Not too long ago we welcomed Rosie Wells back to our screens after some time away for the birth of her son Idris, who joins daughter Hazel and husband Matt in the Wells family. Along with being a TV host here at Gemporia, Rosie also designs her own ‘Rosie Loves’ collection and has long been a keen artist. We sat down for a chat with Rosie to talk about her family, her experiences and her inspiration.
Rosie, it’s great to see you. How have you been and how are your lovely family?
It's been wonderful to have time off with Hazel, Idris and my husband, Matt. We've had a couple of trips to our beloved Aberdyfi and visits to Scotland to see my parents and brothers too. Time has flown by, and although I loved every bit of maternity leave, it's great to be back at Gemporia to catch up with the team and with customers.
What was your inspiration behind the name Idris? How is he getting along?
Pie (my nickname for Matt) and I decided a long time ago that if we ever had a boy, we'd call him Idris after our favourite mountain, Cadair Idris, near Aberdyfi in Wales. He's doing really well, he's settled into his nursery and loves getting stuck into things!
How is Hazel getting on with Idris?
She loves being a big sister and on the whole is really sweet with Idris, with the odd poke or push for good measure! She loves to show him off at nursery and seems to take great pride in him, which is lovely to see. Lots of her friends started school this year and she is desperate to start too, but I'm quite glad to have her at home for another year to spend time with her and Idris together.
How’s Matt? How did you first meet?
He is an amazing dad and hubby, and I feel lucky every day that I met my best friend and hubster so early on in life. We met at uni when we were 20 years old on a hockey tour to Italy. I didn't actually play hockey at uni but my friend Harry invited me along, and I'm so glad I said yes. It was a pretty typical uni weekend away, so I don't think either of us expected romance, and after a 30-hour coach trip home we realised we didn't want things to end there. For the following few weeks Pie worked at Camp America and at the time I was working at Edinburgh University helping to organise the social programme for foreign students learning English. But after another three months of writing to each other between the USA and Scotland, we made it official.
What's the story behind calling him Pie?
All his hockey mates called him Pie because they thought he looked like Jim from the film American Pie. He doesn't at all, but the name stuck, and all my family and friends call him Pie too. Coincidentally, he also loves pie!
How has it been getting back into the swing of things here at Gemporia?
Everyone is so friendly and helpful at Gemporia so from day one it was great to see people and catch up, as well as learn all the new gemstone information. It was nerve-wracking going back on-air for the first time as my baby brain was pretty bad. I was really worried I'd forgotten everything, including how to string a sentence together! After a few lovely messages from customers and support from my team, I soon got into the swing of it and remembered how much I love my job and how lucky I am to be able to say that.
You’ve always been very arty – do you still draw and sketch when time allows?
I certainly do, even if it's just splodging paint with Hazel and Idris. Anything and everything can provide inspiration, and often I'll just sit and doodle or paint and see what happens. I don't like to think about it too much as it's more fun to let the paintbrush or pencil just run away. Colours, music, the park by my house, the sea and the hills on trips away all fill my head, and sometimes when I least expect it, I get an idea for a painting or a new jewellery collection.
Talking of which, you've launched two distinct ‘Rosie Loves’ collections so far, how have they been received?
They were such fun to create, and it was amazing to see them translated into jewellery by Leya and her team of silversmiths. The feedback from customers has been really touching because people have opened up about what each piece means to them. The most wonderful part about it is that it becomes so much more than what I think and feel about it.
What can we expect from the next ‘Rosie Loves’ collection?
There are so many ideas running through my head at the moment, and I've done various sketches, but I now need to narrow it down and focus my attention on just one area, which is easier said than done. I'd definitely like to include Amber or Emerald in future collections, and I'd also really like to work with pastel gems like Aquamarine and Morganite.
What’s your creative process?
I tend to start by sketching and painting from photos or objects and then it's about picking out the shapes and patterns that can translate into jewellery. Again, I don't like to overthink things as I like the process to be as organic as possible. It has to start with something I genuinely love and feel passionate about, and then I go from there.
Do you enjoy being an on-air guest with your collection as well as being a host?
I really love being a host, but equally it makes a welcome change to be a guest from time to time. It's really nerve-wracking because I put so much into each collection and I think we're all our own worst critics, so we fear silent phone lines in each auction. Thankfully, every host I've worked with has put me at ease and made me feel really comfortable. Then we've just enjoyed ourselves. Getting live feedback from customers is always a lovely feeling too, so thank you to everyone who gets in touch that way.
Aberdyfi in Wales is a very special place for you, but is there anywhere else you'd like to visit?
Argentina is one of the most beautiful countries I've visited. The landscapes, the people, the food and the wine, the art and the way of life… it is all just amazing. I would love, love, love to go back again one day. I’ve hiked a lot in the Andes in Argentina, Chile and Peru and perhaps one day we can go back and take on Aconcagua, which is the highest mountain in the Southern Hemisphere. Japan is also high on the list of places to visit. I'd love to see the amazing contrast between uber modern living and tradition, and how they work side by side. I feel so lucky to have done so many different things and met so many wonderful people. I love to listen, and I just love people, places and the stories they have to tell. It can be very easy in life to get caught up in your own bubble, and I hope that each experience has made me more understanding and empathetic.
Do you have any special pieces of jewellery, historically or emotionally?
On my wedding day, I wore a Victorian mourning brooch that my mum gave me. She wore it on her wedding day and maybe one day Hazel will too. My granny gave me a beautiful Seed Pearl necklace which I adore, and I have various other pieces that mean so much. My Emerald engagement ring is particularly special for obvious reasons, and I love that each day the Emerald can appear different depending on the light or the weather.
Can you put into words why jewellery and gemstones are so special?
Gosh, that's a difficult thing to do, as I'm sure it must be different for each person. Some gemstones remind me of people I love. For example, I adore Lapis Lazuli and Amber because they remind me so much of my mum. And of course, jewellery can connect us with people and places we love, whether it be from past, present or future.
What’s next for the Wells family?
Getting Idris to sleep through the night! Other than that, who knows? We are planning a trip to see my brother in Kuala Lumpur next year, so we're pretty excited about that. In the meantime my dad will be turning 70, so we're all going to get together and do something special for him. My three brothers live in Scotland, Sweden and Malaysia, so anytime we can all get together is very special.
When can we watch you and how can people stay in touch with you on social media?
I’m back on the Gemporia breakfast show from 7am to 11am, and you can also follow me on Facebook and Twitter.
You can browse Rosie's beautiful jewellery pieces here and you can watch Gemporia live here.