Rosie Shelton and I first met through mutual friends in Auckland. I vividly remember the sparky, tanned little human glowing in a white dress and a vibrant, beaded statement necklace …. she was a breath of fresh air in the sea of black on Ponsonby Road! We chatted a lot that night about her jewellery brand La Luna Rose and continued that chat over months before suddenly (it felt like suddenly!) we were face to face again but this time in her Bali villa!
Over the 3 weeks I was knocking around in Canggu I spent a lot of time with Rosie, gaining an insight into her La Luna Rose world. There was plenty of sunshine, amazing food, scooter adventures (not for the faint hearted!), sunset drinks and did I mention the food? But contrary to belief and the level of distraction, there was a hell of a lot of work being done too. Still “on the clock” myself, I would often scoot over to the La Luna / Salt Gypsy HQ, assume position on a sofa, give Squeak the cat a couple of squeezes then get down to the nitty gritty of daily business. Sure everyone powering their own enterprise has a greater incentive to put in the hours but what I saw over that time were a collection of people grabbing the opportunity they had created with both hands and throwing themselves in with a level of gusto that was new to me!
On one particular day, I put my scooting skills to the test and followed Rosie on her emerald green Vespa way way wayyyy across Denpasar to visit her silversmiths. Her lipstick pink helmet was like my shining beacon in the chaos and there was NO way I was losing sight of it!
I loitered around watching her jewellery being bought to life while Rosie met with her team to discuss orders and some new samples. Following this she was off to another corner of the sprawling city to sit down with her beading artisans while I opted to retrace my route and zip back to the relative calm of Canggu.
She strapped on her helmet, gunned her scooter to life and whipped out the gates like any young woman on a mission to boost her business should! I remember thinking at the time how outrageously different her life looked at this moment compared to just even 5 years earlier as a young school leaver in Christchurch, NZ. To be honest – I kind of raised an eyebrow at my own unexpected life moment as I pretty much held my breath for 45 minutes back through traffic mayhem!
I’ve since spent a lot of time with the young La Luna Rose in both Auckland and Christchurch before she headed back on over to work on her next gorgeous collection. She is unwavering in her focus on producing quality jewellery for the zesty, colour loving girls out there and I cannot wait to see what she has been simmering up ready for September!
Rosie has shared an awesome insight into the beginnings of her brand and life in Bali below.
Where were you and what stage in your life were you at when the seed for your business first sprouted in your brain ?
I was living and working in Torquay (just south of Melbourne) for a global surf company in the Men’s Design department, semi-actively seeking my next challenge. I was open to anything really as I loved working there but there was limited career progression. As a true believer in that everything happens for a reason and post putting these ‘vibes’ out into the atmosphere, things started snowballing into action! I went back to New Zealand for Christmas and was completely motivated and inspired by all the awesome talent coming out of there. I had also recently been on a game show (!) and won some money with my best friend and we promised that we would get ourselves some jewellery as a memory of the (totally random!) experience.
That began the search for something that I couldn’t find – a ring that was good quality sterling silver but mixed with something bright, some colour! I didn’t want crystals or semi precious stones and then I just thought BAM!!, there is a market here and this gap needs to be filled…
I headed straight back to our holiday house we were staying in and started sketching my designs and ideas. And then it began….
What was it about Bali that attracted you to its shore’s to follow your dream ?
During my time working for the surf company I had begun surfing which I completely fell in love with. In fact many lunchtimes we were basically booted out of the office to go and get in the ocean! With that said, I was adamant my next step was not going to take me away from the beach! The previous year I had been on holiday to Bali with a couple of girlfriends and we all fell in love with the place. The people, the culture, food, energy, beaches and general island vibes. I was also blown away with insane amount of craftsmanship here on the island and the creativity all around. From stone carvings, to beautifully carved wooden doors, to their tiling, paintings and silversmith work. In Bali you are constantly surrounded by the creative energy of the locals and it can’t help but feed back into your own creative flow, so it seemed like a no-brainer next step to start up La Luna Rose based there! (Not to mention my love of travel and Bali’s location to explore the rest of Asia from!)
Of course there is no such thing as a typical work week but what would some of the tasks, jobs, activities be that you might experience over a week ?
Running a business out of Bali, a developing country, throws a few more curve balls into a general day than when I am based back in NZ or Australia. Therefore, a ‘typical day’ is not a sentence that I think I would ever hear someone mention here in Bali as everything is so scrambled and always very different!
One day you will have the best day of your life and things going smoothly with suppliers, catching up with friends in the sunshine, a great yoga class and finishing the day with an epic sunset….and then the next day could contain all the same activities only the yoga class was cancelled, your supplier didn’t show up just because, your food took 2 hours to arrive at lunch when you had a million other places to be, the power is out for 12 hours in your area and the closest internet is a 30 minute scoot ride away. Oh and throw in some torrential rain….
But obviously the good outweighs the bad of course – its just a constant up/down battle that you have to learn to find the medium pulse in the middle !
Generally I wake up and do some exercise to set the mind in a good headspace for the day, post on social media and I am at my computer by 9am. This can entail anything form doing accounts, marketing strategies, sales to stores, organizing any orders I have received the night before, planning the next week/month in advance, researching and organizing photoshoots, researching new pathways and working on new collaborations. Then in the afternoon I will go and visit suppliers or pick up stock, organize packaging/orders, organize FEDEX for the day (a seriously time-consuming process!) jump on social media, general household admin and its almost time for a sunset coconut!
I design my new ranges for about 6 weeks of the year, so when that time comes around, all the other stuff gets put on the back burner…which is nice 😉
If you could share some advice with anyone else looking to kickstart their own small business what would it be…?
Talk to people, network with others who have already done it, meet up with people you look up to, research everything and anyone and then just DO IT! If you have the determination and passion for it, it won’t fail. There will be cross roads and hardships but nothing that you can’t get through if you have the strength to push on and not let others get you down!
That and be prepared to be poor.
For a number of years.
Building your own empire (unless you have large financial backing) is hard slog and no matter what you think it will cost you, triple it! Or do as I have done and lived off $2 warung meals most days for the past 2 years! I am not complaining at all, just be prepared!
Some secret, off the beaten track spots in Bali that you love and why
Just go and get lost!
The coolest things I have come across have been in random little villages on my travels around the island, which I can’t even tell you where because I don’t even know! Bali is getting very populated with tourism in many main spots but if you just get on a scooter or hire a car and drive North/West I promise you wont be disappointed! For those less inclined for that… I love Geger beach at low tide for a beautiful cave-like golden sand dip (that’s where our ‘Sticks and Stones’ range was shot!) and also the cute Ashram up in Candi Dasa. Situated right on the beach, yoga twice a day and delicious vegetarian meals included! Mmmm, I’m hungry thinking about that place.
Imagery courtesy of La Luna Rose
Flat lays by Sophie Chan Andreassend
Campaign shots by Gabi Mulder
WHAT I LEARNT FROM ROSIE SHELTON:
If you are going to give your dream a good go – then commit to giving it 110% of your time, energy, assets and brainpower.
Don’t let it slide away just because you haven’t been strategic or brave enough.
Read more of our Fly the Coop : Bali series here.
Check out Bali Under the Radar here.