Care for yourself — staying mentally and physically fresh for the challenges ahead is key, so whether it is walking, yoga, galloping or reading, make sure you make time for your favorite switch off activity.

Resilience has been described as the ability to withstand adversity and bounce back from difficult life events. Times are not easy now. How do we develop greater resilience to withstand the challenges that keep being thrown at us? In this interview series, we are talking to mental health experts, authors, resilience experts, coaches, and business leaders who can talk about how we can develop greater resilience to improve our lives.

As a part of this series, I had the pleasure of interviewing Rosie van Cutsem.

Rosie van Cutsem launched the British brand TROY London with her sister and co-founder Lucia Ruck Keene in 2015. Exclusively made in the British Isles using only the finest quality fabrics, TROY has grown in international acclaim and their chic outerwear and timeless staples are enjoyed by stylish women all over the world. Rosie runs the business from her Norfolk farm, managing a small dynamic team supported by international experts across PR, finance and design.

Thank you so much for joining us! Our readers would love to get to know you a bit better. Can you tell us a bit about your backstory?

Lucia and I launched TROY London with absolutely no background in fashion or retail. What we did have was a very clear vision on a gap in the market for stylish outerwear that genuinely performs in the elements. It was this mission statement that pushed us into new territory and the world of designing and manufacturing our first collection, all made here in the British Isles.

Can you share with us the most interesting story from your career? Can you tell us what lessons or ‘take aways’ you learned from that?

Learning to communicate with craftsmen and manufacturers in the clothing industry, a heavily male dominated world, was akin to learning a new language. It was a challenge that we had to enter into wholeheartedly, drawing on all our energy and strength to discover mills and seamstresses over weekends and evenings around full time jobs, until we felt informed enough to make the decision to commit to our new brand full time. It was only when we showed our first capsule collection to friends and family, sold our first pieces at trunk shows and very quickly gained the attention (and orders) of stores such as Soho House that we had no doubts as to the opportunity that was in front of us.

What do you think makes your company stand out? Can you share a story?

Our company is sister-founded and made entirely in the British Isles. Lucia and I draw on our upbringing in rural Oxfordshire to design pieces steeped in British heritage, yet sharpened with an elegant, contemporary edge. Our designs are made to last and endure seasons and fashions, performing in all weathers and wrapping the wearer in comport and luxury. We have been lucky enough to spend our childhoods and weekends embracing nature and enjoying active lifestyles outside, so we design pieces we want to wear in our lives. Enjoying the great outdoors is something we value all the more after the enforced lockdown of recent pandemic months, and we have seen a wonderful surge in enthusiasm for what we create from across the world.

None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story?

In 2019 we launched a collaboration design jacket with Amanda Wakeley OBE, inspired by our shared love of the mountains, called the Elements Parka. This jacket is an evolution of TROY’s best selling Wax Parka and elevated with the signature AW sports luxe style. It was a wonderful experience and Amanda remains both a friend and mentor and I am happy to own many of her beautiful designs.

Ok thank you for all that. Now let’s shift to the main focus of this interview. We would like to explore and flesh out the trait of resilience. How would you define resilience? What do you believe are the characteristics or traits of resilient people?

Resilience is the ability to stay true to your own values and goals in the face of challenges, overcoming obstacles and finding work arounds when others may only see failure. Resilient people must have a degree of optimism, but also a stoic determination to continue to strive for success, no matter what the world throws at them.

Courage is often likened to resilience. In your opinion how is courage both similar and different to resilience?

It takes courage to be resilient, but they are not the same thing. A courageous person may well lack the steely resolve it takes to remain focused and determined when under pressure.

When you think of resilience, which person comes to mind? Can you explain why you chose that person?

Her Majesty the Queen. The people and events she has experienced and endured is surely unparalleled by anyone, anywhere in the world.

Has there ever been a time that someone told you something was impossible, but you did it anyway? Can you share the story with us?

That tends to happen more than I should say, but perhaps one example is deciding to have a third child while managing a busy, growing business… but I will be able to tell you more about that in a few weeks!

Did you have a time in your life where you had one of your greatest setbacks, but you bounced back from it stronger than ever? Can you share that story with us?

The pandemic and subsequent lockdown certainly felt like a huge setback on both a business and personal level, as of course it felt for so many, with fears over the safety of loved ones and the security of the world. That said, the time of reflection and time with my close family, some of whom moved in to shield with us on our farm, is something I will never forget. Despite all of the horrors, this was a positive that I shall always value and we have never felt closer.

How have you cultivated resilience throughout your life? Did you have any experiences growing up that have contributed to building your resiliency? Can you share a story?

Growing up as a family of three sisters did not stop our father from taking us on adrenaline-fueled adventures wherever we went. Whether that was off-piste skiing through the winter, scaling a peak in the summer or pushing for victory in that third set of a needle tennis match, we were always pushed to succeed, overcome our fears, and ideally… win!

Resilience is like a muscle that can be strengthened. In your opinion, what are 5 steps that someone can take to become more resilient? Please share a story or an example for each.

Gain perspective — ensure you consider all the angles

Remain flexible — stubbornness and resilience are close cousins, but often the solution is found in adapting the short-term plan to reach the ultimate goal

Remain empathetic — it is sometimes easier to polarise and ostracise other people’s opinions and it is much more constructive to try to understand why they are saying or behaving the way they are, and to learn from it.

Care for yourself — staying mentally and physically fresh for the challenges ahead is key, so whether it is walking, yoga, galloping or reading, make sure you make time for your favorite switch off activity.

Have confidence — back yourself to succeed!

You are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂

If we all engaged more with those around us and showed everyday kindness just imagine how different each day could be… the world over!

We are blessed that some very prominent leaders read this column. Is there a person in the world, or in the US with whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might just see this, especially if we tag them 🙂

Warren Buffett must have a very interesting perspective on the world, and I would love to learn from him. So long as he didn’t insist on bringing his Cherry Coke for breakfast…

How can our readers further follow your work online? or @troylondonuk

This was very inspiring. Thank you so much for joining us.


  • Savio P. Clemente

    TEDx Speaker, Media Journalist, Board Certified Wellness Coach, Best-Selling Author & Cancer Survivor

    Savio P. Clemente, TEDx speaker and Stage 3 cancer survivor, infuses transformative insights into every article. His journey battling cancer fuels a mission to empower survivors and industry leaders towards living a truly healthy, wealthy, and wise lifestyle. As a Board-Certified Wellness Coach (NBC-HWC, ACC), Savio guides readers to embrace self-discovery and rewrite narratives by loving their inner stranger, as outlined in his acclaimed TEDx talk: "7 Minutes to Wellness: How to Love Your Inner Stranger." Through his best-selling book and impactful work as a media journalist — covering inspirational stories of resilience and exploring wellness trends — Savio has collaborated with notable celebrities and TV personalities, bringing his insights to diverse audiences and touching countless lives. His philosophy, "to know thyself is to heal thyself," resonates in every piece.