Interview with Grace Rose, 12 Year Old Founder of Her Own Clothing Company, Rosie G

LeiLei Secor, Founder of Designed By Lei Handmade Jewelry

HI! My name is Grace Rose and I'm about to start 7th grade at a Performing Arts Academy, While I love to sing, dance & perform. I’m also a designer.

I have hosted a Fashion Fundraiser for Cystic Fibrosis every year since I was born. My 10th Annual I designed the entire collection. After it was auctioned off people kept asking where they could buy more clothes & continue to support my efforts in finding a cure. I have Cystic Fibrosis. I'm designing & selling clothes to raise money & awareness for CF research. My plan is to #cureCF #instyle.

Cystic Fibrosis is life-threatening & there is no cure, YET. They are getting closer each year & just since I was born the medications are allowing us to live longer & healthier lives. 

When you look at me you have no idea that I do treatments & take several medications each day just to stay healthy; eating & breathing. I really want to help find a cure so these things aren't so difficult for me or anyone living with it.

I was born in New Orleans, Louisiana and I moved to Los Angeles after hurricane Katrina. I am influenced by these two cities. The clothing line is inspired by things I love like dance & sushi, inspirational messages, and things my friends and I like to wear! Another cool thing is I was able to custom design a lot of the print fabrics with meaning from my hospital visits i.e. clouds – to just breathe, protective eye – to help you feel safe, fortune cookies – for feeling fortunate & roses – for my name and the brand. I hand pick all the fabrics & create the styles. I design with 3 C's in mind: cute, colorful & comfortable

The name “Rosie G” comes from my alter ego. When I was little I'd put on lip gloss, get dressed up & sing and dance in the mirror. Everyone would say "oh look, here comes Rosie".

Another cool thing about my clothing line is that proceeds from sales will go back to CF research to help find a cure.

xo, GR

Q: How old were you when you started designing your first piece of clothing and what was it?

Grace:  I designed my first dress when I was 2 - it was a 65 roses dress (that's what kids call Cystic Fibrosis) it was denim with roses all over it and little rose buttons at the top w/ a pink ribbon sash as a belt - my mom would take me to fabric stores and let me pick the fabric and the buttons (or trims) and I would explain what I wanted

Q: What gave you the idea to create Rosie G and turn it into a business?

Grace: Every year I host my own fashion show fundraiser and for my 10th Annual (b/c that was a big one) I asked if I could design all the clothes myself, we auctioned them off (from the runway) and then people kept wanting to buy them and support the cause so we started a website and made more

Q: What has been your biggest challenge in getting started and how have you overcome it?

Grace: Getting the money for it to keep growing and making more designs. We have to get more sales, we found a factory to help us and a showroom to help reach more stores

Q: How do you find time to balance school and work?

Grace: My mom helps me when I'm in school and I do fittings, photo shoots, and everything else when I'm not in school (on the weekends and early dismissals) a few times I've had to leave school early for appointments or textile/trade shows - but I get all my school work done!

Q: How did you go about finding a manufacturer in Los Angeles?

Grace: We tried a few different ones, I learned a lot about cutting in bulk and sizing and how to save money using some similar patterns or fabrics - but it was hard because they only want to do a lot of clothes or they charge a lot more - we finally found a factory that said we think you have a great product and designs so we want to help you but we also want to be part of your business. This is sometimes hard having other people (besides my mom) giving me ideas, I'm very picky and will only wear and sell something it if I created it!

Q: Have your parents helped you with your business and what have they taught you?

Grace: It's just me & my mom. My mom helps when I'm in school, she also gives me a lot of advice, she helps kickstart my inspiration brain!

Q: What are your plans for the future; will you keep designing and creating?

Grace: Yes, because I can raise money and awareness and have a job! I want to have stores and accessories and more products

Q: What advice would you give young Kidpreneurs who want to start their own business like you did?

Grace: Follow something you're passionate about!

Q: What do you think about the Kidpreneurs concept for teaching kids the basic principles of Entrepreneurship at a young age?

Grace: I think it's great because kids understand each other on their own terms and can learn from each other. Also, adults are very willing to give advice - so listen!

Visit the Rosie G website to find out more about Grace and her clothing company! 

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