From The Heart
Hello! Welcome to my digital journal, my ‘blog’ if you will. I’ve created this space to document my inspirations and life musings, and to share a usually hidden side of the RC brand as you probably know it. To summarise, I’m letting you in. Written by me, from the heart of my brand.
WHY / WHAT / WHERE / WHEN… HOW?
I decided to start this blog because it feels like a very therapeutic way to compartmentalise all of the mad, creative thoughts that flutter throughout my mind all day long. Well to be honest with you, I realised this once I started writing but initially someone suggested a blog would be a good way to document my life and inject some real, raw Ronny to my site and my brand, so here goes…
My name is Ronny. Not Ronny with an ‘ie’ but Ronny with a ‘y’. Most people make this mistake, so best to put this straight from the outset. And Ronny is short for Ronald – not Veronica! I was born in Toronto, Canada and raised there by my fabulous single mother. I have one sibling, a brother, who has converted to a conservative form of Judaism and doesn’t speak with us much – Oy vey!
For those who know me it wouldn’t come as too much of a surprise to hear I went to high school to study Performing Arts, and I’ve been described as a talent with a extra touch of drama! Story of my life. Without going too deep into my upbringing, it is fair to say, like most of us, it came with it’s ups and downs. Thus far everything has turned out alright, as they say, ‘What doesn’t kill us makes us stronger’.
In high school I didn’t just come out of the closet, more like leapt! I decided not to pursue a career in theatre after all, but instead decided to live my life vicariously through all forms of the word ‘love’. During my final year of school I lived with my boyfriend, a florist named Chad. He was both pretty and successful, so it was easy to fall for him. Chad is the reason I became a florist at the age of seventeen. One thing to be thankful for from our relationship I guess!
Chad and I inevitably split up and not long after I found myself on a first class flight from YYZ > CDG after meeting a famous American fashion designer, who will remain nameless. A chapter in life I could not turn down at the time, but one that is forever closed. I was 19 and I now consider myself lucky to have been surrounded by such creatives at the time. What kind of 19 year old finds themselves eating lunch with Lee Radziwill, followed by dinner with Sofia Coppola? Or visiting private exhibitions for artists like Roy Lichtenstein? I was too young to understand what was happening, but now on reflection I realise I was a very fortunate teenager to have experienced such things at such an impressionable age!
After the American and I spilt I moved back to Toronto. I worked my way up from a bucket boy in a flower shop, to eventually becoming an experienced florist working for some of the leading designers in the city. After a few years of hard graft I built up my confidence and opened my very own flower shop in my neighbourhood, hiring my close friends to work alongside me. I continued dating people throughout this time, travelled a lot and eventually met my first husband, the son of a very famous British painter. Boy – I sure know how to pick’em! Not long after our wedding we moved to the UK to start a new life in Bath.
Life in Somerset was fabulous. I worked as the lead wedding designer and internal florist at Babington House, part of the Soho House group. If you are not familiar with Babington House, this is a luxury hotel in the heart of the picturesque English countryside, owned by private club/hotel group Soho House. To be a member you must work as a creative, or at least know a few. It is a total celebrity hot spot! And there I was designing weddings for them all…
After my marriage hit the rocks I left Bath and moved to London, but continued working with the Soho House Group. I worked between their central London HQ, and a new expansion to their brand – Soho Farmhouse in Oxfordshire. I had a ball being part of the launch team, which included designing a flower shop as well as creating and executing numerous corporate events and weddings…all on one very posh farm!
I really felt at the top of my game during this time of my life. I was working for one of the most exclusive hotel groups in the world, and had also met my new partner. I created bases both in London and Oxfordshire, complete with my puppy Teagan, the cutest Boston Terrier. Life was great but one never rests on one’s laurels…
After a further year a fire within was sparked, and I felt I could go at it alone. I was compelled to do my own thing, create fabulous ideas for my clients and most importantly work for me, myself and I. So with this fire in my belly, I took the plunge and left Soho Farmhouse…and went to Perfume School of course!! Tucked away in a little Hogwarts like place in Bourton-on-the-Water.
I absolutely loved the experience and what woke inside of me was not just my passion for flowers, but an excellent nose and sheer love for fragrance – the memories and moments in my mind switched on like a light bulb through the simple power of scent.
Within 6 months I had launched a range of new candles and given birth to a new flower, fragrance and events company – with the very creative name of “Ronny Colbie”. My name is above the door and it’s the start of a whole new adventure. I’m having a blast!