Mom Crush: Rossi A

Rossi turned her love for fashion into a budding fashion accessory business after she got pregnant with her son, who is now 18 months. The DDO resident not only loves running her own business, but she’s also super proud of her beautiful new line of luxury diaper bags. Here’s what she had to say about how her child has inspired her work, her love for the outdoors, and the one thing she always has in her own diaper bag.

We love your diaper bags… how did you get into that line of work?

My background is in industrial design, graphics and visual art. I’ve always adored haute couture fashion and how creative it is. After finishing design school, I wanted to work in the clothing industry, but ended up in accessories by accident. Over the next few years I designed handbags and wallets for a few major fashion companies in Montreal. Then I got pregnant with my baby boy. During that time, I started shopping for a diaper bag at those mommy stores but couldn't find what I was looking for. Everything was either really unsightly or way too expensive. I had to create my own perfect diaper bag which had it all - gorgeous looks and strong functionality, minus the high-end price tag. This is how RossiBossi got started.

Tell us about your collection.

We have one style for now in four trendy colours that go with anything in your closet. I wanted to put all my efforts into only one design and make it amazing. I went through a bunch of samples and have been wearing the bag myself to make sure that it is very well designed. I wanted the bag to be convertible so that it can be worn in many different ways, depending on your needs that day. It has a removable mini-purse and it can also be attached to a stroller. I used materials that can be washed – it’s made from synthetic vegan leather, but it feels like soft luxurious high-end lambskin. I’ve been wearing my RossiBossi bag for a long time and I was not gentle with it. Yet it doesn’t look like it’s been touched at all, this is how good the crafstmanship is. It took about a year to develop the final product and now I have it in production (my basement is full!).

What should every diaper bag have?

Number one is comfort – it needs to be easy and convenient for the mom to use. You have the child, the food, the toys, so you really don’t need a bag that is complicated. You need an organized bag that has a lot of pockets, that is convenient, that is comfortable, but which also looks very pretty. You’re leaving the house and want your accessories to finish your look and make you feel like a woman. We are still women after we have children, right? On some level we become even more feminine with our cute bambinos running around, so our fashion look needs to express the notion of - "Hello, a Goddess just walked in". We don't have as much time to cater to our wardrobe as we used to, and this is why everything in our closet needs to be effortless. My bag does just that - makes your look super well put together, without the hassle. You don't have to compromise on that one.

What’s the one thing you always have in your diaper bag for mom emergencies?

Wipes!

How have your children helped to inspire your work?

My son is a very active kid and I constantly run after him – he’s really curious and out there wanting to do stuff. I made a diaper bag that follows his free-living and allows me to actually enjoy the time I spend with him. I don’t want to be slowed down by constantly looking for stuff. I thrive on fun experiences, so I need my life to be free from clutter. Keeping my essentials organized is the only way to actually have the time to be playful when I am on the go.

Who is a female role model you admire and greatly respect?

My own mother as well as my grandmother. I’m very family oriented.

As moms the day can escape us, so what is your best time-saving trick?

Stay organized and don’t waste time with things that don’t matter as much. Let go of perfectionism and anxiety. We all want our house to be spotless but there is no need to double-wash those floors or re-sanitize all the toys one by one every week. Try and have less toys to begin with - kids need attention, not stuff. My home is neat and easy to maintain because I live a more minimalist lifestyle and I don't like clutter. I enjoy spending time with my boy playing in the park. You don't need anything fancy for that experience (except some snacks, of course). A lot of women fall into a pit of endless stress and there’s no need for that. You can be great without being perfect. And on those days that are not so great - just give yourself a hug and keep going. Enjoy motherhood, kids grow up so fast.

What is your favourite part of your job?

I get to do something different every day. It’s not repetitive or boring. I’m high energy so variety is important to me. And I love that I get to speak to other moms like me. It makes me feel like I belong to a community and I’m not isolated. It matters to be surrounded by like-minded people who support you.

What do you do you do on a day off?

I like the outdoors so I’m outside – I get the family and off we go. We do a lot of trips to The Laurentians, beaches, the park… winter, summer – it doesn’t matter.

Any tips for moms thinking of starting a business?

The thing that helped me the most is the support of my own family. If you don’t have everybody on board, don’t try and do the impossible all by yourself. You need your family to be a 100% ok with your choice.

What is your favourite date night spot in Montreal? 

We have a favourite sushi place: Soba & Sushi Bar in NDG. It’s low-key but the food is amazing. We like to try different cuisines, so we go to new places all over the city.

What is your go-to dinner?

Boustan, a Middle Eastern restaurant. This is the best in Montreal! I lived on that during my university years, and they do delivery so it’s bad (for me!). You cannot have too much Boustan, right?

What television series are you marathoning?

Because time is so limited, and we are so tired by the end of the night, my husband and I are watching Lord of the Rings as a mini series, like a half hour every night. We are stuck at part 2 for now.

What was the last book you read?

The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership.

What is your favourite family vacation?

We haven’t been to a big vacation the three of us yet, but we’re going on our first overseas trip to Bulgaria this fall, which is where me and my husband are from. We still have family living there and we want to introduce our child to them. We also love to go to Ottawa because my parents are there, and they take really good care of us every time.

What is your go-to drink?

I usually drink just plain old water. Coffee is another go-to, same as most moms of 18-month-old toddlers with endless energy. When I go out I like to try out different cocktails - I have a real sweet tooth.

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