Rosanna Garden created something rather special when she launched her bridesmaid label, Motee Maids. Not only did she create a label that offered brides and their maids an incredible array of options (we’re talking over 1000 choices, bride-to-be) but she created the opportunity for the bridal party to experience a truly special moment (one without stress or indecision…or even – Heaven forbid – tears). She took the strain out of the bridesmaid game…
“What I love so much about Motee is that each girl picks her own style and a dress to suit their body shape.” Rosanna Garden
I managed to grab ten minutes with the designer herself – she’s one busy boss babe – to discover everything from the incredible craftsmanship behind her designs, to what influences her work and even her favourite way to relax.
Read the interview below…
P.s. Discover the new colours and designs from the designer’s latest collection in the images below!
#1 Tell us a little about how Motee Maids started. When and how did the brand begin and launch? What was the starting point for Motee Maids?
“Motee Maids was launched with the aim of giving brides a more creative input when it comes to finding the perfect dresses for their bridesmaids. We have thousands of options which can be created – almost like a pretty, beaded pick’n’mix – by choosing from our different bodice and skirt shapes to create a silhouette that will flatter each individual bridesmaid. Every gown can then be customised further by choosing from 11 unique colours and 5 delicate pearl hand-embellishments. We launched to trade in mid 2017 and 2018 was our first wedding season, we are in the middle of our 2nd season and love seeing all the real wedding pictures coming in. We now have more than 40 stockists worldwide who can help you create your Motee gowns.”
#2 Who is Rosanna Garden, the woman behind the brand? Talk to us about your journey into the bridal industry and your design experience…
“Prior to setting up Motee Maids, I was an occasion wear and bridal buyer and fell in love with bridesmaids gowns. Although I loved what I was doing on the high-street, I always knew I wanted to work for myself, run my own business and travel on my own terms. Having a family was also a big catalyst for me to venture out alone and it gave me the drive to succeed. Certainly, having spoken to so many female entrepreneurs over the last couple of years, family and the right balance seems to be a big driving force behind the decision.
My background is product design so my approach to design is always quite logical and I wanted to design a concept not just a collection of gowns. I wanted to give brides the choice of 1000s of gowns but without boutiques having to house 1000s of options. I knew made-to-order was the route to go down and partnered with a wonderful factory in India who could make this a reality.”
#3 Tell us about your first collection, the Original Collection. Was it everything you envisioned?
“I love working with colour and embellishment. The 11 colours in our range are unique to Motee and each one has been inspired by a flower or vintage ribbon and refined and tweaked to ensure it flatters a multitude of skin tones. The embellishments are all hand sewn by artisans in India taking over 30 hours to sew 1000s of individual beads on each dress. I love seeing the incredible craftsmanship that goes into each design.
Pearls have always been a bridal tradition and provided the inspiration for my first collection. Motee beadings are subtle but exquisitely detailed and delicate, designed to accessorise and compliment the bridal gown.
A huge focus for me is fit and comfort and our best selling Lake style is actually based on the dress I designed for my own bridal party dress. Altogether the original collection is everything I envisioned and I have added some gorgeous new necklines and a new all over embroidery this year which really means there is something for everyone.”
#4 How did the Fully Beaded and Sequin Sash collections evolve? What do these new lines bring bridesmaids/brides?
“This was a natural progression and in response from requests from stockists and bridesmaids. I love the mix and match look and this just allows more creativity and texture for bridesmaids who perhaps want more or less embellishment. The prices points are also good on the sash collection at £180 and personally I love the relaxed effortless look they have.”
#5 If Motee Maids could have a particular celebrity or person to be the face of the brand, who would it be? Who embodies the label in their style and personality?
“I wouldn’t be able to pick one, what I love so much about Motee is that each girl picks her own style and a dress to suit their body shape.”
#6 What type of materials does the brand use, and where are they sourced from? What can brides-to-be always rely on Motee Maids for?
“Each gown is hand-beaded by skilled artisans to order in India and Motee is actually Hindi for Pearl so the embellishment is actually done on each garment and not a fabric which we cut. For our skirts we have two fabrics to choose from, a georgette which has a bit more weight and texture to it than a chiffon and gives a sleek clean look or a lovely soft tulle which is gathered or layered to create a luxurious romantic feel. Brides can always rely on Motee for a glamorous but comfortable gown as the stretch lining we use really allows for all day and night wear. I married a Scot so always aim for Motee gowns to be Ceilidh dancing friendly!”
#7 Tell us about the design process for a new bridesmaid gown or collection. Where does it begin? Where does the inspiration for a new style or line often emerge from?
“I draw inspiration from couture and ready-to-wear collections and also look to bridal for silhouettes, fabrics and wedding trends as bridesmaids gowns need to work with the type of bridal gown and venue brides are choosing. Colour is such an important part and our palette is all based on natural tones, so flowers look amazing against them. Our dusky green shade is the perfect sage green that sits beautifully with foliage- based bouquets, our burgundy shade was developed with a pinkish tone from Hellebores and looks amazing with summer and winter bouquets, and our pink is the most unique and gorgeous lilac tone taken from cherry blossom.”
#8 Do the trends influence your work? If so, is this in a major way? Or rather with slight details?
“Trends can be so much fun for brides to play with and they definitely influence Motee design, be that through silhouette, colour or beading. Our new cowl neck is very much a nod to the 90s looks we have been seeing but this is also a classic occasion wear silhouette that will still look timeless in photos for years to come.
The Motee Maids bride is someone who wants her bridesmaids to feel as wonderful and special as she does on her big day. She wants an elegant look with something detailed and unique which her girls will treasure forever. She is not entirely driven by trends and is looking as much for service, experience and quality.”
#9 From your experience, when it comes to brides searching for bridesmaid dresses for their maids, where should they start? What should they be thinking about?
“I find that Motee brides tend to be very thoughtful and want each of their bridesmaids to look and feel their best. Getting your girls together for an appointment in one of our stockists is so much fun and makes the run-up to the wedding even more memorable. You often have the sole use of a bridal boutique and the advice of amazing stylists who can also advise on sizes for bridesmaids who cannot make the appointment. It really takes the stress away of shopping for multiple people. We deliver in as quick as six weeks but we always recommend coming in at least four months before the wedding date.
For styling I always say listen to what the bridesmaids would like as they will usually know what suits their figure best and what they will feel comfortable in. Of course, it is your day and ultimately your decision, but trying to cater to your girls’ needs will help them feel super special. Often Motee brides will pick a colour palette and beading and then each bridesmaid can pick the style and skirt they like best.”
#9 Where would you like to see the Motee Maids in 10 years time? What are your aspirations for the label?
“I would like the brand to continue and grow it’s made-to-order ethos and exceptional customer service from our independent bridal boutiques. People are searching out and looking for this level of service and it is wonderful that with weddings this type of shopping experience is still considered important.”
#10 Talk us through a regular work day as the Founder of Motee Maids? What does this often involve?
“The morning is usually production logistics with India due to the time different and then every day is different. I run Motee myself with a lovely team in India who manage production but it can range from import logistics with our freight company, answering stockist and bride queries, marketing, photo shoots, web design and branding. No day is ever the same!”
#11 If you could create a set of bespoke bridesmaid dresses for any person or celebrity (dead or alive) who would it be?
“I think my Mum and Dad, their bridesmaids had the most amazing green skirts and ivory blouse outfits in the early 70s with little pill box hats, I was obsessed with these as a child! Weddings are about families and friends after all.”
THE QUICK FIRE ROUND:
#1 Summer or Winter? “Summer.”
#2 Heels or flats? “Flats.”
#3 Embellishment or plain? “Embellishment of course.”
#4 Favourite wine? “Champagne always.”
#5 Pearls or diamonds? “I have always loved pearls.”
#6 Coffee or tea? “Coffee.”
#7 Favourite destination? “The Outer Hebrides.”
#8 Early rise or lie in? “Lie in.”
#9 Chic in Chanel or dressed down in ripped denim? “Chic in Chanel is the dream but in reality very dressed down.”
#10 Favourite book? “Currently reading the Book of Dust by Phillip Pullman, yes it’s a kids book!”
#11 Best way to relax? “Online shopping.”
Find out more about bridesmaid brand, Motee Maids (including stockist information) by clicking here.
Discover more Motee Maids bridesmaid inspiration here on Bridal Editor.