wander blog

Turning Salvaged Barn Wood into Beautiful Trays May 18, 2017 15:28

It has been waaaaay too long since our last maker interview. So without further adieu let's kick things off with a new maker at Wander, Samantha Hartman of Infinite Abyss. Her gorgeous serving trays are meticulously crafted from salvaged and 100-year-old barn wood in a small town in Wyoming. 

infinte-abyss-samantha

We updated a few of our questions, but the idea is the same. We want to know how these amazing makers got their start and what inspires them. Samantha's story is a great one. She is basically the most creative person ever: graphic design, sewing, woodworking, you name it. 

Q: What did you do before founding Infinite Abyss?

A: I founded Infinite Abyss back in 2009 but it was a very unorganized collection of whatever I felt like making at the time. I streamlined down to sewing and for years I created bags and purses from vintage fabrics. When I moved from Pennsylvania to Wyoming a few years ago, I took a break and turned to woodworking as a creative outlet and haven't looked back since. Aside from Infinite Abyss, I am a graphic designer.

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Q: What inspired you to start making your products?

A:  A lot of my inspiration comes from using reclaimed materials in my work because I just love the history and interesting characteristics that they possess. They are a great way to make a unique, one of a kind item that no one else has. When I first started making serving trays, I was just experimenting with different colors and patterns from a haul of old lath I got from someone tearing down a barn. After rearranging things a few times, I created the Aztec pattern tray and it was a huge hit.

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Q: How did you come up with the name for your company?

A: The name for my company comes from the movie Garden State, when Zach Braff says, "Good luck exploring the Infinite Abyss." Since I use reclaimed materials a lot in my designs, I like to think of that as the so-called 'infinite abyss' and I am the one doing the exploring to create new pieces and bring those materials back to life.

infinite-abyss-mountain-reclaimed-wood-serving-tray

Q: What do you listen to or watch (i.e. music, shows, nature sounds) while you create?

A: When I am working in my office, I either listen to webinars or put on Spotify. My music taste is usually more indie or electronic, but sometimes I like to just throw on some rap and get it done. When I am out in the shop, it's the plain old radio. It is usually too loud with the tools and everything going so the music is just background noise. I learned real fast that if I try to watch tv and work on the computer, I don't get anything done.


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Q: Do you have a favorite product? If yes, which one?

A: My favorite product is the Aztec Tray. It was the one that got me started on this ride and it's my favorite to make. I love how clean and classic it is and it looks great in any color.

We love the Aztec Tray too! You can check it out in three color combos, along with Samantha's Arrowhead and Mountain Trays on the Wander Truck or here in our online shop.

And if you find Samantha as inspiring as we do, be sure to check out her new book, releasing this fall, called Wood Pallet Wonders. It's a DIY book on how to build 20 different home decor and storage pieces from wood pallets. 


Art Student Makes the Leap to Entreprenuer September 14, 2016 12:35

Rachel Elise Weekdayer Cross Body Bags are a big hit at Wander. We love the fresh patterns and bold mix of colors and neutrals!

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The designer behind the brand is Rachel Aughtry. She started out sewing bags, added screen printing to her tool belt, and also opened a shop--The DIME Store, with a friend--to highlight both her Rachel Elise brand and more than 70 other local makers. If you're ever in Denton, Texas, stop in to check out all the ways Rachel is a total girl boss!

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Recently we caught up with Rachel for a short interview, to learn more about how she got started and where she hopes to take the brand in the near future. Here are her answers:

Q: What did you do before founding Rachel Elise?

A: I actually started Rachel Elise while I was still in college--so I didn't do a whole lot before then. I had been sewing (including a lot of bags for myself and my friends!) since around the age of 10, when my mother taught me the basics. As an art student in college, I wanted a creative outlet outside of my class work, and also wanted a job with flexible hours, so trying out an Etsy shop seemed like a win-win. 

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Q: What inspired you to start making your products?

A: I covered this a little bit with the last one, but as Rachel Elise grew (and after I read about a million "Quit Your Day Job" articles on Etsy), I realized that right when I graduated was going to be my best chance to try my hand at being self-employed. My gamble paid off and five years after taking that leap from school to self-employment, my husband was also able to quit his job to join the Rachel Elise team and the self-employed life! 

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Q: Explain Rachel Elise in five words or less.

A: Designed, Printed, and Stitched 

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Q: What has been the highlight of your year so far and what is your goal for Rachel Elise in the remainder of 2016?

A: Well, it's hard to top your partner in life becoming your partner in business! Having my husband on the team has been really amazing for both of us. Last year I made the transition to mostly hand screen printed bags, so our goal for the rest of this year is to really fill out the color and print combinations of our online store and then hopefully add some new prints in later this year and in early 2017! 

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We love a good maker story and hope you do too! Be sure to check out the full assortment of Rachel Elise bags at Wander (including some new styles just added for Fall).


Jeanette Makes Stuff Straight From the Heart September 06, 2016 00:00

If you've stumbled across the Wander pencil collection lately you either laughed or opened your mouth wide in shock.

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The products in this collection are a little sassy and have been a big hit! For that we have Jeanette of Sweet Perversion to thank. (We also carry some SP key chains.)

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We reached out to Jeanette to get a little background on her business. Here's what she had to say (warning: her answers are just as sassy as her pencils):

Q: What did you do before founding Sweet Perversion?

A: I was a bartender for what felt like a million years. Speed wise, I was a pretty good bartender. Personality? Not so much. I don't have a lot of patience for dipshits and my mood sits right on my face. I have zero talent for hiding my emotions.

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Q: What inspired you to start making your products?

A: I wanted a job that would allow me to work from home once my husband and I had children. I first started off making cards that I thought people would want to buy: fluffy shit complete with the Papyrus font. *cringe* Then I slowly began making cards straight from my asshole heart and that's when the money started trickling in.

By 2012, I was making enough money to quit my bartending job and in 2015 my son was born. When running your own business, it's easy to get down on yourself for not doing more or making more, but then I remember that when I started this business, my only goal was to work from home. Checkity check check.

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Q: Explain Sweet Perversion in five words or less.

A: Meh, fuck it.

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Q: What has been the highlight of your year so far and what is your goal for Sweet Perversion in the remainder of 2016?

A: Highlight: I'm still in business.
Goals: Land more wholesale clients & release two (or three) new products before the holidays.

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Shop the full collection of Sweet Perversion goods at Wander.


Modern Jewelry Made by a Husband and Wife Team August 30, 2016 09:00

Billy and Leah are the husband and wife team behind Baleen, a Seattle-based jewelry company. They believe that quality, handmade jewelry can be affordable and fun.

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Their entire collection is assembled by hand, with care, in their home-based studio. They also own a Baleen brick and mortar outpost in the Ballard neighborhood of Seattle.

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Their pieces can be described as effortless, modern and perfect for every day wear!

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I spoke with Leah and here's what I learned about their company:

Q:  What did you do before founding Baleen?

A: Billy and I met while working for an independent menswear shop here in Seattle. I was working as a buyer and stylist, and Billy was doing graphic design and photography.

Then we both left the company to start our own ventures....mine a women's swimwear line and Billy's a men's jewelry line. After a few years of running our companies side by side and being each others' sounding boards, we decided to join forces and start Baleen :)

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Q: What inspired you to start making your products?

A: We really wanted to create covetable, quality, modern pieces that were also affordable. Baleen has always been about good design for everyone.

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Q: Explain Baleen in five words or less.

A: Minimal, modern, hand-made, affordable, inclusive.

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Q: What has been the highlight of your year so far and what is your goal for Baleen in the remainder of 2016?

A: Well, we got married in May on Maui, so that is definitely the year's highlight for us personally. We look forward to growing more as a brand and now as a brick and mortar shop (we opened last Oct) - and are always striving to offer items that excite our customers!

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We're in love with all of the Baleen pieces carried at Wander. (Shop the collection now.) Their pieces make a great treat for yourself or a gift for someone else!


Meet Alaina Harris, Maker of Alaina Marie Bait Bags August 25, 2016 09:34

Back in February I visited Alaina's studio in the Old Port section of Portland, Maine. It's a beautifully cozy spot, tucked along a cobblestone street a few blocks from the ocean. There she makes bags inspired by a lobsterman's bait bag and constructed from the same material.

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She designs, screen prints and sews each bag. The result is a handmade masterpiece perfect for anyone who has a soft spot for the sea.

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I spoke with Alaina and asked her four questions. Here's what she had to say:

Q: What did you do before founding Alaina Marie?

A: I have always been creative and wanted to start my own business doing just that--creating. Before launching Alaina Marie, I worked as a bartender by night, and spent my days creating and making art. I was involved in everything from screen printing to sewing. The first bait bag was just an idea I had; I never intended to become my business, but 3 years later here we are! 

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Q: What inspired you to start making your products?

A: It was a lobsterman’s bait bag that gave me the inspiration to redesign it and create a handbag. I loved the idea and concept of it and thought what a durable carrier it was. Why not re-create it as a practical handbag? With my screen printing and sewing skills, I found a smaller marine grade mesh and printed the iconic net print onto it and sewed up my first bag. 

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Q: Explain Alaina Marie in five words or less.

A: Colorful. Handmade. Practical. Original. Fashionable. 

Q: What has been the highlight of your year so far and what is your goal for Alaina Marie in the remainder of 2016?

A: The highlight of my year has been to see the continued growth of the brand. We are starting to see our product out in the local community and as a young designer, that is the biggest compliment I could receive. As we continue on this path, our goal is to keep growing and expanding our team along with our line of bait bag products. Stay tuned…! 

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During my visit, rolls of marine grade mesh lined the walls and she was creating new styles for Summer of 2016. I am thrilled to have many of these styles in stock at Wander. Though the bags are perfect for year-round use, we are having an end of summer sale on them for readers of this post. Take 20% off all Alaina Marie Bait Bags and Wallets, now through September 1, 2016, with code AMBAIT at checkout. Shop the collection now!


Seaside Giveaway - Enter Now! August 06, 2016 07:59 7 Comments

We love spending summer by the sea. Now we're sharing the love with you! Enter to win a Seaside Prize Package from Wander.

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Prize includes an Alaina Marie Bait Bag Clutch, a "Lose Sight of the Shore" 8 x 10 Print lettered by Katie Kerrigan, and a Seawicks Love the Sea Candle. (Retail value is $96.) There are multiple ways to enter, but you must do so by 8/13/16. What are you waiting for?

Wander Seaside Giveaway 

The fine print: Prize is non-transferable and may not be returned or exchanged for refund or credit. Winner will be drawn at random, but must reside in the USA. Prize will not be shipped outside of the 48 contiguous United States. Wander will contact the winner within 2 business days of contest ending. If winner does not respond in 5 days with mailing address to deliver prize package to, they will forfeit their prize and an alternate winner will be drawn at random. Wander reserves the right to substitute similar products, of equal value, but in different colors or scents for prize package winner. 


Meet Local Lettering Queen Katie Kerrigan July 27, 2016 09:55

I met Katie at the South End Open Market at Ink Block earlier this year. Her booth was set up near the Wander Truck and I was immediately drawn to her colorful, lettered prints.

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Katie is originally from Scottsdale, Arizona but now resides in Somerville, Massachusetts. This is her first year running her own business and we think she is a total pro! In addition to selling hand lettered prints, she also designs the most gorgeous, custom wedding invitations.

Katie-Kerrigan-Portrait

We asked her our four favorite maker questions. Here's what she had to say:

Q: What did you do before founding your lettering business?

A: Before founding my lettering business, I worked at an advertising agency for five years. I was a Senior Art Director working on large scale clients including Pernod Ricard, Campbell's Soup and GoGo SqueeZ!

It was a lot of fun, and I learned more than I ever thought I would in that industry. It fully prepared me to start my own business, giving me the confidence to not only do all my own design work, but also project manage myself and my finances.

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Q: What inspired you to start lettering?

A: I have loved lettering ever since I started taking art classes in high school. I can't remember a time when I wasn't doodling letters and words all over notebooks and projects. Once I went to college and decided to major in Graphic Design, I took my love of lettering to a whole new level... creating fonts and using my hand drawn typography on every project I could.

I've been inspired by many different artists from Stefan Sagmeister to Laura Hooper and Molly Jacques. Also, my calligraphy teacher, Eleanor Winters, who taught me Copperplate and Italic out of her Brooklyn apartment when I took my first job in advertising in Connecticut.

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Q: Explain your business in five words or less.

A: fun, energetic, optimistic, whimsical, colorful

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Q: What has been the highlight of your year so far and what is your (business) goal for the remainder of 2016?

A: My highlight for the year so far was being asked to speak on a panel at Society of Grownups in Brookline about my jump from the corporate world to freelance. It was so much fun to connect with other people looking to do the same thing!

As for the remainder of 2016, I hope that my business keeps growing! I love experimenting with new lettering techniques and writing on new surfaces. It has been a fun first year running my own business, and I can't wait to see what's in store for the next year!

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Shop Katie's prints at Wander and be sure to check out instagram for sneak peeks of her latest lettering.

 


An Interview with Tori T. Yattaw from Maine Bags & Goods July 19, 2016 11:18

Maine Bags & Goods is a new line, recently added to the Wander Truck. People always ask me how I find the artists that I carry on the website and the truck. In the last year, I have come across or been pitched lots of great, new work through Instagram. For Maine Bags & Goods, I spotted this image in my feed and knew these bags would be perfect for Summer and for Wander.

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I just love the unique, screen printed rope design and the fact that these bags are light and bright in color, but include a vinyl overlay to protect them from stains.

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I spoke with designer and company owner Tori T. Yattaw about her products and how she started the company. Here's what she said:

Q: What did you do before founding Maine Bags & Goods?

A: While I was developing MB&G, I was also the Controller and Human Resource Manager for a manufacturing corporation. People are surprised when they find out I have a BS in Accounting.

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Side note: Don't you just love Tori's dogs, Jackson and Georgia?

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Q: What inspired you to start making your products?

A: I am primarily a self-taught artist. My mediums of choice were oils (I did huge oil paintings) and charcoals. I did many charcoals of vintage Vogue covers. I have been a bag "collector" aka hoarder for as long as I can remember and thought it would be fun to put some of my designs on bags. I originally started out hand painting all of the designs. My popular Mermaid Collection was inspired by the charcoals of the Vogue covers. I learned the basics of sewing in Home Economics in High School and eventually taught myself how to screen print (I couldn't keep up with the orders doing hand painting).

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Q: Explain Maine Bags & Goods in five words or less.

A: A memorable, functional, quality bag.

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Q: What has been the highlight of your year so far and what is your goal for Maine Bags & Goods in the remainder of 2016?

A: The highlight of my year has been the number of shops that have reached out to me to carry my lines - especially the ones who saw someone with my bag and made a point to find out who made it and contact me. For the remainder of 2016, my sketch book is full of ideas and I hope to keep getting them out there.

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Thanks for reading this interview with Tori from Maine Bags & Goods. Shop the Rope Collection.

 

 


An Interview with Erin from Umbrella Collective February 10, 2016 12:06

Erin Sim is the maker behind Umbrella Collective's leather bags.

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Chances are, if you've shopped on the Wander Truck, you may have stopped to admire the incredibly soft leather, classic blue and white stripe linings, or simple yet elegant shapes of these bags.

 

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The bags all have simple, functional designs. From her Portland, Oregon studio, Erin seeks to create practical goods that honor modesty and simplicity

 

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She says the goal of Umbrella Collective is to provide basic and ordinary design for everyone, everyday, everywhere.

We carry bucket bags, totes, crossbody bags and coin purses in a camel, navy and black color pallet. The bucket bags are by far the most popular and I have customers return all the time to show me how well their bucket bag has worn and how much they love the look of the vegetable tanned leather strap as it ages.

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In keeping with our 2016 theme of interviewing our makers, I asked Erin a few questions. Here are her answers.

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Q: What did you do before founding Umbrella Collective?

A: I graduated from Architecture school and moved to Portland. Finding
a job was a lot harder than I anticipated.

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Q: What inspired you to start making your products?

A: Being fresh out of school, in a new environment, with little experience, made it all the more difficult. So I taught myself to sew and started experimenting with canvas and leather. I've always loved bags so why not try to make them?

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Q: Explain Umbrella Collective in five words or less.

A: An exploration of necessary goods.

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Q: What is your goal for Umbrella Collective in 2016?

A: My goal for Umbrella Collective in 2016 is to make it to 2017!

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Thanks for reading this interview with Erin from Umbrella Collective. Shop the full collection of bags here.


While the Wander Truck Was Hibernating - Part 2 - Alt Summit & A Giveaway February 05, 2016 10:05

In While the Wander Truck Was Hibernating - Part 1, I wrote about a great visit to Maine. I love being there and taking it easy, but after a few days I'm itching to get back to work. So right after I returned from Maine I boarded a plane and headed to what I like to call Small Business Bootcamp.

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This is otherwise known as the fabulous Alt Summit, held in Salt Lake City, Utah.

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Alt takes place over three days and is full of amazing speakers, break-out sessions, networking opportunities and crazy generous sponsors. The conference attracts bloggers and small business owners from around the country.

Here I am at the Joss & Main Smile Booth with new friend and fellow small business owner, Katelyn Wood, of Love. Luck. Kisses & Cake.

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And at a delicious Greek dinner with other attendees, sponsored by Flipboard. So fun!

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There was so much to learn at Alt about social media, driving traffic to your website and generally taking your business to the next level.

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But if I had to narrow it down to three conference highlights, I'd say for me, the first was the opening keynote on the state of retail in America by Minted founder Mariam Naficy.

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She said "2016 is the era of the storyteller seller." This really resonated with me, since a big part of Wander is highlighting the makers and stories behind the products we carry.

Second was hearing from powerhouse stylist and blogger Justina Blakeney of The Jungalow and author of The New Bohemians.

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She urged attendees to be creative, but not worry about the form that creativity takes. Often people don't feel creative because they think all their ideas have been done before. As she bluntly put it, that's probably true. But not everything has been done the same way you would do it. My favorite quote of hers was, "It's not where you take things from, but where you take them to."

Sidenote: This is the business card wall at Alt, sponsored by Sudo. If you are ever in short supply of creativity, this is definitely a place to be inspired.

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My third and final highlight was the closing keynote by Elle Luna. She is the author of "The Crossroads of Should and Must. Find and Follow Your Passion."

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She is a powerful speaker and talked about giving up a successful career in app development to paint.

As the owner of a non-traditional small business, people always look at me a little funny when I explain what I do. But once, not so long ago, I had a "regular" job, as Director of Marketing for a small, but established business. I probably could have worked there for years, but as Elle says, keeping that job was something I felt I "should" do, but starting Wander was something I felt I "must" do. And every day I wake up happy that I made that choice.

***Here's where the giveaway comes in!*** Alt attendees received signed copies of Luna's book and I'm offering one Wander fan the chance to win a signed copy of their own, plus a Make Today Amazing Notepad to write out all your great "must" ideas and a Navy Leather Pouch. This pouch is just like the one I brought to Alt Summit. It's perfect for storing business cards or other inspirational tokens.

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To enter the giveaway:

1. Head over to Instagram and make sure you are following @wandertruck.

2. Like the giveaway post. Then tag a friend OR post a comment. (Maybe something about what you would do if you weren't worried about what you should do.)

3. Giveaway ends at midnight EST on Saturday, February 6, 2016.* The winner will be chosen at random.

*Valid for US entrants only.

Good luck winning the giveaway! Be sure to keep up with the Wander blog for more of my adventures while the Wander Truck is hibernating. And don't forget, you can always find your favorite American made goods on our website.

 


While the Wander Truck Was Hibernating - Part 1 February 04, 2016 15:31

Following a crazy holiday season, the Wander Truck officially went into hibernation in January.

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I was thrilled with how our first official year in business ended. But after packing the December schedule full of as many events as possible--sometimes two in one day--it was time for a little rest and reboot.

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I started out the month visiting with family and friends, cooking lots (so therapeutic), and relaxing with my dogs.

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I did a little shopping at some local stores that also carry American made goods. Shout out to Olives & Grace and Follain!

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Then I headed to my homes away from home: Portland and Peaks Island, Maine.

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It's always good to get out in nature and explore. And the weather cooperated for the first few days of my trip.

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Then the snow started. So I did some reading, hello #GirlBoss.

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And prepped my new business cards for a trip to Alt Summit (more on that in While the Wander Truck Was Hibernating - Part 2). 

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After a day trapped inside, I braved the snow and explored Portland a bit. Don't you just love this lock wall?

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I even got to drop in on one of our makers, Alaina Marie, in her adorable Old Port Studio.

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She has some great, new, color combinations that will be arriving at Wander this spring. Can't wait!

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 Oh and if you are ever in Portland, definitely eat this:

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I don't even really like donuts, but the dark chocolate coconut donut from the Holy Donut was sooooo tasty!

Stay tuned for more of what I'm up to while the Wander Truck is hibernating. And don't forget you can always shop the full collection of American made goods on our website. Like this: my favorite product this week. The coziest scarf ever!


An Interview with Kathy from Earth-In Canteen February 03, 2016 11:06

Earth-In Canteen creates beautiful, ceramic water bottles, handmade from California clay and certified lead-free, non-toxic glazes.

The bottles are much lighter and sturdier than you might expect. Glazes include stunning blues, purple and yellow, and the bottles are finished with a cork top.

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I personally use a turquoise bottle on a regular basis, stowing it in my tote bag or the side pocket of my backpack when I'm on the Wander Truck.

I was curious how Kathy and her husband, Rick, got started making this product. So I asked them my favorite four questions. Here are her answers:

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Q: What did you do before founding Earth-In Canteen?

A: Rick and I co-founded Klean Kanteen, the original stainless steel water bottle. Rick is also a raft guide.

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Q: What inspired you to start making your products?

(Sidenote: Isn't there son, George, the cutest?)

A: We wanted to collaborate with fellow Klean Kanteen co-founder Robert Seals on a 'made in the USA' bottle and ceramic was a natural and unique choice. It's been an awesome, feel-good experience.

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Q: Explain Earth-In Canteen in five words or less.

A: Stoneware, Sustainability, Made in California.

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Q: What is your goal for Earth-In Canteen in 2016?

A: We have a few big ones: 1. Continue talking about the value of choosing American made products. 2. Introduce new designs to easily replace everyday single-use containers or re-usables that are made in China.

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Thanks for reading this interview with Kathy from Earth-In Canteen. Be sure to check out their water bottles in four gorgeous glazes!


Valentine's Day Gift Guide January 28, 2016 14:47

Want to show you care, but don't know where to start? Valentine's Day is not everyone's favorite holiday. We get it. But it doesn't have to be so hard.

If you don't normally exchange gifts with your love, maybe just a card is best? We've got some decidedly non-Hallmark messages ("Thanks for Loving Me Even Though I'm Basically Insane," anyone?) to choose from.

Or check out our Valentine's Day Gift Guide, with some of our most popular items, all under $75.

valentines-day-gift-guide

one // two // three // four // five // six // seven

 

Be sure to place your order by February 9, 2016 to ensure your gift makes it to you before the big day.


An Interview with Virginia from Razimus Jewelry January 20, 2016 06:00

Razimus Jewelry is a line of fabric stacking bracelets, neck-to-wristwear, and statement necklaces that are eco-designed and handmade from plant-dyed silk, organic cotton, upcycled and vintage deconstructed clothing.

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Reducing waste, supporting organic fabric production, and giving new life to vintage garments, Razimus Jewelry is founded on sustainable fashion practices.  

Founder Virginia Fretto named her company Razimus after a word her PopPop created. She says, "A Razimus is a word that my PopPop made up to describe a reward that he bestows upon his kids and grandkids when something is well-deserved or accomplished. A Razimus can take the form of anything and is often illusive."

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I asked her four questions about Razimus, here are her answers:

Q: What did you do before founding Razimus?

A: Have you ever had a job that you literally were just there for the paycheck? Yep, that was me before founding Razimus Jewelry. After moving to Saratoga Springs, NY from Boston, MA, I took a corporate job in a field that had ZERO creativity, but paid well. I reached a pivotal point in my career there and finally listened to my (entrepreneurial) heart and decided to pursue my passions for brand building, design and social responsibility.

Prior to moving to upstate NY, I lived, went to college, and worked in Boston for 8 years. I graduated from MassArt with a fashion design degree then worked directly for Polo Jeans Company in an innovative marketing/merchandising role in one of their top selling doors - Macy's Boston, until their acquisition by Ralph Lauren. Then I worked at Hearts on Fire, a diamond jewelry company, where I started as an Executive Assistant and later developed social responsibility programming. Both of these experiences unearthed my love for branding and for working for passionate businesses with socially responsible practices.

virginia-razimus

Q: What inspired you to start making jewelry?

A: Two things, really. One, I wanted to design something totally unique and innovative that I could build an eco-friendly brand around. And two, COMFORT! I love wearing jewelry but was getting so tired of big metal, layered metal, noisy metal, uncomfortable metal, poorly made non-metal, and clasps that required an assistant to put on and take off. Because I'm in my element working with fabrics, I decided to start experimenting with using fabrics to create the bands and have evolved from 3+ hour labor, hand-beaded cuffs to completely unique and recognizable fabric designs. These are perfect for layering (and wearing comfortably ALL DAY!) and the design has a locking magnetic clasp that you can maneuver one-handed. (Woohoo!)

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Q: Describe Razimus Jewelry in five words or less.

A: Handmade, Comfortable, Sustainable, Fabric, Jewelryrazimus-neck-to-wristwear

Q: What is your goal for Razimus Jewelry in 2016?

A: GoalS - with an S :-) - we love them! In 2016 we are focusing on getting Razimus Jewelry out in front of MORE passionate customers so they can see, feel and share our unique designs with their friends. In the works, we are building a super fun commissioned rep program for hosting private trunk shows (psst...join our mailing list {http://eepurl.com/bhYQ_1} to be one of the first to know when it launches).

And we will be introducing a collaborative capsule collection with another amazing jewelry designer - available Spring 2016 - that includes some never before seen designs and products, as well as working to make our packaging even more eco-friendly.

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Thanks for reading this interview with Virginia from Razimus Jewelry. Shop bracelets, necklaces, and neck-to-wristwear combo pieces. The pieces currently in stock are from Razimus's 2015 Wanderer Collection...so perfect for our shop!


An Interview With Laura from Wander January 14, 2016 15:33

In 2016, I'm kicking off a new, weekly feature on the Wander blog. In the past I've introduced you to the makers at Wander by telling you what I love about them. But now I'll be twisting things around a bit, and asking each maker four simple questions. These questions are meant to help you get to know them better and introduce you to their products, inspiration and goals for 2016.

To start this series, I interviewed myself. Here goes nothing!

laura-wander-booth

Q:  What did you do before founding Wander?

A: I was Director of Marketing for Mariposa, a tableware and gift brand. Part of my role was working with boutique owners to promote Mariposa products in their stores. I gained a lot of inspiration from these amazing small business owners, as well as the owner of Mariposa--she started her business years ago, in her parent's garage. I also helped them create and launch an e-commerce website. Many things I did and learned at Mariposa helped me to become a successful small business owner myself.

Q: What inspired you to build the Wander Truck?

A: I had always been interested in owning my own boutique, but was afraid of the investment that comes with launching a brick & mortar store. I stumbled across a blog post on mobile retailers and was immediately obsessed, emailing my husband that day to tell him my new career plan. I think he thought I wanted to buy a food truck!

The idea for the American made goods aspect of Wander came shortly after. I had been attending trade shows for my old job which introduced me to many great makers. I loved learning the stories of how their businesses got started!

So when deciding what to sell at Wander it came down to the fact that I wanted to work with other passionate, small business owners. Not large companies that were mass producing products. I love being able to show a customer a product and say, "That's made by Karrie. She's from Missouri and used to work in advertising before she found her passion for textile design."

Q: Explain Wander in five words or less.

A: American made boutique on wheels.

Q: What is your goal for Wander in 2016?

A: Introduce more people to Wander! Once the Winter hibernation is over, I plan to take the Wander Truck to more events, events in different areas of Massachusetts, and to set up in Boston during the week. Follow Wander on Instagram or Facebook to see where we are set up every day!

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Thanks for reading this interview and be sure to check out next week's interview with Razimus Jewelry Founder Virginia Fretto.

 


2015 Fun Facts - A Year in Review December 30, 2015 14:32

2015 was an amazing year for Wander. Simply because it was the beginning. This little business of mine has come so far. And I have some big goals for 2016, so get ready to see more of the big white truck!

And because I love lists, here is a list of Wander fun facts from the year.

Date Wander Truck was purchased: March 28, 2015. Bye-bye FedEx, hello American made goods!

 wander-truck-purchase

Number of trips to the hardware store during the truck conversion: 27

wander-hardware-store

Date of first sale: Thursday, March 20, 2015 - Thanks, Patti!

Date of official launch for www.wandertruck.com: Thursday, March, 26, 2015

Number of customers who visited the Wander Truck in 2015: Too many to count. I loved meeting every one of you, thank you all for your business, and can't tell you how much it means when I see customers come back to shop two, three, four, even five times at Wander!

wander-truck-customers

Best selling product: Massachusetts String Art - This one is shocking even to me. To date, I have sold 158 pieces of art. You guys really love your state!

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Number of makers represented at Wander: 54 - That is 54 incredible, talented, makers! More to come in 2016.

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States sourced from: 20 - CA, FL, GA, IL, LA, ME, MD, MA, MN, MO, MT, NY, NC, OK, OR, PA, TN, TX, WI & Washington DC

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Truck in inches: 276" bumper to bumper (23 feet).

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Number of times parallel parked: 2. There's no picture of this. I was probably too busy having a panic attack.

Miles put on truck on 2015: 2,253

Number of times towed (ouch): 1 - When the tire exploded coming home from Freeport, Maine.

wander-truck-towed

Cities & towns where Wander popped up: Boston, Newburyport, North Reading, Andover, Brimfield, Freeport (ME), Salisbury, Rockingham (NH), Lowell, Wellesly, Walpole, and Somerville. (Get yours on the list for 2016, email us at hello@wandertruck.com with your ideas!)

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Number of times rained out: 1 - In June at the South End Open Market

wander-in-rain

Highest temperature survived: 95 degrees in Brimfield, Massachusetts on September 8, 2015. Second place happened the next day with 92 degrees on September 9, 2015. (Thanks to the shoppers who braved the heat!)

Here I am sweating with my helper, Marielle, who went above and beyond that day!

brimfield-sweating

Cutest visitor to the Wander Truck: Adam's adorable Golden Retriever puppy. This was the day they brought him home.

wander-cutest-visitor

Wander Employee of the Month: 6 months running...though he gets paid mainly in free lunches from the nearest food truck.  Big clap for my brother, Keegan.

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That's it for this year's fun facts. It's been a wild drive. Now cheers to a successful year ahead!

wander-cheers


Shop Small - Support the Makers November 27, 2015 11:52

Celebrate Small Business Saturday all weekend long. Spend $75 and receive a free Restrung Leather Eternity Bracelet, made in New Orleans, LA, from recycled guitar strings.
Valid Friday, 11/27 through Monday, 11/30.

One per person, while supplies last. Valid online and in person. Visit us at the BUST Holiday Craftacular Boston on Saturday & Sunday, 11 - 6.


Packing for Thanksgiving in Vermont November 24, 2015 11:47

We are thrilled to be featured on Jessica's Thanksgiving Packing List post today on her gorgeous Boston-based blog: Oh, I Design.

Read the full post: http://ohidesignblog.com/what-i-am-packing-for-vermont

We met Jessica on Instagram and just love her style. Her blog is a creative outlet for all things design and lifestyle, focusing on interiors. It is also home base for her business Oh, I Design Studio which specializes in interiors, as well as photoshoot and event styling.

We love connecting with creatives in Massachusetts which is why we are so happy that Jessica included our Cordito Cord Wrap, Ceramic Water Bottle, and Black & Brass Stud Set in her holiday packing.

Wishing Jessica and all our Wander friends and family a very happy Thanksgiving! Here's to safe travels and tasty turkey...cheers!


Wander & All New American November 02, 2015 08:23

Great news! Wander is today's Featured Monday Maker on All New American!

The writers from All New American first learned about Wander when we participated in American Field Boston back in September.

wander-american-field

American Field was a great event that highlighted only makers and businesses producing and selling goods made in the USA.

I am thrilled to have connected with All New American through this event. Not only am I completely flattered that they wanted to highlight my business, but their blog has also quickly become a must-read for me.

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Be sure to check them out every Monday as they continue to highlight amazing American makers!


Tour the Truck - Update October 28, 2015 12:40

In June, I posted the inaugural tour of the Wander Truck. Most of the photos were shot at our first event at the South End Open Market. It was a rainy June day (cue white-knuckle driving of the truck from my house to Boston). Since then I've accumulated a lot more photos of the wandering, white wagon and thought now would be a good time to share.

Here is the exterior (shot at Pettengil Farm after the Vintage Bazaar).

wander-truck-pettengil-farm

And again at American Field (just love the Americana-inspired banner hanging overhead).

wander-truck-american-field

Shoppers enter the truck from the back, and that's also where the checkout station is located.

wander-truck-entrance

wander-truck-entrance

The left side of the truck has a bench seat and place for blankets and other cozy home accessories.

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And a newly installed gallery wall for hand-lettered prints.

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Further back is a shelf that holds a mix of paper goods, home decor and accessories.

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The back houses the pallet table that I built with my brother's help. The mix of products on the table changes, but we usually have some artwork hanging above it.

truck-back-wall

wander-truck-back-table

The right, side wall always has a colorful row of hanging scarves and leather bags.

scarves

wander-truck-scarves-bags

Next to that is the jewelry counter, with an evolving assortment of jewelry handcrafted from brass, silver, gold, nautical rope, guitar strings, beads and more.

wander-truck-jewelry-counter

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And then there is the last section of the truck, which holds more of our classic leather totes or beach bags, depending on the season.

wander-truck-bag-wall

Want to see the truck in person? Check out our upcoming stops on the Wander Truck Calendar, or bring the truck to you by hosting a Shop & Snack event.

 


Meet Amano Studio October 26, 2015 17:11

If you've shopped at Wander lately you may have noticed a new jewelry brand, Amano Studio.

Amano-Studio

Amano Studio is an indie jewelry brand from Sonoma, California. Seana Pedelaborde founded Amano Trading Company (a fair trade imports company) in 1997 to earn a little money while exploring her love of travel in Mexico.

Seana-Amano-Studio

After a decade of importing Seana realized it was possible to produce beautiful, high quality jewelry (at a reasonable price) at home in the USA. From there Amano Studio was born. 

Today, Amano is comprised of a small team of artisans, lead by Seana. Their jewelry infuses a modern aesthetic with vintage style.

amano-studio

They often revive antique molds when casting new pieces, like the Bronze Age Needle Necklace. 

Bronze Needle Necklace

And they have an incredible collection of arrow pieces...which fit right in at Wander!

amano-arrow

Shop their full line on the website, or visit Wander at an upcoming pop-up shop!

Photos courtesy of Amano Trading Company.


Shop & Snack | Joining Forces with Lollycake Ladies October 18, 2015 11:59

I'm thrilled to announce a new partnership with Lollycake Ladies. Just in time for the holiday shopping season, we've joined forces to bring you a new way to score your favorite American made home goods, gifts and accessories, along with absolutely delicious cake pops, cookies and cupcakes. Introducing the Shop & Snack event!

shop-and-snack-photo

Marielle, the owner of LCL, was my college roommate years ago at UMass Amherst, and since then we have both left behind our corporate marketing gigs to pursue our small business passions.

Just like the Wander Truck, you can find LCL set up at numerous farmer's markets and outdoor festivals around Massachusetts. And once you taste her cake pops, there's no turning back. My favorite is the oreo flavor!

So send an email to laura@wandertruck.com to learn more about how you can bring a Shop & Snack event to your home or office.

Basically all you need is a level parking lot or driveway (that is two car-lengths long), 10 or more enthusiastic friends or co-workers, and a 3 hour time frame. We'll roll in, set up, and then the shopping and snacking begins.

Help your friends and co-workers tackle their holiday shopping list without braving the mall. Give gifts made by talented artisans from across the USA. Treat yourself to something sweet, or bring home home a gift box of cake pops for holiday guests.

Plus spend $30 or more on the Wander Truck and receive a free cake pop!


August: In Pictures September 01, 2015 13:12

I enjoyed reflecting on July in pictures so I'm continuing the idea in August. Hope you like it as much as I do.

But first, a little side note: As the Summer winds down I'm looking back at all that was accomplished with Wander and the Wander Truck these last few months and I'm overwhelmingly grateful. Grateful to the family and friends who helped make the Truck a reality, especially my brother Keegan; grateful to all the shoppers who climb aboard each week and seem genuinely excited to shop on a truck and discover amazing products and makers; and most of all grateful to my husband who supported my idea to quit my full-time job in May and launch Wander. It's been a wild ride, and one that I'm sure will continue into Fall, the rest of 2015, and beyond!

 

 Thanks for looking! Now, on to September. Sure to be another crazy month, filled with lots of new events and experiences!


Meet Jenny Highsmith August 25, 2015 12:22

Jenny Highsmith's hand lettered prints have become a staple on the Wander Truck.

A selection of her prints hang on a ladder outside the truck at most stops and people constantly walk by and point, smile or laugh at the phrase that resonates most with them.

Lately the favorite has been this one:

Sound like your Friday night?

Jenny got started in 2013. She was newly married and she and her husband had just moved into a new apartment. They didn't have much money for decorating the walls, so she decided to create art.

She loved the results and so did her friends and family. They started requesting prints and finally it got to the point where she opened an online shop.

But she is not just a lettering expert, she is also one half of the creative powerhouse behind the Atlanta-based blog, Maiedae.

Along with her business partner and best friend, Savannah Wallace, the two provide professional creative services and write about motherhood, faith, family, beauty and giving yourself an extra dose of needed love. I heart today's post about giving yourself a style refresher.

Jenny's prints focus on inspiring quotes and messages. She hopes they serve as a "positive voice in your head when there are none."  So if your home or confidence are in need of a little boost, consider making one yours.

They sell for $15 in the Wander online shop or on the truck. We also offer all styles framed in reclaimed barn wood frames for $34. And we're thrilled to carry some limited edition quotes and phrases, found only at Wander!