Before jewelry designer Kathy Rose appeared on Bravo's reality show competition Launch My Line, she along with her boutique, Roseark, were household names in Los Angeles among celebrities and Saudi princesses. After winning the show, Kathy's extraordinary talent as a designer caught a lot of people's attention.
I recently caught up with Kathy to see how life has been post the show, what new designs we can expect from her jewelry line, and how she balances it all as a designer, boutique owner, wife, and mom.
Nick Thomas: It's been about eight months since you won Bravo's reality show, Launch my Line. What was that experience like and what made you want to do it?
Kathy Rose: I was asked to do it by my PR, Truth Be Told PR. I felt really grateful that I was able to go on the audition, and then I was grateful that I got it, and then I was grateful that I won. I just couldn't believe it. The whole thing was really surreal but I feel the whole lesson through it was that I kept my integrity and was like no matter what, I'm still going to be myself. I told myself that I'm not going to be somebody else and I'm not going to change my designs or anything like that and it translated. And I got really lucky with a great partner, Emil Gampe. We have his couture line, exclusive at the store.
NT: What is your current relationship with Emil Gampe? Are you working together?
KR: We're really close and I carry his line, that's it. We don't do a line together but hopefully soon, we will one day.
NT: What was that moment like when your line Native Rose, went on sale on Rue La La?
KR: It was so incredible and such a dream come true. It (Native Rose) was sold out twice. It was great to have that on Rue La La.
NT: Now I read your Facebook wall that many people are trying to find out where they can buy clothes from your line. Is Native Rose something you plan on continuing to do?
KR: No, I will not be continuing Native Rose because it is something that I did with Bravo. But I have clothing from Idol Radec, which I love. We're just getting a lot of clothing designers right now that are incredible.
NT: Why thank you. We love having Idol Radec at your store! So let's talk about your first love, jewelry. What jewelry designs are you currently working on?
KR: So right now I'm working on an antelope series, anything that has to do with antelopes and their horns. I also have a series of emeralds, turquoise, pearls and raw diamonds set in to tribal designs.
NT: You and your husband, Rick Rose, own the exclusive boutique, Roseark, featuring your line, Kathy Rose for Roseark, as well as lines from other designers. Everyone that walks into your store, say it's a piece of art in itself and that you have a rotating gallery. Can you tell us more about your store's concept?
KR: It's basically fine jewelry and fine art. It's all mixed with all the different things that we love. All the designers are from around the world. We have, I feel, the best jewelry and the best couture gowns. And the art is incredible. The art has been something that we just really love, the fine art. Right now we're showing Manfred Menz through December. He's an incredible photographer, beautiful clean work. And we show Robbie Conal, who is a huge political artist with a big following. And Alison Van Pelt is great. She does a lot of blurred oil paintings.
NT: Do you and Rick personally pick each artist to exhibit?
KR: Yes, we curate the shows ourselves, we pick the artist ourselves and sometimes it will be one or the other.
NT: You and Rick also just opened up a second Roseark boutique in Santa Monica this past summer. Why the second boutique and does this store differ in anyway from your West Hollywood location?
KR: For the second boutique, we wanted to open something for our Westside (Los Angeles) clients and it's basically something that's close to the beach and it's a space that opened up and we felt like it was perfect.
NT: What has been the biggest lesson you've learned so far in your career?
KR: I've learned to keep moving forward even if the times get tough. I've learned that integrity and heart is everything in design. I thank my past and I'm grateful for this moment. I've also learned to trust my intuition. And finally, I've learned to let it all go and to keep moving forward.
NT: With all these various projects you're working on, how to balance it all while being a mom and wife?
KR: I just like taking hikes and spending time with my family. That's the biggest balance. Good therapy and just stopping to smell the roses and breathing. Just breathing. It's an ongoing thing, just day by day really and I'm forever learning.
NT: What's next for you and Rick?
KR: Right now we have a few film projects that are in the works. We have a separate jewelry line for Roseark happening, we're expanding my Kathy Rose for Roseark.
NT: With launching your jewelry line, and boutique, what advice would you give to people who are considering launching their own line whether it is fashion, jewelry or anything else?
KR: Let the ego go. So many people come from ego. Learn first and it takes a lot of time. It's not like anyone with money or anyone without money, or anyone and their mom can just do it. Learn and get inspired. Don't copy other people. Do things from your heart that moves you and things that have meaning and intention.
NT: How would you describe your personal style?
KR: Elegance with a dash of warrior.
NT: At what point in your life did you know you wanted to be a jewelry designer?
KR: I would say when I was nine. I always liked reading through encyclopedias. I loved the G, reading about gems and garnets. The properties of stones always really moved me. Always touching the stones, they're like talismans jewelry. So it think just that.
NT: What has been your favorite piece of jewelry you designed so far?
KR: The snake, for sure, my snake. It's elegant, it's sleek, it's simple, it's so great next to a Cartier bangle or next to your own bangle. It's great talisman jewelry, it symbolizes change and growth and you can engrave and they're timeless. They're really meant to live on you.
NT: You were born in Iran. At what age did you move to the states?
KR: I was conceived in America, born in Iran and left in 1975 I would say, and just went back and forth because my dad was teaching there but have lived here [Los Angeles] since '78.
NT: Have you been back at all?
KR: I'm so inspired by the place that I hope one day eventually, yes!
NT: What's it like working with your husband?
KR: It is hard working with your husband and sometimes a challenge with our differences, but we make it happen. Lots of vacations! [Laughs]