Designer Spotlight : Sololu

Rosanne Hertogh is the founder and designer of Sololu (www.sololu.com), a lifestyle brand that specialises in ethically made, stylish women’s clothing ideal for travel and everyday wear. 

As a frequent traveler, Rosanne’s mission is to inspire women to live life to the fullest and empower them to feel beautiful and confident while doing so, in sustainable clothing they could effortlessly mix and match year-round.

Here, she tells us more…

When did you launch the brand and what was the reason behind it?
Ever since I was young I had a love for fashion and travel. For a long time, I had this dream of starting my own fashion brand. I launched Sololu (formerly called WANDERWELL) in the beginning of 2015 after having traveled to many different places and having seen many interesting cultures. As an avid traveler, packing light without having to sacrifice comfort and style is quite important. One thing I’ve always missed is quality clothing that’s ideal for travel, stylish, comfortable, made of more natural fabrics and affordable at the same time – which is the main reason why I decided to create my own clothing collection. My goal was to start creating stylish wardrobe staples that make it easy for women to create outfits with they feel most confident in and that can be worn year-round, wherever they may be. With the 10 clothing designs from the current collection, at least 24 different outfits can be created as the pieces can be mixed and matched together easily. I started Sololu with a vision to create sustainable clothing, ideal for travel, that makes a positive change in the world and clothing industry. When I’m designing, I keep female travelers and women on the go – who want to look stylish and do good at the same time – in mind at all times.

What’s your background?
I grew up in the Netherlands and am currently living and traveling between Canada, the USA and Mexico with my partner. When still living in the Netherlands I finished two studies in the creative field – interior/spatial design and all-round fashion styling – however, the dream to start my own fashion brand was always there and I knew that one day I was going to make this dream a reality. In 2015 I was inspired to do so when I discovered what type of clothing I was missing.

How many people are involved in the company and what are their roles?
Currently there’s about four persons involved in the business. There’s my partner who does a lot of the photography, my parents who do the order fulfilment when I’m abroad and there’s me, usually working on new designs, the website, marketing, etc.

If you could start over with the business, would you do anything differently?
Yes. If I knew what I know now about the manufacturing process of clothing beforehand, I would have done certain things differently. However, running a business is a learning curve; failures help in improving things and help in creating the best products.

What is the hardest challenge you have faced since you started the company?
Finding the right manufacturer that shares the same values as Sololu. The manufacturing process took about 2 years in total, way longer than planned unfortunately. However, eventually I found an ethical manufacturer I was confident in working with and we started the production process. It all worked out well.

Tell us one fact about you that people wouldn’t know?
I’m practicing Spanish, as this will come in handy while traveling (and when residing in Mexico).

2017 is here, where do you plan on taking the brand?
The plan is to create and add new styles to the collection on a regular basis. I have a lot of ideas for Sololu and I’d love to add more collections as well, such as swimwear and loungewear collections. It would be nice to become an inspiring go-to brand for women that travel on a regular basis or lead active lives. We’ll see how the upcoming year goes and what 2018 brings.

To date, what has been the highlight since launching?
Being in Vogue magazine felt like a big achievement!

Which city do you feel most at home in, London, Paris or New York?
This is a tough one, as I haven’t been to London and New York yet. They are high on my list of places to visit though (they’ve been on my list forever!). I love Paris, but to be honest, Amsterdam is a city I feel most at home in since I grew up in the Netherlands.

Three beauty products you can’t leave the house without?
Lip balm, deodorant and hand lotion.

Style means….?
The way in which you express yourself.

Best thing about London to you?
I’ve never been to London, but I’m hoping to explore more new places next year. I’d love to do a road trip through the UK!

Statement shoe or statement bag?
Statement shoe. I love bags, but shoes even more so.

If you had to, what piece of clothing from your wardrobe would you wear every day?
Jeans.

Favourite love song?
A more recent favorite is Say You Won’t Let Go by James Arthur and two all-time favourites are Unchained Melody by The Righteous Brothers and Stand by Me by Ben E. King.

Best place for a coffee?
In the back yard or on the porch in the sun.

Most memorable piece of advice given to you?
Trust your instincts.

Guilty pleasure?
Chocolate cake or donuts.

If you could spend 24 hours anywhere in the world, where would it be?
A place I’ve never been to before and would love to visit, such as Iceland. I’ve heard so many good stories about it and it seems beautiful.

In the future, how do you plan on expanding the company?
By adding new clothing designs and slowly growing the collection, and by having the clothing in different retail locations across the globe within the upcoming year.

Find out more…

You can check out the website at www.sololu.com or follow Sololu @shopsololu on social media.

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