We recently spoke to Rachel Flemister, owner and head designer of de la Rosa Bride, which is based in Honolulu, Hawaii. We shared images of her stunning new collection last week and wanted to know a little bit more about the person behind the brand. De la Rosa is currently stocked exclusively in Honolulu, but is coming to Los Angeles on July 27 (get in quick!) and Marseille, France at the end of September for a pop-up.
What motivates you to do what you do?
Being creative is what drives and fulfils me and gets me going. I’ve always needed to be creating and making something with my hands since I can remember. And even if I’m always actually creating, I may be running errands, taking a shower, laying on the beach, and my brain is always dreaming up what to create next. I’m constantly having to jot down notes or quickly sketch in my iphone notepad just to get ideas out.
What inspires you?
So many things. Traveling to another country and unfamiliar places (my favourites are Europe and South America). People watching! Going to a museum. Watching a movie with incredible costumes. Fabric shopping. Draping. And maybe most of all, seeing brides light up with so much happiness when they wear the gowns I make them. That inspires me to want to do it over and over again.
Where do you see yourself in five years?
Still living on the beach in Hawaii with my husband, hopefully with a kid or two, and steady growth with de la Rosa.
What is next in the cards for your business?
I have a few pop-ups/trunk shows coming up that I’m super excited about in Los Angeles, France and possibly New York. Also, I am hoping to finally get some stockists soon worldwide.
If you could describe your business in 3 words what would they be?
Timeless, effortless, chic.
What did you do previous to owning your business?
After high school, I went to design school in Los Angeles. After college, I designed for two big companies in L.A. for about 7 years. Then I was tired of the hustle of L.A. and the corporate companies (and in love and newly married) and I quit my job and travelled around the world for a year with my husband. We sold our cars, furniture and stored all of our things and left. I felt so free and inspired. This is what led me to start my own company. Over the year I dreamt up what the company would be and how to do it.
How do you deal with work stress?
I go to yoga quite a few times a week. It really helps me focus on something else even for if just an hour. It always relieves stress for me too. I listen to a lot of podcasts while I work as well. When I’m feeling really stressed or down, I really like listening to podcasts about entrepreneurs. My favourites are Second Life and How I Built This. Both of the podcasts interview people that started their own company and tell the hosts all of the struggles and stress they’ve gone through throughout the process and it makes me feel like I’m not alone. That, and a big glass of wine on the beach at the end of a hard work day ;)
If you’re not working, where would I find you?
On the beach, under a big straw hat.
What is your favourite travel destination?
Europe or South America. Specifically, France and Italy in Europe, and Colombia and Brazil in South America. To me, they’re the most inspiring, interesting, romantic, and I’m obsessed with the cultures, people, music and the FOOD!
Have you always lived where you do now?
No. I have lived on Oahu, Hawaii (where my husband is from) for over three years now but I am from the Mojave Desert in California.
But Hawaii has always had my heart since my first time coming here when I was 15.
What is your favourite aspect of working in the bridal industry?
I love that even though it is a very stressful industry to be in, (because it is kind of the most important dress most women wear in their lives haha) the bridal market isn’t based on fast-fashion. It’s one of the only categories nowadays that design, craftsmanship, made-to-order, handmade clothing is valued. So much care goes into each piece that it isn’t rushed therefore we can use special techniques that such a special gown or ensemble deserves. Also, because every garment is made-to-order, there is very minimal waste.