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Cool People Doing Cool Stuff: Blair Rooney of Rooney Collective


I got to ask the very cool Blair Rooney from Rooney Collective – some questions about his impressive start up and fashion career – and only 19! (I felt very old and unaccomplished) . Check out what he has to say about his new Wellington based website (Where you can now buy Sans Pareil Jewellry woop!) and how to make it in this industry, below.

Blair Rooney

1. I love supporting and celebrating local creative people making waves in business and fashion. Rooney Collective seems to be doing both! What inspired you to start in the first place? And why did you chose the medium on online?

Well first of all let me say thank you for interviewing me for this segment. Rooney collective was an idea of mine to bring many different parts of fashion to one place, we found that there are many collective groups out there however they all sell the same brands and we really wanted to change things up by getting less know brands in and also evolving to get so big names online too. The days of Bricks and mortar are over I am afraid trading through what people are calling the “Worst years in retail ever” we had to get out as quick as possible we have had store in the past however we have recently pulled out of all our stockists to focus on our own online offering. I feel you have a bigger reach online, something we work quite heavily on at Rooney is making everything we do mobile ready and friendly because 80 of the people that access the internet they do it on there phone.

2. How long have you been going for?

I have owned and operated Rooney Clothing for just over 4 years and Rooney collective has been in the pipeline for a while however we have slowly launched it last month in Feb.

Rooney Sans Pareil
Rooney Jewellery


3. What sets you apart from other online shops?

I think that is a good question, right now. I would say not a lot apart from we have some really awesome products online. As we grow fulfilment is going to be a massive focus of ours, getting products to customers ultra quick. having and Click and Collect service also.

4. What are you looking for when you source your products?

Exclusivity, I feel it is easy to be a buyer and go to the big brands and don’t get me wrong there is nothing wrong with that either however having stock which may or may not be from a NZ supplier, as long as it is a good price, Different and sells.

socks robecca leyden sans pareil
Rooney Socks

5. Who are your favorite designers?

I definitely have an obsession with Twenty Seven Names, Kowtow, Zambezi and Karen Walker.

6. What do you love most about what you do?

Being able to sleep in, It’s great to be able to work long hours however it’s about working smarter not harder, I never understood that saying but now I get it. If you are efficient for an hour and you don’t get distracted then you calculate how much time it took you to do things, you then allocate that same amount of time everyday and the job gets done very very quickly, Instead of going around in circles sitting and doing bits a pieces I have blocks of time that I work solidly.

7. Lastly, I always ask everyone I interview what advice they would offer to up-and-comers. What would you suggest?

Go hard, Make Mistakes and most importantly learn from them.



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