Oh man, this new line Rosey West has got me a little emotional! Not only do I covet everything in this uber cool girl chic, feminine line but kudos to founder Michael Dobkin for having lots varying price points so can really deck yourself it out in Rosey West. Now the emotional part...this interview is a must read. It spills open emotion, passion, and some very well-said thoughts on the meaning of jewelry in our lives. I am not going to blab on about it because I would prefer you read the below. Enjoy.
Tell me about your background?
I grew up wanting to be either a designer or a writer. When designing, my inspiration always came from literature. Whether it be one of the classics or something I had come up with on my own — the power of words was always what drove me to create.
When it was time to decide what I was going to do with my life, there was something about design that pulled me in deeper. I received a BFA in fashion design from Parsons School of Design in New York City back in 2010. Shortly after school I started designing for a bridal house (I always found something romantic about the storytelling of weddings) and stayed there for two years.
Though it was an unforgettable experience, there was something tiresome about designing for someone else, and that caused me take a turn back to story-telling, which segued my career into Public Relations and Marketing, of all things. While I was working in PR & Marketing I was able to turn my attention back to my personal design work, and having loved working with my hands and creating something precious yet tangible — jewelry ended up making perfect sense.
How did you get into jewelry?
This was an interesting road, so bear with me. I went to school for design, and assumed I’d be working in ready-to-wear, as I’m sure most design students expect. When I ended up in bridal, my course as a designer went in a totally different direction. Thinking about embroidery, hand-sewn intricate details, beading, couture… it makes you design differently — at least it made me design differently. I kept going back to that idea of being able to make something myself, so I actually started making hand embroidered bridal accessories at home in my apartment. I was designing veils, bridal sashes, headpieces, etc.
I started to get a few samples finished for what I believed would be my first collection. I showed my friends in the industry — other designers, editors — and they all had positive reviews, but there was something about it that just wasn’t resonating with me. It was soon after that I came to realize the idea that these pieces were meant to be so special and most of them were made of brass and Swarovski crystals and that just wasn’t doing it for me.
It didn’t feel meaningful enough for what they were supposed to represent. I wanted to work in precious and semi-precious stones instead of crystal, gold instead of brass. That felt meaningful to me. That’s when I immediately rethought everything and switched my focus to fine jewelry.
Once I had my “a-ha” moment, I designed the collection in a little under a month and had all 30 or so pieces made within two months. I think it started in July and I had everything ready to go by September. It really was that moment of when it’s right, it’s right and all of the pieces easily fell into place.
Why do you love what you do?
I love what I do because there is so much meaning when it comes to jewelry. It’s something that can last through generations. It can tell a story without even a single word — a non-verbal communication of style.
There’s something so powerful in that. Whether someone else buys it for you, or you buy it for yourself, there’s usually a strong meaning or reason behind every piece and many hold on to that for a long time — even a lifetime. To be a part of that story is incredibly fulfilling and such a privilege, especially when we’re talking engagement rings and wedding bands. I wouldn’t trade my job for anything in the world.
Best advice for picking out jewelry?
Pick pieces that feel like you. Consider the rest of your jewelry wardrobe or even your everyday uniform. Your own personal style will dictate what type of jewelry you should wear. Do you wear jeans and a t-shirt most days? Then I’d probably go for more minimal low-key stacks, smaller stones, and delicate layering pieces to not overwhelm the look.
If you’re a little more verbose, then maybe layer on larger stones, mix colors (metals and stones) and embrace your inner whimsicality. The truth is, there’s no right or wrong way to pick out jewelry. It all goes back to what feels right. If you dress for you, you’ll always make the right choice.
Favorite jewelry trend of the moment?
I like seeing that women are really embracing a good statement earring. I’m not so sure it’s necessarily a trend, but something that’s happening more frequently now. A strong earring can elevate any look, even if you’re wearing an off-duty uniform. Even though Rosey West is a subtle, more delicate collection, we still have our take on impactful earrings as I just find it quite lovely the way they can frame and highlight an already beautiful face.
Where can people find your jewelry?
Right now the entire collection is available on roseywest.com, but we will be launching in retailers, hopefully, in early Spring (if not sooner!).
Current favorite item in your line-up and why?
That’s like asking a parent who their favorite child is! So instead, I’ll tell you what I’m wearing on my daily rotation:
For rings: I wear the dew drop eternity ring (if I had to pick a favorite that ring is it) and the foundation ring stacked on my ring finger, and then I stack the foundation pin ring with the rose-cut diamond pin ring on my middle finger as midis.
For earrings: I keep it simple and usually wear the mini rose-cut diamond studs every day (although my personal obsession is the opal stud chain drop earrings).
Honorable mention: All of the dew drop engagement rings. I really love each and every one of them, and they were my original inspiration when designing the collection so they’ll always hold a special place in my heart. You’ll be seeing more styles like them in future collections.