February 16, 2015
What can I say, Rosana is a gem. She has this silent power to her that keeps me guessing. I’ve only just met her but she easily lights up the room with her smile. Rosana’s talent is obviously a given but the way she truly cares about the people she styles— well, it gave us reason to give her the CEOMONDAY stamp of approval. Rosana Vollmerhausen is founder and chief stylist of dc style factory, a wife, mom of three and a powerwoman to say the least. Check out the interview below. She styled our faux-leather CEO skirt beautifully! A huge thank you to Ginger boutique for hosting the entire crew, Sunny OH of D Sharpe Hair and Beauty for Rosana’s gorgeous locks and Sarah Dmitrovsky of ZOPHIA for capturing each shot.
WHAT GETS YOU UP IN THE MORNING?
Either my 6 a.m. alarm clock or my 5:30 a.m. alarm preschooler! Honestly, what drives me each day is my passion for my family and my business. I inherited my mother’s entrepreneurial spirit, and her unwavering love and devotion to her family. I grew up with immigrant parents. Education was king, but hard work — that hustle — was a close second. Growing up my mother owned a bakery. During the summer as teen, I would be up before dawn working beside her. I learned early on what it means to roll up your sleeves and work hard at something you love. That has helped me in my own business. I don’t expect anyone else to know more than I do about my work. My assistant, interns and junior stylist have all been instrumental in moving DC Style Factory forward, but I still haul those bags of clothes, and I love every minute of it!
WHAT’S ALWAYS ON YOUR CALENDAR ON MONDAYS?
We book clients four days a week so we usually hit the ground running on Mondays either meeting at the client’s home or out shopping. I joke that my second home is Tyson’s — Center and Galleria. We also have our weekly staff meetings late Monday afternoons. We review our client load for the week, upcoming style events or workshops, any upcoming press, social media, and photo shoots. I also train my staff in body-type styling so they get “homework” each week. For example, right now we are working on how would we dress a female client who is curvier below the waist.
WORST OUTFIT YOU EVER WORE AND WHY?
In college I wore JNCOs and may have danced with a glow stick or two. I have also worn culottes, which I know have come back around AGAIN. It’s just impossible not to look like a tree stump in them.
DRINKS WITH MICHELLE OBAMA OR RACHEL ZOE? WHY? WHAT WOULD YOU WEAR?
So hard! I want to say Michelle Obama for all the reasons any woman would want to meet her — her intelligence, generosity, warmth and that genuine quality that she exudes. But how entertaining would it be to meet Rachel? Bah-na-nahs. With either woman, I would wear my Brooks Brothers black tuxedo pant suit — classic, beautiful and fits like a glove — cheetah print pumps and cream silk button-down blouse.
WHAT ARE THREE PIECES OF CLOTHING YOU CAN’T LIVE WITHOUT?
1. My white blazer — I actually have five white blazers ranging from tuxedo to boucle and Stella McCartney to Zara. Throw any one of them on over a dress, t-shirt and jeans, blouse and cigarette pants — insta chic.
2. My pointy-toe Matt Bernson loafers from Need Supply in Richmond, Va. — one of my favorite places to shop for myself. I have short legs so ballet flats with that round, short toe box does me no favors. Plus, I end up feeling too…precious. But I need flat shoes whether I am running around for my clients or running around after my kids. I much prefer oxfords or loafers. I put on my pointy-toe Matt Bernson loafers and It adds just enough of that edgy menswear-inspired vibe that I love.
3. My oversize Kate Spade crystal stud earrings. They make enough of a statement for evening, but I put them on with a cozy turtleneck, skinny jeans and boots and all of the sudden my “mommy uniform” gets a shot of glam.
WHAT DO YOU THINK THE DC FASHION SCENE NEEDS ASAP ?
I have to be honest. I am not a fashion scene-ster, but I do get defensive about the bad rap D.C. gets for its lack of style. I think men and women in DC are thoughtful about what they wear. It is a much less mercurial approach to style than other cities, though. No matter what my client’s budget is, it is always, “Show me more than one or two ways I am going to wear that blouse, skirt, dress.” It makes my job fun, interesting and challenging to have that element of practicality and sensibility.
I have had the privilege of working with some pretty brilliant people in the DC fashion/creative community that I respect immensely. It is a growing pocket of designers, photographers, bloggers, shop owners and more — creating right here in the city. I feel it’s part of my job to help spread the word! We always post or blog about our local picks.
At the end of the day, though, our business isn’t so much about the DC fashion scene, but about our people: busy professionals who want to step up their look for the next phase in their careers. Stay-at-home moms looking to “take back mama.” Business women who are juggling high-profile careers and kids and have no time to shop or worry about how to put it all together. The real-size woman who is at the end of her rope trying to work clothing that doesn’t work for her. The single guy who needs a boost of confidence in the dating scene. It’s for anyone who wants to feel polished, pulled together and, of course, stylish.
AS AN INDUSTRY EXPERT, DO YOU FEEL DRESS IS RELATED TO CONFIDENCE AND MOOD?
Absolutely and 110 percent. It does matter. Now, it does not matter to everyone, of course, and I think that is important to recognize. But I’ve seen it time and time again. What you project to the world through your personal style does make a difference in how you speak, carry yourself and more. There are an abundance of studies about nonverbal cues — clothing may be the first impression you give someone whether it is accurate or not.
ADVICE YOU’D GIVE YOURSELF 10 YEARS AGO
Ten years ago I had just had my first child! I was a scared and nervous first-time mommy. And I owned my very first business – a boutique that was right on the cusp of taking a dramatic nosedive. I would say to that young woman, “First, you are a really, really good mommy. You are not screwing up. Just wait. She is going to grow up to be this gracious, thoughtful, funny, sweet girl. Second, you are a really, really smart businesswoman with a knack for style and fashion. Just not a boutique owner. Keep doing what you do. Good things are coming.”
HOW’D YOU FEEL WEARING OUR CEO SKIRT ?
Powerful! I felt sophisticated and in charge. And surprisingly, really comfortable. I could move and I didn’t feel constricted. I am always paying attention to how people move in their clothing. It can be a beautiful garment, but if it’s too tight, too heavy, too…something. It’s going to feel forced. The garment wears you instead of you wearing it. Not with the CEO skirt. It fit, flattered,and I felt like the best version of me in it.
WHAT DOES CEOSTYLE MEAN TO YOU?
Classic, timeless style. It is taking those classic silhouettes, like the CEO pencil skirt, and making it your own. It is about standing tall and…strutting.
Rosana has more than a decade of fashion retail and styling experience, including owning, running and buying for an award-winning boutique in Washington,D.C. She has styled local fashion events and photo shoots, and has written expert fashion tips for local publications. To learn more about Rosana and the dc style factory team, visit their page here.