A New Beginning...
"Belief in the significance of architecture is premised on the notion that we are, for better or for worse, different people in different places" -----Alain De Botton
First of all, welcome! I am so excited that you decided to stop by. My name is Robin Daprato and I am the founder of Roses on Adelaide.
This being the first blog post and all, I wanted to start by sharing the story of how Roses came to be. The truth is, my road has been anything but direct. It has been filled with countless moments of doubt, fear, and uncertainty, but I wouldn't change any of it. Reluctantly, I mean it.
In many ways, writing this post has been more for me than for anyone else (hence the length of it...sorry!). It has been a way to contextualize my story and allow one chapter to close, before beginning the next.
Let me rewind.
In 2017, I graduated from my master's program and desperately needed money because a) I was a broke student b) I just got my first adult apartment. The apartment that I still live in today, in fact.
Practically my entire family worked in the film industry, which luckily for me, meant I was able to have a summer gig working in the props department with my sister (it was not just one summer).
Up until then, it seemed my strengths were primarily in the academic realm. I quickly realized through my time on set, however, that I loved working with my hands. Despite enjoying the work, there were (and still are) certain power imbalances and inherent toxicities of the industry that I realized early on, I would never be able to look past. But, a whole new world of potential had opened and that was exciting.
7 years later, I have been working as a props specialist styling formal dinner scenes, to alien bedrooms, to large crowds at Time Square. Working in film has taught me a lot. Practically, it has taught me how to use tools, organize spaces, and problem solve fast. It also introduced me to a whole new world of people. People who were able to make something out of nothing. Craftsmen who could see an old piece of metal and imagine it as a beautiful modernist shelf or could turn a blank wall into an intricately woven mural. Finally, it showed me the power of spaces and how what you introduce in that space can set a tone to tell a story.
Concurrent to starting in film, I was also working on a project called IRTH Landscape Hotel & Spa with my brother, mom, and some close family friends. Though I don't necessarily recommend having two simultaneous careers, I truly believed at the time IRTH was going to be it. It was my way out of the film industry while still harnessing my passion for spaces and design that I had come to realize through film.
IRTH was a Forest Bathing wellness hotel concept based in Prince Edward County rooted in reconnecting guests to nature through immersive architecture. We believed in the transformative power on our consciousness that happens when blending between experiential design, immersion in nature and holistic wellness rituals. The IRTH team was working with world-class design leaders, chefs, architects, and hotel experts and was beginning to receive international acclaim.
Good ideas sometimes aren't enough, though. If you watched Season 2 of Clarkson's Farms, it will be of little surprise as to what happened next. Like Jeremy Clarkson (but with nowhere near the wealth and influence), we were constantly dealing with local government and the painful realities around bureaucracy and in 2022, we had to make the hard decision to end the project due to some insurmountable zoning issues.
Letting go of five years of work, passion, and a fundamental belief in a concept, felt hard to move past. But, as I continue to work through the loss of the project, the belief in the concept has never dissipated. Those five years revealed something life-changing for me. They taught me that people are in desperate need of spaces that inspire them and the irrevocable connection between nature, design and wellness.
When the Covid-19 pandemic first hit in March 2020, the film industry experienced a complete shutdown. I was out of work for almost a year. It was during this time I started my Instagram account Roses on Adelaide as an outlet to share my love for design.
During the beginning of the pandemic, I had also started reading tarot cards as a way to try and dig deeper into my subconscious and make sense of the unprecedented time we were living in.
Eventually, I started getting asked to read cards for people and this hobby turned into a side hustle. Roses on Adelaide became less focused on design and more focused on my tarot reading business.
I loved helping my clients, many of which I still read today, but tarot reading has always been a passion for me, not a purpose. I realize now, that the Universe had gifted me my tarot practice to show me my ability to connect and empower people. It taught me that I want to have a meaningful impact on someones life and leave them feeling a little more special and stronger than before.
I realized that the reason the film industry never felt right for me was because it didn't feel meaningful. We create these massively intricate sets for fictional characters that a few months later are torn down. Of course, they live on through the screen, but like the land of lost toys, the physical spaces and things are quickly forgotten. With IRTH and my tarot practice, however, I had the ability to impact real people and how they see themselves and the world around them.
The puzzle was being pieced together in my subconscious for some time, but it started to become clear conscientiously what my purpose was. Throughout the journey I have described, the one belief that kept growing was how significantly the environment's we live in can impact us. I saw that working with a client to reimagine their living space inspired them to start a new hobby and how implementing certain organizational strategies have helped my anxiety and ADHD.
I knew that I had a knack for design and styling, but because I didn't go to school for ID, I didn't take it seriously or I pushed it aside as a hobby. Even though, I worked in that field in the film industry, had been hired for interior design projects, and had my work featured, I didn't believe that it was a path I deserved to take.
I realize now, that was out of fear. Fear of not being taken seriously, fear of rejection, but I think more than anything, it was fear of failing. But, living from a place of fear, is not living at all.
So, here we are now at the "present" part of my journey. The part where I am taking the plunge.
I have now, officially, started my interior styling and consulting business. I believe, that design can be transformational for our mental, physical, emotional, and spiritual wellbeing. That the environments we live in may not draw breaths, but they are so alive and, if we let them, can teach us so much.
I want to help people find that life in their spaces.