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!
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.
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