Star Mumpreneur: How a Brontë Bitch is born

Rosalia Ferrara is a fireball: she’s a mum, a PR lady and now a successful entrepreneur with her own fashion brand inspired by the Brontë sisters. I have caught up with her to find out how she does it all.

Q: Where does the inspiration come from for Brontë Bitch?

RF: I’m inspired by the literary greats The Brontë Sisters & brother Branwell of Haworth where I actually live now. I moved to London in 1999 and returned back to my roots in 2014. How does the magic work? I come up with the concept, create a mood board, choose a designer, then they are tasked to illustrate my take on the Brontë story, the goal is to bring it back to life.. so the first design is The Brontë Sisters featuring a quote from Jane Eyre. The second design is based on Emily Brontë and her love of animals, on the windy moors  of Top Withens featuring a quote from Wuthering Heights. Branwell the brother is pictured with objects that narrate his story, although a very talented painter, poet, writer himself, his sad demise was of alcohol & opium addiction. In the third design Doodlher (https://doodlher.com) illustrates  an array of goblets, books, laudanum, poppy flowers featuring quote ‘Fortune, how fickle, and how vain thou art” – All the Brontë Bitch designs are unique, you will not find any of them on the high street. My aim for this series is familiarity but with a cool edge.

Q: What is that you like the most about the Brontë books/literature?

RF: The Brontë sisters wrote some of the best poems and novels in the history of English literature. They were trailblazers of their time, all exceptionally talented. I love that they still now, after all this time, inspire people like myself to create. Fans travel far and wide to make the journey to Haworth, it’s incredible to see, I guess sub-consciously reading the books living in the area made an impression on me, even as a child.

 

Q: What are the must see in the ‘Brontë region’?

RF: Well, you must visit the (1) The Brontë Parsonage museum (www.bronte.org.uk) the house where the family lived, played, created their imaginary world, and penned their famous poems and novels. (2) The Old School Room where the family all taught and where Charlotte was married. (3) The Parish Church where Reverend Patrick Bronte, father of Charlotte, Emily, Anne and Branwell, was longest serving Vicar. The whole family are buried there apart from Anne who rests in Scarborough. (4) The famous cobbles on Main street, wonderful shops, country pubs, eateries, holiday cottages. (5) Brontë Falls and Top Withens on Brontë moors for the ultimate adventure. There’s a lot to see and do for a small village, and if you have a car, there’s much more in the surrounding areas.

 

Q: What are the family friendly activities in the Bronte countryside?

RF: For children it’s the Keighley Worth Valley Railway station and trains home to many a famous film (https://kwvr.co.uk/film/). There are various child friendly weekenders usually around bank holidays and Christmas but best check the website for their announcements, coming up though is 1940s, Railway Children, Haworth Haddock, Workshops etc. Central Park is just around the corner before you get to Main Street, & The Parsonage Museum, and beyond to the moors and the rolling hills of Yorkshire… Make sure to pack your walking boots & waterproofs.

 

Q: How did you create the brand ‘Brontë Bitch’?

 

RF: During lockdown 2020 I was searching for a funky and stylish Brontë Sisters t-shirt or tote bag online & I couldn’t find any that were not blatantly copied! I had my eureka moment, okay, I’ll try and launch a brand selling t-shirts, totes so I did. Now available at my Etsy shop, you can find t-shirts, tote bags, tea towels and greeting cards so far. Readers, do have a look and support an independent small business. To create the Brontë Bitch logo I held lots of creative brainstorming, Brontë Bitch was suggested early on, but I thought it may be detrimental to the brand, I basically went full circle although I did also like Brontë Babe but that was taken. 

 

The logo was created by my talented friend, Anna Cleary (https://annacleary.co.uk). She’s an independent graphic designer from Utley, she thinks outside the box, and specialises in visual communication. Anna totally slayed it and in only one take: “A provocative name requires a provocative logo,” she said. “And I needed to soften the word ‘bitch’ somehow, hence the kisses. It’s brave and it’s sassy and I am a big fan of putting the cat amongst the pigeons!”.

 

Q: What are the main challenges of a Mumpreneur/female entrepreneur?

RF: I guess it would be resources, time and a dedicated creative space. I would love a small studio set up where I am able to do everything myself. When you’re passionate about something, it’s so rewarding to see the idea come to life, it’s a lot of work and most times you feel a frustrated lone ranger, flying your own tiny flag at the bottom of a mountain. On the flipside, I’m lucky to have supportive friends but I can’t rely on their custom all the time. Lots of Haworth locals have also purchased my T-shirts, and the tote bags  have sold to buyers across the UK. I sold a handful of tea-towels at my pop-ups before Xmas in Haworth and Todmorden, and several even went to the USA. The greeting cards and tea-towels can be framed as beautiful wall art, and are perfect gifts or treats for yourself. It’s all affordable and one range is vegan and organic.

As a new entrepreneur, the icing on the cake is when new customers buy something from me and love it. This gives me reassurance that I am going in the right direction, and it’s all worthwhile. I’d love for this to become my main business. I rely on the general public and media to find me and spread the word.

 

Brontë Bitch online shop on Facebook.

 

Brontë Bitch will be at the Haworth 1940s Weekend in Central Park on 21-22 May. Please Follow: Bronte Btch (without the i) on Facebook & Instagram for the latest news.

 

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