Seattle style and design icon, Rosanna Bowles, has been a trailblazer and trendsetter for more than 30 years. In 1982, Rosanna created the award-winning dishware and home décor company Rosanna, Inc. with a $15,000 loan secured by her Seattle bungalow. Millions of dishes and delighted customers later, the company is known worldwide as a purveyor of fine, unique dishware that was originally inspired by Rosanna’s own youthful travels. Rosanna, Inc., is now known internationally; and Rosanna’s expertise on design, entertaining and gracious living is highly sought after. Rosanna was happy to share some of her tips on Seattle’s hottest summer entertaining trends.
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Rosanna Bowles, MA, is the President and Art Director of Rosanna, Inc., a home décor and tableware business that was born in Seattle in 1982. Rosanna’s passion for dishware came from her first visit to Europe when she was a teenager; she later pursued a bachelor’s degree in art (concentration in art history & literature) from Portland State University. Rosanna has created unforgettable dishware for every table, room and occasion. She has survived economic downturns and persevered when faced with inventory surpluses and shortages. After 33 years as a successful entrepreneur, Rosanna’s tableware is distributed worldwide and she has developed proprietary designs for numerous companies and organizations, including Nordstrom, Nordstrom Rack, Macy’s Herald Square, The Smithsonian Institute in Washington D.C., Starbucks worldwide, the National September 11 Memorial and Museum and The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. Rosanna’s many design accolades include being the first American to win the prestigious Gift of the Year Award in the UK (2005), the Puget Sound Business Journal’s Woman of Influence (2012), and being a finalist for the Nellie Cashman Woman in Business Award in both 2002 and 2011.
“It’s primarily women who remember special occasions and choose the gifts for their friends and family members,” Rosanna explained. Rosanna’s dishware, with its decorative boxes, first made tableware giftable. With design lines such as Tray Chic, Come Fly With Me and Cross My Heart, there’s a gift for every occasion. “Whether you’re thanking a hostess, celebrating a birthday, or surprising someone ‘just because,’ gifting is a revived tradition that’s trending among millennials and baby boomers alike,” Rosanna stated.
What’s Old Is New
“Many millennials don’t want a lot of clutter in their homes, but they do want to add some fun and pizazz to the table,” Rosanna explained. “You can accessorize your table, just as you would an outfit; a new accessory makes an outfit new again. Think of it as jewelry for your table and choose items that will complement what you already have. Go for a mix of modern and traditional, like my contemporary Doré plates, which are white with a gold rim.”
“You don’t have to do everything the way that your mother did it, including entertaining. When you have an event at your home, it doesn’t have to be a five-course dinner. You can have a tapas-style meal or buffet and dishes can be pre-assembled. The pieces, and your guests, won’t feel like they’re static or relegated to the dining room.”Related: Ask A Seattle Expert: Ideas For A Hostess Gift
“Summer style trends include picking pieces for your home that truly speak to you, something that gives you and your home a renewed twist,” Rosanna stated. “Choosing pieces that are workable and that blend together can help you move from the kitchen, the living room and the boudoir effortlessly. Style your home with something that’s soulful for you, but isn’t a big commitment. You can then add to that one key piece and accessorize it.” Rosanna recommends pieces from Sausalito, Doré, and Kashmir.
Vibrancy And Verve
“Today, women have a thousand choices to make; and these choices are the reason that now, more than ever, women are living lives of strength, confidence and verve,” Rosanna stated. “In December 2014, Time Magazine stated that ‘This may have been the best year for women since the dawn of time;’ and The Guardian called 2014 a ‘watershed year for women’s rights.’ Women today are standing tall and strong, and they’re choosing to send messages, loud and clear, about girl power. The designers at Rosanna have captured this in a new collection that we call Ladies’ Choice.”
Tracy Campion is a freelance writer covering all things Seattle. Her work can be found on Examiner.com.