Oct 30, 2012
Author: Ilissa Maiatico
Wild and Heart Co., a new Canadian online clothing and accessory store opened this month. The shop specializes in vintage pieces, staples and jewelry. To learn more about running an online store we caught up Sarah Johnson and Diane Rudge, the ladies behind the boutique.
Q: Tell us about your new online store?
A: Wild + Heart is a new Canadian online shopping boutique. Here you can find affordable fashion to suite your mountain lifestyle. The girls of Wild + Heart are no strangers to this lifestyle. Both have roots in Kelowna, Whistler, Blue Mountain and Banff. They understand the ‘urban mountain girl’s’ needs and have brought them to you in the most convenient way, ONLINE. In this online-only boutique you will find coveted Canadian fashion labels and international designers, along with select vintage items. They offer reasonable prices and very affordable shipping fees, along with great return and exchange policies. The girls of Wild + Heart have the same lifestyles as their costumer’s so they understand your needs.
Q: How did you come up with the idea to create an online store?
A: The idea of Wild + Heart was started on last year’s surf trip to El Salvador with the Eventsing Team. We had been friends for years but it was always a distant friendship at best. It was this trip that reconnected us and helped us realize our two very similar passions; travel, shopping online and vintage. Then after the trip and mainly over Skype and text we “researched” (a.k.a. shopped) our dream brands in Canada and International labels, and it became almost a contest of who could find the next trends and coolest brands. After a few months of this we decided we just had to share it, and launch wildandheart.com, and bring our curated discoveries to our friends and internet friends.
Q: What’s been some of the biggest challenges in setting up the shop?
A: The main challenge setting-up has been time (never enough hours in a day), and space because Sarah lives in Ontario, and Diane lives in BC. We work all day together over Skype, so right now our head office is basically ‘online-only’, just like our boutique.
Q: What made you decide to offer more of a fashion forward collection?
A: Overall we felt there is a void in online retail (especially in Canada) for an online boutique shopping experience that can cater to a ‘snow girl’ but also a ‘fashion girl’, and offer fashion forward styles, but in more of a ‘mellow’ and ‘approachable’ online experience. We aim to get to know our customers through social media, so they know who we are too, and that we’re not just a computer offering them products, but hard working girls finding really cool products for them. Plus these days most girls are mixing new with old, staples with fashion-forward styles, so this is how we buy product for our boutique, and we buy in limited quantities so we can always be offering new styles and brands. To stay inspired is truly the goal, and the mission we’re on for our customers.
Q: What are some current trends your noticing?
A: Two looks we love right now are ‘Urban Mountain Girl’, and ‘Army Cowgirl.’ We have a section on the site called‘ style edits’ where we highlight styles, and looks so you can shop the current trends super easily. Living in the mountains can be one of the most inspirational and rewarding atmospheres to be in. A sense of stillness and peace are always present. But, just because you live here doesn’t mean you need to forget what else is out there and it is not an excuse to ignore your closet. As a lady living in a mountain town it is particularly easy to lose your fashion individuality. The stores all seem to blend together and so does everyone’s style. You buy a new t-shirt or pair of pants and are stoked to wear them out the next day, only to realize that three of your friends also own them along with half of the other girls in the town. Whether your style is simple, progressive, in the moment fast-fashion or more vintage it shouldn’t have to be sacrificed. Meet WILD + HEART: your solution to being the ‘Urban Mountain Girl.’
Q: What’s your favourite piece for sale?
A: Like we could pick just one… but some of our Canadian brands are killing it including Sitka and Lifetime. Also, our Local Wildlife artists are so talented and promote our ‘buy locally’ ideals. For International brands, we are in love with Stone Cold Fox, Gypsy Junkies and upcoming for spring 2013 One Teaspoon is beyond cool. Again we truly love all our partners and products, and this list keeps growing.
Q: Sarah will you hosting any snowboard events this winter?
A: No Rad Galz events as this chapter is closed but will be hosting a launch party for Wild + Heart, and will be inviting all past Rad Galz for sure. Stay tuned for an amazing party in 2013, and we have your outfit covered head to toe.
Q: Diane, will we being see you compete at any snowboard contests this winter?
A: I think I am taking a break from the contest circuit this season, and focusing a little more on all-mountain boarding and hopefully lots of split-boarding trips. Last year was my first year really getting out into the back country and split-boarding, and I just love it. I'm also working hard on our new adventure Wild + Heart.
Q: What's your website address?
About the Girls:
Sarah Johnson you might recognize from the rad event group ‘RadGalz’, which hosted Canada’s first all-girls snowboarding events, and often included fashion shows at her events. Sarah also worked the past five years as a sales rep for a handful of action sport brands, and has always had one foot in action sports and the other in the fashion. Diane Rudge has been involved in the action sports industry for a number of years as well, being one of Canada’s top competitors on the Canadian and international snowboard circuits.
Canadian staples by Stika and Lifetime
Urban Mountain collection
Sarah Johnson and Diane Rudge with Stone Cold Fox