Could you introduce yourself?
Hi I'm Stella Rose! I live in a pink apartment in Brooklyn. You can find me designing clothing and making art and food in NYC.
What’s your life philosophy? How do you try to apply that to your work?
As a creative person, I've always been confident that I can make anything happen with the right tools. I do a lot of literal and figurative cutting and pasting and mixing and coloring. Especially coloring. I try to bring color to everything I touch. If I get an idea for something, I'll just make it. Being able to channel creative energy is the closest thing I've felt to magic. When I take an idea for a garment for instance, from illustration to real life, it feels like wizardry.
Do you have any words of advice from the experience you’ve dealt with when it comes to putting yourself and your story out there in the world?
I've learned to filter and edit myself over time when it comes to what I choose to share online. However it hasn't stopped me from committing to remaining approachable and down to earth. I don't carry secrets. Secrets come from a shame in ones self or actions. I also refuse to define myself in any rigid way. I would prefer to have others attempt to define me which helps me better understand how I come across. In the end, the only person I know how to be is me.
How has your location changed how you work? Do you feel the environment pushes you to become a better artist?
I moved to my birthplace of NYC from Seattle 5 years ago with the goal of upping my game. In Seattle I had the freedom of lower living expenses and a more relaxed atmosphere to explore my creative goals at my leisure. New York is a jungle and it's highly competitive. The cost of living forces you to either put your art at the center of your career, or to abandon it completely. This is where people move when they're ready to do big things. I am continually pushed to higher plateaus here and I'm about to launch a project that will have me climbing higher than ever before.
Could you offer up any tips on how to start a business? What are some of your key pieces of advice?
I've always been weary of a business plan and have instead approached my business as an artist. But now that I'm ready to expand my clothing line in order to make it more accessible to people of various gender, size, and location, I'm realizing a formal plan is key. I'm an advocate of setting an end goal and then planning all the steps you need to take in order to get there. Also social media is much an important tool in building a brand. It lets even the smallest business create a larger than life image which today will take you so incredibly far. Being polite is also one of my favorite pieces of advice. Be polite to everyone– especially those who don't deserve it.
How has opening a shop changed your personal style, has it made you more confident?
It's a great feeling to produce items that I am passionate about, and I love being able to share the best parts of my world and headspace with others. I'm not sure my brand and web shop have changed my style per say, but as I am my own best spokesperson, I definitely align my personal style with that of my offerings and vice versa. Fashion itself is the biggest confidence booster for me.
What's the story behind your UNLUCKY CAT character? Could you tell us the scoop?
I used to wear a big handmade Hello Kitty back patch sewn to one of my vintage coats, and everywhere I went, men would shout at me "HELLO Kitty! Hey kitty kitty! Meow!" which really grossed me out and I began to wish there was the equivalent of a Goodbye Kitty that I could wear instead. That's when I invented Unlucky Cat. I wanted something as cute and effective as it's mouthless bow wearing counterpart but that said "back the fuck off before I bite you". No one's gonna cat call you with Unlucky Cat.
Could you tell us one word that describes you best?
Do you have any rituals you do before you start your creative process for a new project, to get your mind and energy in the right place?
I've worked hard to tailor my life and surroundings to that of which energizes and inspires me. The way I choose to look, the decorations in my home, the food I eat, and how I spend my free time. I don't drink and am a big advocate of living a drug-free life. The healthier my body is the healthier my mind is, and the more energy I have to use on things that count. Because I create everyday, I could look at my lifestyle as my ritual. I think everybody could benefit from this idea.
What are you looking forward to the most this year?
Expanding my fashion line is my biggest focus right now. It's more work than I can even comprehend and I am still in the early stages of it but by the end of this year you'll know more by following me at @itsstellarose.
What makes you happy?
Currently pastel fur, spouted lentils, small cats, kiwi fruit, tropical plants, broccoli dogs, and the color pink.
images by Derek DeWitt
Social media is @itsstellarose on instagram/twitter <3