This week we caught up with Rose McNamara, Head of Product Development at Fairfax and Favor. We were delighted when Rose said she could spare us some time, this aspirational brand is one all three of us have followed closely since it first launched a decade ago. I bought my first Henley's at The Royal Highland Show around 6 years ago, and they are still my go to flats. I currently have my eyes on the new Monaco Wedges (and my birthday is coming up, hint hint, my darling husband)!
Hello Rose, thank you so much for taking the time to speak with us, so, tell us a little bit about yourself…
I’m mum to 2 boys, and Head of Product Development for the West Norfolk based brand Fairfax and Favor. I spent 10 years living in London working for large fashion houses including Dunhill and Mulberry and moved to Norfolk 7 years ago. My husband grew up here and following many Sunday evenings spent not wanting to drive back to London after the weekend we decided to make the move. I was concerned about a possible lack of work for me in Norfolk given that the UK fashion industry is so London centric, but that could not have been further from the truth. There is so much going on here! After having my first son I started working for Fairfax and Favor and absolutely love it. I oversee all new product development and there are lots of new product categories in work, so it is a very busy time. We also recently opened a shop in Holt which is really exciting. My second son is now 4 months old and I am enjoying the work-baby juggle immensely!
In your opinion, what is the best thing about living in Norfolk?
Being by the sea. We spend a lot of time on the beach and feel like we are on holiday most weekends.
If you could learn anything new, what would it be?
I have recently been attempting to learn to sail and would love to accomplish that properly at some stage - when I have time!
What's the best piece of advice you were ever given?
To get a dog as soon as we moved to Norfolk - we never would have embraced the lifestyle as quickly if we hadn’t done.
Your favourite Norfolk place and why?
Brancaster Beach - we are only a 20 minute drive away so it’s perfect for a quick pre-lunch dog walk at the weekends and no matter how busy the car park looks it always feels quiet on the beach.
Where do you get inspiration from for the Fairfax & Favor Designs?
Fairfax and Favor is a true lifestyle brand so the main source of inspiration is our customers and what they like to do. We find that a lot of our customers have strong country roots but enjoy the city too and we try to bridge the town and country gap and to offer products which are at home in both settings.
What are you top 3 'can't live without' beauty products?
- Touche Eclat for the current eye bags (essential for anyone with a young baby!)
- Liz Earle Cleanse & Polish
- Anything by Neals Yard!
What do you love most about your job?
I love looking at #fairfaxandfavor on Instagram and seeing our customers wearing the products, there is nothing more satisfying than seeing a product which has been through months of development being worn and enjoyed by so many people.
When you need a little R&R, what do you do/where do you go?
We go to Pensthorpe Natural Park a lot, it’s so peaceful and tranquil, the children love it too.
What is your favourite Fairfax & Favor product?
Currently the new Monaco Espadrilles - super easy summer shoes. I will also always be a big fan of the Henleys which are a real summer staple driving shoe style.
Favourite place for brunch?
Not a bruncher but the Dabbling Duck in Great Massingham for breakfast or lunch.
Favourite family day out?
The Dinosaur Park in Lenwade.
Gin and Tonic.
Favourite podcast/Netflix show/book right now?
Rhiannon Lambert’s Food for Thought podcast
Rose, thank you so much for taking the time to talk to us, it sounds like you have found the perfect balance combining a career you love, with family life by the coast. We adore Fairfax and Favor and no doubt will continue to always have them as a staple in our wardrobes!