Introducing the Creative Director behind the label.
The name of my label Where The Wilde Things Are invites a lot of comment from my customers for a number of reasons. By coincidence, The Olinda shop is in premises which used to be a book shop, which, I am told, sold the book by the same name. As Wilde is my family name I have loved being able to incorporate it into my business name, as a way of paying homage to my Grandfather, who was my guiding light and helped me set my moral compass and establish business principles. Migrating from England to Australia, with my Grandmother, in the 1920s, he would travel to country towns on his motorbike during the Great Depression, to sell insurance policies to the farmers and come home with the luxury of fresh farm produce to feed his family. Over time the motorbike gave way to a car and the travelling salesman established his own insurance company on Queen Street in Melbourne, doing business on the strength of a handshake and the bond of his word. He also became a Justice of the Peace and in the 1950s, helped survivors of the Holocaust migrate to and settle in Melbourne. My Grandfather's motto was Determination Defies Defeat, which has stayed with me my whole life leading to my mantra "Never Give Up". I lost him when I was 23 and have worn his ring every day since to remind me of all that he stood for.
As travel has always been one of my most favourite things to do, it was fitting that my business started because of a life changing moment when I saw the Great Pyramids of Giza and the Sphinx in 1989. It hit me at that moment that my job wasn't making me happy and I needed to follow my creative passions. During that trip I found wonderful textile and jewellery treasures in markets throughout Egypt and was lucky enough to have some lessons from local weavers. After several weeks in Egypt on an archaelogical tour with a solo side trip to Kenya, I returned home to Australia, resigned and my business was born. Customers who visit Olinda may notice the posters behind the counter from this trip. They are there to remind me everyday of why I love what I love and have led to some wonderful conversations of shared travel experiences.
Everytime I travel, I source new and beautiful handmade treasures from local makers, to bring back for my customers. Now that our borders are reopening, we can all start to plan our travels again and I was so fortunate to travel to Fiji last month, browse the few markets that have started to reappear and meet some of the beautiful women who support their families through their handicrafts, some of which are now in store, just waiting for you to visit.
Our Olinda store is a wonderful world of handmade treasures from near & far, as well as a showcase for my Wilde At Heart studio label of headpieces & jewellery. It is an eclectic mix of all my favourite things, including our own candle label with scents named after fave travel destinations, where you can also find handmade dog treats, so please bring your fur friends with your too, so we can offer them a special treato.
PS. This is one of my favourite beaches and I'm happy to say it's on our shores. Wategos Beach in Byron is where I met my friend the seagull.