Meet Abbie Roden Sandbach, Founder of marketing agency, @roden, Co-Founder of wine brand, @drinkamie, photographer and our latest Cefinn Siren.
A long-time friend of Cefinn, we were so excited to spend the day with Abbie at her Belgravia wine bar styling our latest Summer 23 collection. We chatted all things petite styling (Abbie is 5'2), starting a business during lockdown, London vs NYC fashion and so much more!
What do you do professionally?
I am also the Co-Founder of wine brand, amie (@drinkamie),
which I founded with my husband, Will Sandbach and we have a wine bar in Belgravia, London (@amiewinestudio).
How did you get into this industry?
I lived in NYC for 5 years before moving to London in 2018. Whilst in New York, I worked in-house for the oldest shoe brand in America – FRYE - for 3.5 years. When I moved to London, I pitched to FRYE to keep working remotely and miraculously they said yes! I was then able to start building relationships with people and other brands here in London, so RODEN formed very gradually and naturally.
For amie - it was a lockdown project with my husband, Will, who comes from a wine background. Will was helping his family business – The Oxford Wine Company – during lockdown, and came home one day saying he thought we should create a direct-to-consumer rosé brand – 3 years later and here we are!
Best advice you have been given personally & professionally.
Don’t ask, don’t get.
What’s been a major career highlight for you?
For RODEN - There have been several, but I’d say major ‘wow’ moments for me have been: building my team, shooting the main fashion feature (an 8-page spread) for Cosmopolitan UK with Bettina Looney 3 months after moving to London; shooting a London-based campaign for Marc Jacobs; helping JSHealth Vitamins launch into the USA, and managing their US influencer marketing for 1.5 years; signing big F&B clients such as TRIP & DASH; launching RODEN Talent in 2022 with Lucy Bayliss and getting to work so closely with so many amazing women (clients, employees and industry friends).
For amie - Again, there have been several, but a few key moments stand out: selling out of our original rosé in 7 weeks; raising nearly £20K for charity: water; opening our wine bar in Belgravia, London (amie wine studio in Eccleston Yards); launching on Ocado; seeing key tastemakers who I’ve followed for years posting about our wine; our Crémant being featured on This Morning 2 days after it launched!; launching a wine bar in Seoul, South Korea this June, which is pretty surreal.
How did you start amie and where did the idea arise from?
amie was a lockdown project with my husband, Will, who comes from a wine background. Will was helping his family business – The Oxford Wine Company – during lockdown, and came home one day saying he thought we should create a direct-to-consumer rosé brand, as at the time, there weren't any in the UK. Will handles all-things finance, business and wine related for amie and I handle all things creative and marketing, so we make a really great team.
Where do you get your inspiration from?
Instagram, travelling, and magazines. I find travelling to be so inspiring, and I always come back home full of different ideas, along with tons of inspo photos saved on my camera roll.
Do you think there is a difference between the fashion followed in America and England?
Yes, definitely. There is even a difference between the fashion followed within America (for example, I’m from Kentucky, and the style in Kentucky is totally different to somewhere like NYC). I’d say the things that I can think of off the top of my head are; NYC - definitely wear way more black! London - way more colour! NYC can feel a bit more put together and dressed up, where I’d say the majority of London is a bit more laid-back. Of course it totally depends on where you’re going and what you’re doing for both cities! One thing I noticed when I moved here was how often people wear dresses, which I love, because I am a dress lover.
What is your advice for petite fashion?
Wear dresses! I find it’s so much easier than ordering loads of trousers that often arrive and are 1 foot longer on me than they should be! I do love trousers though, so another piece of advice is to find a good tailor, which if you’re petite, I’m sure you’ve already done.
What features do you look for when you look for clothing?
Quality and fit are very important. If something doesn’t look flattering on me, I’m not going to buy it. I also think the way a material feels means a lot, and it always looks much better too. I also love really unique pieces – I love finding pieces while travelling, that no one else will have back home. The more unique, the cooler in my opinion – I love a thrift store!
What is your favourite piece from Cefinn?
Ohhh, this is so hard. I have so many Cefinn pieces! I’d say one dress that I’ve been wearing on repeat is the Sawyer. It’s such a great one as it can be thrown on and worn with literally any shoe – it’s so easy, it’s breezy and it feels so flattering on. Sam has brilliantly done the Sawyer in several different prints, colours and materials since the style originally launched. I'd also say my Jordan Blazer is a firm favourite – I got this in a few sizes up so that it’d fit oversized, and I wear it all the time.
What do you love about Cefinn?
To be completely honest (and I’m actually not just saying this for this feature!!) any time I go to get dressed and don’t know what to wear, I always tend to end up grabbing a Cefinn piece. The pieces are so versatile and make me feel so put together, and very well dressed. The dresses are all my go-tos, as they’re so easy to throw on and wear with trainers, flats, sandals, etc. – you don’t have to worry about anything else but your shoes and a few pieces of jewellery, and that’s always the best, especially if it’s a busy week and you don’t have time to think about your outfits!
Favourite piece from the Cefinn collection and why?
From the pieces that I shot for this feature, I’d probably say the linen suit - I felt amazing in it, even though I wouldn’t normally consider myself a ‘suit girl’!
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