Know the Muse | Know the Rose | Dried Flowers Australia | Rosie and Elizabeth Browning

Know the Muse is a series where we showcase talented female creatives, stylists, makers and artists who inspire us here at Know the Rose. What draws us to each muse is their affinity for rustic, earthy and timeless style that they express through their craft.

We’re beginning this series on International Women’s Day 2023. Each year as IWD rolls around I’m reminded of all the strong, intelligent and inspiring women in my life. It’s a day for us to recognise the inequalities that have been overcome and the ones that are still present today.

Today I’m taking the opportunity to highlight someone who’s played an impactful role on my journey as a small business owner. My very own mum, Elizabeth. After all, it was my parents who sparked my interest in home decor and business from a young age. I watched them run their store Rust, an Avalon based business full wall to wall of colourful, curated and stylish pieces.

My mums been my biggest cheer leader all my life, but particularly through my small business journey. She’s been there for the early morning starts, the support on weekends, and of course the million and one questions throughout. I’m so honoured to look up to this smart, patient and caring woman and so grateful to gain first hand knowledge and experiences from her.

What does International Women’s Day mean to you?
To me ‘International Women’s Day’ is a reminder of the impact women are making across the globe, locally and internationally, the day should inspire more women to be confident that their contribution is creating a more balanced, respectful world where women are accepted and valued by being themselves.

What sparked your love of interiors?
My love for interiors started when I left school and travelled the world, I would find myself getting lost in alley ways and discovering some amazing markets selling all sorts of up-cycled treasurers. I would love discovering ‘off the beaten track’ warehouses full of old art and furniture pieces - I always loved auction houses and if I was lucky to be at one on the right day and time, I would never leave empty handed – it’s the old saying ‘one man’s junk is another one’s treasure – for the sake of this article I’ll say ‘one woman’s junk is another one’s treasure’!

Know the Rose | Dried Flowers Australia | Rustic, vintage interior decor | Avalon Beach NSW

Know the Rose | Dried Flowers Australia | Rustic, vintage interior decor | Avalon Beach NSW

Can you tell us a bit about about Rust?
My husband Michael and I owned Rust from 2007 – 2021 and was located in Avalon Beach, NSW a small community village on Sydney’s Northern Beaches, approximately 45 minutes away from the CBD. The store was based around original/handmade rustic furniture sourced from around the world, beautiful homewares, gifts and fashion. Our love for rustic pieces was strong due to its incredible patina, warmth and character which we feel makes your home more comfortable by bringing natural earthy tones of browns, beiges, tans, and muted blacks which are neutral and inviting colours.   

What was your biggest lesson as a business owner?
Hard work outweighs talent and is necessary if you want to succeed, this not only means working hard when things are going well, but working harder when things are not and it also means taking calculated risks and sticking to them, no matter how challenging they are.

What’re you passionate about?
A passionate hobby of mine is collecting rare books, focusing on modern literature. I’m an avid reader and realised there are only a finite number of first printings of my favourite works. Collecting these over time has kept my passion for reading new things strong and strengthened my relationship with the works I have collected. It’s like owning and protecting a piece of history. Reading has opened my eyes to other perspectives and having shelves of my collector’s editions of my favourites continue to inspire me to continue learning.

What’s your advice to other women in business?
It's about the faith you have in your opinions, skills & talents. The stereotype of business being a male-dominated industry still exists and because of this, women could find additional hurdles on the road to success, therefore don't be afraid to share your ideas and stand by them.

Know the Rose | Dried Flowers Australia | Rustic, vintage interior decor | Avalon Beach NSW

March 07, 2023 — Rosie Browning