Phyllis & Rosie Jewelry

Designer Alana Blank & COO Rachel Lavipour

Designer Alana Blank & COO Rachel Lavipour

Tell us about yourself, Alana
I have always been creative and loved making things using my hands. I was a special education teacher while leading a double life, simultaneously pursuing my passion in jewelry design. I appeared for the open-see at Henri Bendel, got in, and knew that I needed to make this my career and full-time job.

When did you start making jewelry? Did you study design in school?
I started making jewelry six years ago when I was laid off from my first job out of college. I felt like this was my opportunity to be creative again. I initially learned by watching You Tube video to for basic techniques, and then took various classes at workshops and art schools around the city to sharpen my skills. I actually studied Finance in college, but always knew I would find my way back to something creative – and I have!

How did you create your brand? Where did the name “Phyllis + Rosie” come from?
The names Phyllis and Rosie come from my late grandmother and aunt, respectively, who passed away at early ages. I had close bonds with both of them, and spent much of my childhood years playing in their closets and wearing their jewelry. This brand celebrates their style and passion for life, and with each piece I make, I honor them in some small way.

Where do you go to draw inspiration?
I draw my inspiration from street style, fashion, architecture, timeless design, pop culture and art. I love to travel to draw upon inspiration and some of my favorite places to escape are Palm Beach, FL, Kauai, HI, Copenhagen, and Napa, CA.

How did you girls meet? It seems like you guys are a tight-knit, fun team!
Rachel and I met through my husband and her brother (who are very close friends), however, we feel that our connection and partnership is somewhat kismet. I was ready to pursue P+R full-time and Rachel was looking to join a start-up in luxury retail. We soon realized that we had something pretty special and powerful between the two of us, so we hit the ground running on P+R’s launch into the world.

What is your studio like on a day-to-day?
Each day is different: some days are “design” days where we work separately and I can really get my creative juices flowing, while Rachel works on more of the operational and business aspects. Other days we are creative together, thinking of new ways to move the mark and get people’s attention so that they see us, remember us, and truly start to form a bond with the brand(and us).

What’s your favorite Phyllis + Rosie pieces that you girls can’t leave the house without?
I wear my gold bar necklace every. single. day. It’s a staple but I also always wear earrings. I don’t leave home without ‘em and our bar studs are the best and so easy to add a tiny bit of edge to any outfit from Lululemon to Lanvin.

If you could sit and talk with any one artist, who would it be and why?
I would love to meet Madonna to understand the creativity behind her genius. She is a singer, dancer, actress, philanthropist, trend setter and has blurred the lines between every genre of music. She has reinvented herself so many times and always comes back unique yet, remains true to her brand. Madonna is a pop ICON and built an empire out of her own creativity which is what we hope to emulate with PHYLLIS + ROSIE. Not only does she empower woman but, have you seen those arms?

What’s next for the brand?
We’ve only just begun! We are starting to gain great press and notoriety across the United States. We want to be known as a true NYC jewelry brand, so we need to focus on brand awareness. There are some awesome partnerships with other brands coming up in the pipelines…and that’s all we will say at this point!