Writer Shannon Severson
[dropcap]R[/dropcap]esource fulness and reinvention is in Elizabeth Rosensteel’s DNA. Her interior design firm, Rosensteel Design Studio, is the culmination of many years — and careers — that have molded who she is today: an artist, furniture designer, sculptor, art director, inventor. Even further back, Rosensteel recalls stories of her maternal grandfather, an artist and organic gardener (before sustainability was a “thing”), and her industrious grandmother, who supported the family by weaving, making lace and working as a furrier — anything to keep her family afloat on the sparse income of an artist.
This combination of hard work and creative talent lives on in Rosensteel, but did draw concern from her mother, who feared her daughter would encounter the same hardships she had as a girl.
“I don’t think my grandparents even had running water until 1972,” says Rosensteel. “My mother said to me as I was growing up, ‘If you go into any form of the arts, I’m going to break both your arms and legs.’ It was serious. And now, I sing with the Phoenix Symphony and own a design studio, so I guess I didn’t listen too well, but I love what I do. My parents finally came around.”
After studying visual communications in her native Boston and then at the Art Institute of Pittsburgh, Rosensteel and her husband, Barry, moved to the Valley in 1978, seeking a change of scenery and a dose of adventure — she’d never been west of the Mississippi. What brought the Rosensteels to their Gerry Jones-designed Carefree home, where they have lived since 2013 (having previously lived in Paradise Valley), is a story full of twists, turns, hard work and, of course, reinvention.