FOF Rosanna Bowles is giving away two of her hand-painted glassware sets. One FOF will win her Eat Dessert First plates, another will win her Farmers' Market serving bowls. Both will win a signed copy of her book, Coming Home: A Seasonal Guide to Creating Family Traditions. Enter to win by answering this question in the comments below: Which set would you most like to win?
When Rosanna Bowles graduated with her masters in Italian Literature, she had trouble finding a job that really suited her. "I couldn't find my dream job," says Rosanna, "so, I created it.” Rosanna got a home equity loan and used it to start her dishware business. She went back to Italy (where she went to graduate school) and worked with local artisans on hand-painted pottery that “had a more American feel to it," she says.
Rosanna started selling the dishes out of her home in 1984. "There were no fax machines, no computers--everything needed to be sent by Telex,” she says. “I did everything from washing 10,000 dishes to packing and shipping the orders myself.”
Rosanna’s turning point was when she started doing trade shows, first in Seattle and from there, branching out to other markets as the company grew. Rosanna creates new collections twice a year. "My designs are inspired by European design, by art, by American design, and by the way we live," Rosanna says. "A big goal of mine is to make products that create traditions that bind families together and bring people back to the table."
Rosanna poses in front of some pieces from her collection.
Img: Kevin P. Casey for The New York Times
Rosanna's dish collections are now sold all over the U.S., as well over 8 other countries throughout the world. You might find her designs at famous international museums including the gift shops at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, The Jewish Museum of New York, the de Young Museum in San Francisco, the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C., the Galleries Lafayette and Le Bon Marché in France, and the Buckingham Palace gift shop in England. You’ll also find her dishware in department stores such as Bloomingdale's, Nordstrom, Macy's in the U.S., and Selfridges and Harrods in the U.K. Rosanna was the first American to be awarded the prestigious U.K. Gift of the Year Award in 2005.
While Rosanna's products appeal to all generations, she feels that her collections have a specific allure to women over fifty. "For my generation, it's [about] teaching this next generation what's important," says Rosanna. "Just by buying Happy Birthday plates and sending them to your daughter, or your friend, or by sending a set of holiday plates to your family, you'll bring a family together, instantly creating a tradition for the next generation. They’re not just dishes. They’re a way of life."
Enter to win Rosanna’s Dessert First plates or Farmers' Market serving bowls, as well as a signed copy of her book, Coming Home: A Seasonal Guide to Creating Family Traditions. Answer this question in the comments below: Which set would you most like to win?
Two FOFs will win. (See all our past winners, here.) (See official rules, here.) Contest closes August 9th, 2012 at midnight E.S.T.