Celebrating International Women's Day

04 Mar 2024

When International Women's Day rolls around every 8 March, it offers a moment to reflect upon the women whose wisdom and work inspire and inform our days and horizons.

To mark the day, we chatted over coffee with our very own founder, Lucy Uren, to discuss what the day means to her, as well as to give thanks for the unwavering commitment of the women within the Rowen & Wren stable and our wider community. We have the utmost appreciation for each and every one, and it was a joy to honour the voices that have been so instrumental in shaping our ethos.
Lucy, what does International Women's Day mean to you?
I feel continuously grateful for the women who love, support and inspire me and I never lose sight of how lucky I am for that. However, I think that International Women's Day offers a prompt to dig a little deeper and it makes me realise how far the support and wisdom of a great many women have enabled the work I love and am so lucky to do.

It is a day to reflect on the strength of women both past and present, and I feel very fortunate to be a woman in the here and now as we remember all that those who have gone before us and have done so much to empower our lives today.

Who are some of the women that have inspired you throughout your life and career?
I am really lucky that my childhood was steeped in the love of a great many wonderful women and that I have always been surrounded by fantastic female role models. I've taken so much inspiration from my nearest and dearest, from my mum's creativity to my sister's strength, with so many more influences that have gone into the mix besides.

Prior to founding Rowen & Wren, I had a wonderful design manager, Mockie Harrison, who was so influential in the early years of my career that I still find myself asking, 'What would Mockie say?' She so wonderfully balanced kindness and compassion with being an effective and inspirational leader and really taught me the importance of authenticity and staying true to your brand values.
How does the collective impact of women at Rowen & Wren contribute to the company's achievements and onward journey? 
We are still a relatively small team, but we're fortunate that it is also a mighty one, with ambitious and talented women woven through every part of the business. So many elements go into the creation of a collection, from design through to photography through to communication, and many of the women who ensure the smooth and often-inspired running of every aspect have been with us for many years now. That kind of longevity has created a family-like collective – I feel so grateful that our team is not only always there to share ideas, but also to encourage and support one another personally.

How do you think the creativity and expertise of the female artisans and artists we collaborate with contribute to the unique character of Rowen & Wren?
Our community of lovely customers tends to be comprised of women who are drawn towards the warm and the characterful, really prizing those brands that exhibit care and consideration in every aspect of their work. That has undoubtedly fed into our continued collaborations with an extended family of artisans, creatives and makers, many of them women, who bring so much character, not to mention joy, into our lives. Each one has shaped who we have evolved to become in fresh, often unexpected, and always wonderful ways.

Can you share any upcoming projects or collaborations that showcase the creativity and expertise of the women artisans, artists, and contributors we work with?
One of the collaborations I am particularly excited about for the new season is with an all-female workshop in Egypt which teaches hand-embroidery to local women, imparting skills that they will keep, use for the rest of their lives and maybe even pass down to the next generation. They have made a collection of the prettiest placemats and napkins for our spring/summer collection, which are so beautifully and meticulously made – I can’t wait to use them over and over through the long summer of garden suppers.

The project also serves as a reminder of how lucky we are to have been born in a country in which, for the most part, women have equal access to education. We are especially keen to work with women from countries and backgrounds that are not necessarily as advantaged as our own.
Beyond International Women's Day, what are your aspirations for fostering women's advancement and empowerment within Rowen & Wren?
We will always prioritise maintaining the family-like culture that we've worked so hard to achieve so that the incredible women that we so rely upon, alongside the many extraordinary men too, feel supported, heard and empowered to forge the careers they strive for. Meanwhile, we will always champion working with lesser known artisans, enabling them to have greater exposure and a platform. These relationships, forged through our shared creativity, really do lie at the heart of what makes Rowen & Wren the brand it is. We could not be more grateful for the women who’ve guided us and made this wonderful journey possible.
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