Walking into Roberta Roller Rabbit is like escaping to an island where color is king and style his queen. Side by side, the pair rules a kingdom full of radiant hues, cheerful prints and rich textures. Their newest domain is an airy space in Atlanta’s Westside Provisions District, the first of its kind in Georgia. The royal couple opens the shop’s exotic castle doors to shoppers and immerses them in the alluring world of Roberta Roller Rabbit.
While the fantasy world above definitely describes the look and feel of Roberta Roller Rabbit’s Atlanta location, there isn’t really a king of color. There is, however, a queen of style. Roberta Freymann is the leader and fashion maven behind the Roberta Roller Rabbit brand. Born in London and raised on New York’s Upper East Side, Roberta has spent her life traveling and gaining a wealth of fashion industry knowledge. In fact, fashion is in Roberta’s blood. Roberta’s mother was a muse to the French designer Jacques Fath, who had clientele the likes of Greta Garbo and Rita Hayworth. Roberta credits her mother for helping mold the exotic flair present in her designs seen in her stores.
Roberta says she’s always been passionate about two things: travel and fashion. While her mother gifted Roberta with her sense of style, it was Roberta’s father who instilled a love of discovery. “It wasn’t until I traveled to North Africa for a family vacation that I discovered the true depth of this love, as well as my affinity for global style,” Roberta says. “I remember my first trip to the souks and markets of Morocco where I collected as much as the donkeys could carry!” Loaded with many treasures, the dream of opening her own bazaar was born.
With her passion for travel and style starting at a young age, Roberta’s knack for fashion eventually led her to work for some of the top names in the industry. She headed a multimillion dollar knitwear business with clients including Saks Fifth Avenue and Bergdorf Goodman, designed for Bill Blass, bought for Ann Taylor and led Laura Ashley’s expansion into Latin America. Armed with knowledge from each of these roles, Roberta launched her own design company in 1996, a shopping haven in an Upper East Side brownstone, which pioneered a craze for pashmina scarves and one-of-a-kind accessories.
Roberta Roller Rabbit as we know it today launched seven years later, in 2003. The travel-inspired patterns, infused with breathtaking colors and sophisticated styles, have evolved into a global lifestyle brand. In Roberta Roller Rabbit, shoppers will delight in everything from wardrobe essentials and accessories to home furnishings. Everywhere you turn, there is a dress welcoming you to feel its gossamer weight or a fabric inviting you to imagine it in your home. Pillows in punchy patterns can be tossed on sofas or beds, while table linens bring a pop of color to your dining room.
All of Roberta Roller Rabbit’s prints are made in India, through block printing by hand, making each piece the highest quality. It’s a signature mark of the brand and showcases the commitment Roberta Roller Rabbit has made to working with local artisans Roberta encounters during her travels. She explains, “This process, the opposite of mass-produced, shows clear evidence of the human hand with all of the nuances that this entails. We love to see the human spirit present in our pieces.”
This human touch is not only present in the prints and fabrics at Roberta Roller Rabbit, but also in nearly everything else. Furniture in the store (all for sale) is sourced during travels and many pieces are inlaid with bone. Even the store’s floors are hand stenciled. Floor art by renowned artists Lisa Wassong and Dominique Langue is ethnically inspired and whimsical and appears in all Roberta Roller Rabbit stores around the country and beyond.
Even with this delicate process of hand stenciling and printing, personal sourcing and style sophistication, shoppers will note the affordable price point present in the Roberta Roller Rabbit brand. Women’s clothing starts at $85 and bedding at $50. But items don’t stick around for long. “We have colorful and exciting prints every season, as well as our core print collection, that is available year-round. We encourage our customers to return frequently, as seasonal prints sell out fast,” Roberta asserts.
Of course, one of the most notable sections of the store is the children’s clothing and accessories. Place mats, sleeping bags, pillows, clothes, pajamas and more are all available in the store and offer playful patterns and palettes for dressing kids and their personal spaces. In fact, when asked about her proudest moment with Roberta Roller Rabbit, it’s not Roberta’s many fashion accolades, but rather something a little less glamorous, “Children in our pjs,” she replies, “bring us special joy.”
It’s the humble nature of Roberta that makes Roberta Roller Rabbit special. Despite her professional successes, her many travels and her impeccable fashion sense, Roberta Freymann remains true to herself and her brand. When all’s said and done, Roberta simply wants Atlanta customers to know, “Our products are lovingly handcrafted.” There is a person behind each fabric, each print, each accessory and each dress, and leading these artisans every step of the way is Roberta Freymann, humble queen of exotic style.
Roberta Roller Rabbit is located at 1198 Howell Mill Road, Atlanta. Hours are Monday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Sunday, 12 to 5 p.m. Check out the gorgeous pieces online at robertarollerrabbit.com or call (404) 350-8041.