Wild Rose was born out of founder Rosie Sharp’s love for her adopted homeland Kenya and her desire to create vibrant, stylish ‘forever’ pieces that bring joy to the wearer.
Now, her signature colourful designs are embraced by style-conscious fans around the world. Having grown up surrounded by nature, Rosie, who moved to East Africa with her family at the age of two, wanted to pay homage to the natural world by naming each cotton shirt after local flowers and plants using their Swahili names.
Keeping old traditions alive and flourishing is at the heart of Wild Rose. It was during a trip to Jaipur in India to source gemstones that Rosie, who initially trained as a jeweller in Mexico, first discovered the centuries-old art of block printing to create beautifully patterned fabric.
Fascinated by the craftsmanship involved and mindful of the need to preserve these ancient techniques, she was inspired to set up her label, connecting global artisan communities in the process. Once the high quality printed fabric is sourced in Jaipur, it is brought to Nairobi, where Wild Rose tailor Justus Musyoka and his in-house team work their magic, stitching unique designs that stand the test of time.
As part of its journey towards sustainability, Wild Rose has added another link in the multi-cultural chain, sourcing 100% natural Corozo buttons from Ecuador. All packaging is plastic-free with paper and biodegradable polymer bags used instead. The company also works closely with local NGOs to help street children and provide job opportunities for unemployed youths.
Wild Rose has become very much a family affair since Rosie’s beach wedding (naturally, she designed the men’s shirts and bridesmaids’ dresses) to former London accountant Gordon Hewitt in 2018. The couple met through friends while he was in Kenya on a career break and quickly fell in love. Gordon, who holds a master’s degree in environmental management, decided to stay and is now spearheading their move towards fully sustainable and ethical production.