Rozalia Russian is one of the recognisable faces on the Internet, and it is by no means an accident. Sure, it helps to be incredibly beautiful. Having a knack for making things pretty doesn’t hurt, either. Her enormous success, however, was largely due to hard work and an entrepreneurial spirit.
Here’s Rozalia Russian on what it takes to be Rozalia Russian.
You’re one of the most popular online celebrities in Australia today. What is your secret to being so successful?
Oh thank you, I still see my website and online store as a work in progress. There are still so many projects in the works to expand so I will be excited once I am able to grow it even further.
In terms of success in work, nothing has come easy and I haven’t been handed anything on a plate. I am lucky that I work with some lovely brands that have been loyal from the beginning and we have a great ongoing work relationship.
My secret is that I show up to the job on time, I give it 110%, I never complain, and if the client isn’t happy, then I do the job again. This secret is by no means groundbreaking but in this generation, I hear it is a work ethic that is getting harder and harder to find.
At the end of the day, success for me is all about going to bed at peace and happy.
How do you manage your time between being an entrepreneur and a mum?
It has definitely gotten harder since I am pregnant as my energy levels aren’t what they used to be but I try the best I can.
I don’t have a nanny and Willow isn’t in Care, so I am lucky that I have my mother and mother-in-law who take Willow for one day every week. I’ll occasionally ask them to help out an extra day depending on my workload, so it gives me three full workdays.
On the days when I have Willow with me, I just take her to any jobs I can. She is such a well-behaved girl and just loves hanging out together so she packs a bag full of toys and off she comes to my meetings with me.
My husband’s office is also down the road from our house and a lot of his staff are friends and family so I’ll sometimes drop Willow off at his office for a couple of hours if I have a quick photo shoot. She has heaps of fun hanging out as Nick’s dad works there as well so she just hangs out with Nonno.
A lot of emails and work also gets done at night once I put Willow to bed, so it’s a never-ending juggling act but my husband and I are lucky we work for ourselves so we just do the best we can.
What’s your advice to other bloggers who want to be as successful as you?
I think you need to find style that work for you but is also a bit different from what other people are doing. Blogging has been around for a pretty long time now and there are so many bloggers with the exact same styles of pages, so it’s getting harder and harder to stand out.
“I show up to the job on time, I give it 110%, I never complain, and if the client isn’t happy, then I do the job again.”
My best advice would be to just stick to your true self and style and just be patient. Nothing happens overnight and you have to have thick skin as there are plenty of rejections.
What’s your favourite thing about Spring Racing Carnival?
What I love about the races is, it’s a chance to dress up and go all-out and have a fantastic day, a nice dinner, and then home to bed. We have a fantastic day drinking, dancing and catching up with friends, but still wake up feeling decent.
It really is one of my favourite times of the year.
Which races are on the top of your go-to list?
I have always loved Derby Day for the black-and-white theme. Everyone looks so chic and it’s the first day of the carnival. In saying that, being the first day it is also one of the busiest and has a lot of guests from out of Melbourne, so I do find it ‘all business’ and everyone has his or her game face on.
My favourite race day would have to be Oaks, which is Ladies’ Day. It is the second-to-the-last day of the races so I find everyone has let their hair down, and the overall vibe of the day is relaxed and fun. All my memories of Oaks Day are being surrounded by friends and dancing in the marquees to some fun old-school music. Myer definitely knows how to throw an Oaks Day party!
How far in advance do you plan your outfit? How do you decide what to wear?
Last year I worked with the amazing Kate Gaskin who styled me for every day. She nailed every single look and I am excited to work with her again this year.
Kate does a lot of editorial work so her styling is unbelievable, and she pushes the boundaries in a sophisticated way. I trust her 110% and she will put together my entire look, which includes the dress, the millinery, all accessories, and even my hair and makeup looks for the day.
As I have worked with her a few times now, she knows my style and I have loved every single outfit she has put together for me so I just leave it all in her hands.
I’ll start doing fittings with Kate about two weeks before, especially this year being pregnant with my growing belly. I’ll leave it as late as we can to make room for any last-minute adjustments.
Who are your favourite designers for race wear and milliners?
When it comes to the races I think it’s all about looking like a lady and listening to the dress code. It’s not the time to wear super-short party dresses and not make an effort with the headwear.
I like to wear proper millinery and stick to the rules. For example, Derby Day has a black-and-white dress code, and it really isn’t the day to make a statement because you will stand out for all the wrong reasons.
I like to head into Miss Louise and pick up some beautiful new shoes and bags to finish off the outfits.
How do you get ready for a major race day?
Every race day starts out with a super early call time! It’s one of the busiest weeks of the year so my hair dressers and makeup artists are always flat out. I like to get in early as I hate being late and rushed.
So usually I will make my way into my hairdresser Hermiz at Joey Scandizzo’s salon for a 6am hair followed by makeup. This means I usually get home at around 8:30-9:00 to have a nice breakfast with Willow and take my time getting dressed before a car picks us up and we make our way into the track around 11am.
I hate rushing so I always prefer having a super early start and then taking my time.
Do you bet on horses? Do you own a horse/shares in a horse?
When we are out at the racetrack we do like to have a bit of fun and I like to study the form guide but I am pretty tame about it! I’ll set myself a budget, say $200 and it’s like, ok I am going to loose $200 today! I’ll place a few bets — if I win then I win, if not then I have lost $200, had some fun, but won’t bet anymore.
Horse racing (and most of the world in general) can get pretty sexist and chauvinistic. What is the most important thing you’ll teach Willow?
My husband and I are already worrying about Willow’s teenage years! I think some of the most important things you can teach a girl, and what I’ll be teaching Willow is how to respect herself and the importance of self-worth.
I will teach her how to be kind, but stand up for herself at the same time and also the importance of hard work. The world doesn’t owe you anything and if you want something in life, you need to work for it and not expect life to look after you.
I hope she will grow up to be kind, happy, hardworking and confident so she doesn’t have to rely on any one else financially or for validation.
Which baby-sitting tasks are typically relegated to Willow’s dad?
I am so lucky that Nick is extremely hardworking and works long hours but will still race home to give Willow a bath every night. With me being pregnant, he has definitely cut his work hours back so he is home before 8pm to help with the bath and bed routine.
He also takes Willow swimming every Saturday which gives me the morning to either relax and get my nails done or get on top of work and a few loads of washing!
In saying that, we are approaching my husband’s busy period as he throws three events in the space of three months, so of course I know he won’t make it home to give Willow a bath every night.
“I hope she will grow up to be kind, happy, hardworking and confident so she doesn’t have to rely on any one else financially or for validation.”
The older Willow gets the more special their bond is, and Nick just adores spending any minute he can with her. This also means he is the ones who gets up in the night if Willow needs to go to the bathroom or has a nightmare, which means I am lucky and able to get a good night’s sleep.
How is your second round of pregnancy going so far?
It’s going really well, I am lucky I have pretty easy pregnancies. Apart from being tired and a few aches and pains, I don’t really have much to complain about.
This interview has been slightly edited for clarity and brevity.
Track Mode is a horse racing and fashion site founded and curated by Nina O’Brien. Find more racing fashion inspiration in our Ultimate Guide to Spring Racing Carnival 2016, or skip straight to What to Wear to the Races. You can also subscribe to our bi-weekly newsletter to get exclusive race day fashion edits straight to your inbox, and be friends with us on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Google+.
You can shop Rozalia Russian’s products here.