading I spend hours on my laptop researching and sourcing materials, I care so much about the quality of my designs and only buy the best ingredients.
What's your favourite design thus far?
A tough one to answer but Give Me Space is such a favourite as it’s my first collaboration, there's 25 different beads used in this one which makes it super special! A lot of love goes into each piece but this one in particular as each alien head is hand sculpted, sanded, painted and then glossed. I loved Sinead’s trust in this design, it embraces both of our love for pastels, pearls and all things spacey <3
What do you do aside from running your own brand?
As well as fashion styling, I’m an avid tablescaper. I design press events and launch dinners - from styling the entrance to the dining table and all the tiny details in between.
When I’m not beading I’m tracking down the next vintage market. I’m obsessed with Ebay and Marktplaats (the Dutch equivalent) and collect trinkets of all kinds. I also love floral arranging and cycle to local markets on weekends for fresh flowers to fill my wacky vases, and keep my surroundings colourful.
Top three places to shop in Amsterdam?
IJ Hallen is one of the largest flea markets in Europe. A perfect way to spend your Saturday if you’re into thrifting! I’ve come away with some beautiful things including an old Dutch floral still life painting and a matching tea set. Be sure to check dates as it’s on once a month.
There are some great shops in De Pijp and along Gerard Dousraat. All The Luck In The World is one of my favourites, It’s listed as a gift shop but it’s more homeware with a dash of jewels. I’m really into trainers too and love popping into Baskèts Stores!
Haarlem has some of the best boutiques, it’s a 15 minute train ride from Amsterdam and is so picturesque you feel like you’re on a film set. There’s endless cafes, bars and restaurants to hang out in afterwards.
Any life hacks?
Always trim your flowers! And add sugar to the water, they’ll last for much longer.
What is in store for you and your brand in 2021?
Lots more jewels! I’ve got some lovely plans for future collections which I’ve started working on already. I’m lucky to have met some brilliant people throughout my styling career and have got some exciting opportunities brewing, there may also be a strand of other Salad goodies too, watch this space...
One thing that makes you smile?
Sipping Chilli Margaritas with my twin sis. Dreamy!