Q&A with Zoe Le Page of Rockrose Handmade

What – Local Online Store ‘Rockrose Handmade’ – Curated, Beautiful, Ethical

Where – www.rockrosehandmade.com

 

When Christmas comes around each year our lives seem to get a little crazier than usual and our normal day-to-day routine is replaced by a busy and never-ending to-do list. So it’s quite natural that most of us let our hectic schedules get in the way of thoughtful and meaningful spending on both ourselves and others. Oh! Hello Geelong may have found a way to make life a little easier (especially when looking for the perfect gift) and a lot more meaningful! Rockrose Handmade is a sweet online store that is not only bursting with adorable products for everyone but is kind to your wallet and the planet. And just when you thought there couldn’t be any better reason to visit this store, its owner Zoe Le Page is a pretty fab local lady who is giving something back to the community everyday. Thanks Zoe for taking a moment during the busiest time of the year to answer a few quick questions!

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Tell us a bit about yourself, your background and what led you to creating this online shopping destination.

Well firstly, hi everyone! My name is Zoe and I’m a wife (of Luke) and mother (of my babies Pepper and Beau), aspiring novel writer and advocate of the handmade movement.

I am deeply interested in living an eco-friendly life-style and I’m passionate about helping to create a more mindful and fair world, which is what led me to create Rockrose Handmade, an online boutique, selling handmade eco-friendly and ethical Indie goodies. Rockrose Handmade is my vessel for helping to create positive change. My business gives back to communities and the environment; every new customer has an Australian native tree or shrub planted for them to replace habitat and lock in carbon; I sponsor a little boy living in Kenya through Plan International; I donate to the ICDI to help communities in Africa build wells and create farms and I donate to various social and philanthropic projects through the crowd funding platform INDIGOGO.

What is the vision and inspiration behind rockrose handmade?

I was inspired to create Rockrose Handmade by the idea that we have the power to create positive change in the world, simply by choosing mindfully where and when we spend our dollar. Each of us can contribute to a fairer and healthier world simply by choosing to buy well-made, handmade, sweat-shop free products as well as products that have been made with organic, sustainable, fair-trade, vintage or up-cycled materials.

I am aware that often ethical and environmentally sound choices are expensive and hard to find so my intention was to provide people with comparable choices to mass-produced products. I have gathered together 40 + (and growing) small, ethical Indie labels, with goodies in every style and at every price point.

What is the story behind the name?

Rockroses are beautiful and hardy flowers that bloom every year, even against the worst sorts of adversity. The world can be tough and the Rockrose is a symbol of hope for me.

What can people expect to find when perusing your lovely online store?

A host of gorgeous, handmade Indie delights for women, children, men and the home. I have collected together labels that are tricky to find, unique and beautiful.

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What are some of the products / brands rockrose handmade sells?

Ethically made leather and vintage fabrics bags and purses by Empire of Bees (sooo lovely!!); recycled sterling silver and recycled Bronze Polly’s House charms by HMF Jewellery; sustainably grown Oregon bangles by Melbourne boy Joe from TreeHorn design; incredibly soft fair-trade and hand-block printed cotton Jaipur quilts; up-cycled Sari Scarves by Tocamade; wooden Pixie cameras with real moving parts for the junior photographer; Herbert & Friends Critters; Rockrose Ragdolls for the little lady in your life; organic cotton and hemp aprons and tea towels by Sarah Lee Parker; vintage fabric bow-brooches by Greylace; and incredibly lovely wooden lamps and Petite Jeune from by Sage Design! Plus lots more!

What are your favourite products?

I have too many; it’s like Christmas every time the postie comes to the door! My favourite products at the moment are the Pixie cameras by Twig Creative. In our digital world it is nice to give children a wooden toy that harkens back to the good old days of analogue.

Will there ever be a physical retail rock rose handmade shop?

I’m intrigued by the idea of a Pop-Up Shop for the summer months, but with two little ones under 3, this is a “next-year” plan, rather than a “now plan”. I was at the Three Little Birds Market earlier this month and will be at the Mathilda’s Market in Geelong in March next year—so people will be able to come and see and touch Rockrose’s lovely handmade goodies!

What does the future hold for rockrose handmade?

My sister lives in London and we’d love to open a London-based Rockrose Handmade together in the future; perhaps a local Pop-Up shop next summer? I am gathering more and more eco-friendly and ethical makers from across the globe; finding more charities and causes to support; and, I hope, planting a whole forest of trees!

In general, what are your biggest inspirations? Favourite artists, people, music, books?

My biggest inspiration is an idea; the idea that each of us is an integral part of a much larger body and that we each have our part to play, whatever this may be, in creating the future. This idea makes me think deeply about the part I play and inspires me to live mindfully. I am also inspired by my children, who both frustrate me and make me laugh and teach me more about myself (and being a human being) every day.

How long have you lived in the Geelong region?

We’ve been living in the Geelong region since late 2005. We moved to Ocean Grove after a stint in the UK and then bought our first home in Birregurra, had two babies and a renovation, sold our first home and moved down to Torquay! It’s been a busy few years!

Geelong regions best kept secret?

Birregurra and Inverleigh! These two little towns have so much art, culture and delicious food. The Red Door in Inverleigh is amazing for a coffee & slice of delicious homemade cake. Joe at the Birregurra General Store makes a mean Lebanese Pizza and Annie & Miles at Farm Foods Provedore in Birregurra are just lovely and cook a beautiful lunch in their café (The Meating Place)!

SPECIAL OFFER FOR OH! HELLO GEELONG READERS

The very generous Zoe is giving Oh! Hello Geelong readers 10% off with their first order at the Rockrose Handmade store. Important – The Coupon Code is OHHELLO

Mini Post – A Summertime GIVEAWAY from Kiitos! Saltwater Sandal LOVE!

Thanks to the super lovely Maria of Kiitos – Living By Design, we have another fabulous Giveaway up for grabs this week!

Saltwater Sandals are quite simply the most comfortable summer footwear you’re ever to wear. We LOVE them and we also love that we can get our fix at Kiitos in Barwon Heads  (it’s no secret this is one our favourite shops!) .

Made from high-quality leather and vulcanised rubber they are sun, sea and sand resistant – great for summer frolicking!

Kiitos are kindly offering one lucky reader a gorgeous pair of little girls Saltwater SandalsRRP. $69.00 AND another lucky reader a pair of ladies Saltwater Sandals RRP.  $85 !! In any colour you please (as long as they are in stock – these sandals sell like hotcakes!).

All you have to do is comment on this post telling what colour Saltwater Sandals your feet long for the most! (Please read the terms and conditions below)

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** COMPETITION TERMS + CONDITIONS + INFO**

1. Leave a comment on this blog post telling us : What colour Saltwater Sandals you are lusting after the most!

3. Competition closes at 5pm  FRIDAY 21ST DECEMBER – We’ll notify the winners via email and facebook. Winners must make contact within 48 hours or their prize will be forfeited and a new winner will be selected.

4.  To enter you must like our Facebook Page

5.  Prizes cannot be returned or exchanged for other products, cash or vouchers.

 
Good Luck!!
Love Penny + Laura

Mini Post – Popsicle Shop update PLUS a GIVEAWAY

Hello Dear Readers,

We have been a little quiet lately – sorry! This time of the year is crazy isn’t it! (we have plenty of goodies coming up on the blog soon – we promise)

Lucky for you, today we have a special treat to share. The lovely Lucy and Bec from the truly delightful and fabulous Popsicle Shop (which we blogged about a few weeks ago) have generously offered a FANTASTIC prize for 2 very lucky Popsicle shoppers and Oh! Hello Geelong blog readers!

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All you have to do is leave a comment on this blog post telling us about a product that you have purchased from their fabulous pop up shop (which is only here until Christmas eve by the way!) Tell us – What did you buy? Why do you love it? We’d love to know! (Please read the terms and conditions below)

The lucky winners will win either a pair of the über cool ladies Sticks bamboo sunglasses (rrp. $199.95) or a pair of super cute Frankie Rays sunnies for kids (rrp $29.95) . Both brands by Popsicle Shops very own Bec Bennett )!

So whether you have already visited Popsicle Shop or have been planning to visit but not yet made the trip – NOW is definitely a good time to head into this colourful summery store and do a spot of shopping. There are loads of new gorgeous products too! We have got our eyes on those fabulous feathered flamingo friends and GoldnBrown towels.

And as an added bonus Popsicle Shop are also open late TONIGHT for some twilight shopping from 5-8pm. With special discounts and drinks too! YAY!

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** COMPETITION TERMS + CONDITIONS + INFO**

1. Visit Popsicle Shop at  327 Shannon Avenue, Newtown 3220 

2. Leave a comment on this blog post telling us : What did you buy? AND Why do you love it?

3. Competition closes at 5pm  FRIDAY 21ST DECEMBER – We’ll notify the winners via email and facebook. Winners must make contact within 48 hours or their prize will be forfeited and a new winner will be selected.

4.  To enter you must like our Facebook Page

5.  Prizes cannot be returned or exchanged for other products, cash or vouchers.

Love Laura + Penny

Q&A with the multi-talented and totally gorgeous Izzy Losi!

Oh! Hello Geelong is very excited to share this Q&A with you! We first came across Izzy Losi way back in January when we were first scouring G-town for wonderful people and places to feature on our brand new blog (gosh how time flies!). Izzy just happened to be one of the MCs at Courthouse Arts during their short film festival and we were just blown away by her confidence, style and presence (and she wasn’t even singing and playing the piano that day!). Since then we have seen Izzy’s local profile grow and grow and with the arrival of her debut EP and an amazing show coming up on Sunday (she’ll be playing alongside Mia Dyson at Courthouse Arts) there’ll be no stopping this local lass! Thanks Izzy for taking the time to answers our Q&A!!! 

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Tell us a bit about yourself, your background and how you got to where you are now?

I’m a 21 year old sing/songwriter and pianist from Geelong. I’ve lived here all my life, and despite venturing to Melbourne for further study and new experiences, I always kept my grounding in Geelong. I’m glad I have my roots here because I’ve been able to network with some great organisations locally. One organisation I work closely with is Courthouse Arts in Geelong’s CBD, where I’m part of the Arts Advisory Panel, which is very exciting! I’m currently in the process of working with Courthouse Arts on New Years Revolution, which in 2013 will be solely focused on music. This is great for Geelong because I feel that the community was lacking such a festival. I am particularly excited about this even because my band The Auracles and I might be making an appearance!

I am also actively involved with 94.7 The Pulse and host my very own show called Reckless Radio. We play 100% Aussie music and I’ve been lucky enough to interview some awesome musicians including Josh Pyke and Jarred from Eagle and the Worm!!!

What is the vision / concept and inspiration behind your music?

Music is my passion and for me music is about being able to share it. I write songs mostly from life experiences and believe that it’s really important to think about connecting with audiences. I’m really lucky to be able to do what I love and to share this with others!!!

Who are your music loves? What would we see on Izzy’s iTunes playlist?

My iTunes playlist is a bit of weird mix! Currently at the top is Hidden Hands by Jen Cloher. I like supporting local artists and supporting music by people whom I’ve met, it makes me respect their music so much more. I always enjoy anything with piano in it, female artists like Kate Miller-Hidke, Katie Noonan and Regina Spektor have really gained my respect because they are strong front women. Also, not that many people play piano as lead so they are major inspirations for me. I also like music like Karnivool and I really used to like Cog. I like all sorts of music really, but I’d have to say I’m fairly picky, and listen to things at my own pace. I don’t really follow music trends. I think that comes down to me always playing my own original stuff and getting caught up in my own little world.

What does the future hold for Izzy losi?

After having just recorded my first professional debut EP under the name Izzy Losi and the Auracles, this is only the beginning for me! I have wanted to produce a record of this quality for some time, people think making a record it easy but in reality creating it is a whole different story. Thanks to receiving the Queenscliff Music Festival scholarship last year, I was able to make the record happen and it was a real honour for me. I’ve had my fair share of low points within the music industry, so I really feel like it’s my time to shine now. Not many people know who I am in the industry and I want to change that. This EP is only the start of what I want to do. I want to keep making professional records from here on and keep performing live. I want to play more music festivals outside of the Geelong and Surfcoast region and venture out more into other towns and cities.

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And what about life outside of music?

Well, I’ve just completed my degree at Uni where I studied Media Communications and Italian. I plan to travel overseas again in the future, and put my Italian to the test again (and perhaps even play some music while I’m over there!). I think travelling overseas is a great thing for anyone, it really opens your eyes to the world. As you can tell, I haven’t really locked myself into one area. I’m always busy and I’m hardly ever bored.

Do you have any quotes or sayings you live by?

I have a few quotes that I really believe in, sometimes I forget about them but when I am reacquainted with them again I always feel really good!

“By 1998, lead singer Ian Kenny changed their set to entirely original songs, removed all early members and officially named the band Karnivool.” Thus, I believe in original creations, never try to be anyone else but thyself.

“Great achievement is usually born of great sacrifice, and is never the result of selfishness”. I really believe in this one, nothing comes to you, you have to get up and do everything for yourself.

And….“He who is humble is confident and wise. He who brags is insecure and lacking.” I really dislike artists who are all about themselves, if you support others they are more likely to support you!

Geelong’s best kept secret?

I think Courthouse is still a bit of a hidden place for some people. I always tell people about it because it’s such a great arts hub for Geelong. I don’t want it to be a secret but sometimes it feels like it has a blanket over it!

Where can we find your work?

My new EP is available now on iTunes!  (we’re also on Spotify, JBhifiNOW, Amazon, and a few others). Hard copies are also available via my website at www.izzylosi.com. You can listen to a couple of songs here on our website too.

There’s also this video that Courthouse Arts made in the lead up to my gig with Mia Dyson this Sunday; it’s a little interview with me and I’m playing a song in the background.

 

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Thanks so much Izzy!

Love Penny + Laura