An Hour With ...
Through interviewing Swiss Designers, I realized that they all have one thing in common: they are full of energy! An entrepreneur more enthusiastic than Stefanie Gehrig, I have not met. Discover the sparkling designer behind fräulein rosarot and let's be inspired by her communicative happiness .
Stefanie, Who are you? How did it all start?
I have always been interested in fashion, textiles, colours and textures. My mom was a tailor so I grew up surrounded by sewing machines, threads and needles. As early as 3 years old, I started sewing, it ended up in a drama because I pinched my finger. Soon after, sewing became very natural to me. It was clear that my job would be related to this area. Actually my dream job was to become a fashion designer. I had planned to do my apprenticeship as a tailor but I realised that the job was lacking creativity. I got bored quickly because you have to follow customers’ ideas and most of the time I do not share the same ideas. My feeling is that Swiss people have rather conventional taste as far as fashion is concerned. I feel closer to Iceland and Japan in terms of craziness. I applied to enter the university of Applied Sciences and Arts in Lucern to major in Graphic Design. I was then waiting to know whether or not I was admitted and to keep myself distracted I started sewing bags, that was in 2009. People were interested in them so I went to sell my bags on outdoor markets across Switzerland during my leisure and this is how slowly but surely fräulein rosa rot was born.
I kept running this activity in parallel with my studies. During these 3 years, despite being busy studying, I did it with all my heart and all my soul. I knew I was going into the right direction.
The next step was to open your own boutique in Lenzburg?
That's right. This was in 2014 and one day I walked passed the empty boutique and told myself “I know what’s going to happen now”. The shop is opened 14 hours a week, this way I still have time to create, design produce and also handle online orders.
Boutique in Lenzburg
Where does the name “fräulein rosarot”come from?
“ fashion does not have to be too serious and we all have a fräulein rosarot deep inside, no matter how old you are.”
Straight from the stomach, straight from the heart. “fräulein” is an old fashioned word, barely used in the German language. Feminist must actually hate me for using this word! “rosarot” is a soft tender colour but at the same time powerful and noticeable just like today’s modern women.
These 2 aspects match perfectly well the idea I want to convey through my products: fashion does not have to be too serious and we all have a fräulein rosa rot deep inside, no matter how old you are.
What’s next for you?
Getting ready for the summer and produce more pareos. There will also be more leather products in my collection. Especially made of cow leather, which is difficult to process as it is thicker but at the same time more it is very robust. The plan is to produce smaller bags like a shoulder clutch and a bigger one like a shopper. I will also start a homeware collection, cushions, throws etc… The idea is to have bigger products to display my patterns better.
Besides your shop, where else can we meet you ?
I am attending fairs like Blickfang, but I also keep on going to outdoor markets and if you are a professional I am also attending B2B fairs.
Markets/fairs I will be attending this year:
- 3. Mai, Maimarkt Baden
- 20.–22. August, Ornaris Bern
- 1. November, Jahrmarkt Baden
- 7.–10 Dezember, Chrischtchindlimärt Bremgarten
Where do you get your inspiration from ?
I use all my senses: a bird singing, a scent, interesting colours.
The things that inspire me are usually right there in front of me. I like leading my life and being in this state of constant awareness. I do not spend much time on social media. I don't care about what is trendy right now. For me the trend is what strikes me, what arises my senses. My source of inspiration cannot be dictated by what others do. I hate people stealing ideas, they surely get tired of their job after a while. Fast Fashion kills creativity and innovation
My business is based on my own creativity and I can actually react quickly if I see a colour I am fond of. For example last year, I fell in love with this watermelon colour, same evening I was designing and 2 weeks later I had the fabric and started sewing. This is the energy I feel and hopefully the energy I pass on to people buying at my store.
Favourite online shop? I like monoqi.ch, because they have a very good choice of contemporary design.
Favourite App? photograph-app, because to me it’s like a sketchbook of my ideas. I take photographs of random things which inspire me when I’m on the road. And also whatsapp to stay connected with my friends and family.
Favorite Instagram? upthewoodenhills An inspiring account where you can find lots of details within one topic (origami).
Favorite Blog? Sorry, I don’t read blogs, I only look at pictures on Instagram.
Where is your favourite spot in Lenzburg? feinesKleines, the cutest little café with the best coffee in town. It’s like a second living room to me.
Favourite Quote? Ohhhh, there are so many! But I pick this one: "Fashion changes, style endures – Coco Chanel.