By: Royal Hospital School
The creative industry is notoriously competitive and a difficult place for small start-ups to gain traction. Yet young Suffolk textile designer Freya Richmond, founder of home furnishing brand F.ROZE, has managed to develop what initially began as a humble lockdown textiles project into a highly successful brand and business within just 18 months.
F.ROZE offers bold, bespoke, screen and digital print designed home furnishings. Cushions, rugs, and soft furnishings are among her designs inspired by graffiti art and retro prints. Everything is original and bespoke and a personalized, slow approach is taken in an environmentally conscious way. In direct contrast to fast fashion and mass production, these special products are consciously created and sold as one-of a kind pieces to be appreciated and enjoyed long-term, similar to pieces of art.
Textile designer and company founder Freya Richmond immersed herself in the world of art and textile design ever since her school days. She studied textile design at the University of Brighton and was a pupil at the prestigious Royal Hospital School in Suffolk before that. An artist’s daughter, Freya excelled in art and design whilst at school where she was encouraged to explore a number of different creative mediums. The designer credits her school years for opening up opportunities to explore many different avenues from an early age – she enjoyed having the freedom to experiment with a wide variety of artistic channels including photography, ceramics, fine art, design and technology, as well as textiles. Her teachers at the Royal Hospital School were extremely supportive in helping Freya to pursue her ambitions to work in the art and design industry.
Following her time at the Royal Hospital School, Freya completed a degree in textile design before going on to work for the renowned fashion designer Richard Quinn for two years. Richard Quinn’s designs are characteristically bright, bold prints and this cemented Freya’s love of dramatic, bold and bright pattern design. Building on her work experiences in the fashion industry Freya then spent time in Australia where she found inspiration in vibrant rug and cushion designs within the textile industry down under.
Back home in Suffolk during the first UK lockdown in 2020, Freya began making and creating using prints, and chose cushions to focus on. She started to view them as a piece of art for a room. Initially making cushions for friends, she expanded her reach, contacting all the interior designers she knew and started to receive commissions. The business has blossomed from there.
With everyone spending so much more time in their homes since the onset of the pandemic, interiors have really moved into the forefront of consumers minds and the sector has experienced a lot of growth. This trend did not go unnoticed by Freya who has tapped into the growing consumer appetite for beautiful, unique, high quality home furnishings and spotted a space in the market for bespoke cushion design.
As well as possessing an abundance of creative talent, Freya also has an aptitude for business management, finance and multitasking, which she attributes to her school days where she was taught to manage her time effectively from a young age.
For other people seeking to cut it in the design industry, Freya has the following advice:
- “Don’t compare yourself to others. It is a competitive and crowded marketplace but there is always space for more designers and businesses. Stay focused on what you want to achieve.
- “Trust your instincts. Always think outside the box and push the boundaries to create unique things. Take inspiration from others but focus on yourself. Find your niche or USP.
- “Collaboration is key – I also work as a print designer doing freelance work for other brands as well as collaborations. This not only creates another revenue stream but also offers extra networking opportunities. It’s a good idea to keep your offering broad, so that you don’t cut yourself off from other potential opportunities.
- “Get organised. Starting and running a business involves juggling multiple demands so you must find the best ways to multitask and coordinate your time.
- “Punctuality is important. As with all industries, there is no excuse for being late – I learnt this from school. Punctuality is especially important when you’re working with multiple businesses and on projects with many moving parts. Tardiness shows a lack of respect for others and could give you a bad reputation.
- “Be resilient and be prepared to work hard. You may experience setbacks along the way but have confidence in your work. Go for it and don’t hold back. Be proactive.
- “Network. Work with others in the industry or a parallel sector to further your knowledge and experience. You can start your own brand as a side hustle whilst having a full-time job. Keep your options open.
Overall, Freya believes that creatives should focus on their passion and purpose and use these as the ultimate drivers to success. “If you love what you do it will really show and it will give you enough of a drive to succeed and progress,” she says. “This is the way I have been brought up and educated and instilled in me a belief in myself and a drive to work hard and succeed.”
To find out more about the Royal Hospital School:www.royalhospitalschool.org
Founded in 1712 in Greenwich, London, the Royal Hospital School moved to its spectacular site, set in 200 acres of Suffolk countryside overlooking the River Stour, in 1933. The School has continued to develop its purpose-built site and has grown in size and reputation to become one of East Anglia’s leading independent schools. The School’s Art & Design Department enjoys an outstanding reputation. Housed in its own modern building, a superb atrium exhibits pupil artwork all year round. Pupils have access to well-equipped workshops where they are encouraged to experiment in a wide range of media including photography, textiles, pottery, print and sculpture alongside the more traditional painting and drawing materials. There are light and airy art and textile studios with permanent personal studio space for sixth form pupils and a photographic darkroom and Photoshop classroom.
For more information on F.ROZE visit: https://www.freyarozeworld.com/