When I first started this blog, back in 2009, I never thought that I would regularly be featuring local Devon-based businesses. But over the past few years I have come across an increasing number of inspiring companies right here on my doorstep. The latest company that I want to introduce you to is called Wanderlust Wares. It is run by a lovely lady called Wendy who lives just down the road from me here in Devon.
I first met Wendy in hospital, just after my second daughter was born. We were on the same ward for a day or two as my daughter had lost a bit too much weight and her son had come a little too early. We then bumped into each other again at the local children’s centre where we went to get our babies weighed. And now our children go to the same pre-school.
Weirdly though, I had no idea that Wendy ran an online homewares store until I came across her on Instagram. Funny how that tends to happen. I’ve discovered some great local brands on Instagram. Anyway, I love Wendy’s store and I thought you might too. So I asked Wendy to take part in an interview so that we could all learn a little bit more about Wanderlust Wares.
Can you tell us a little about yourself and your background?
After studying Textile Design at Chelsea Art School I started working for Primark as a Trainee Fashion Buyer. After five years in the buying industry here I took off travelling and ended up in Sydney. I continued as a Fashion Buyer, met my husband and had our first child over there. We lived there for 13 years and came back here to live in beautiful Devon a few years ago.
How did you end up living and working in Devon?
We wanted to live somewhere really beautiful on our return to the UK, so as soon as we arrived back we bought a caravan and travelled around the South West for three months over the Summer and fell in love with the South Hams area.
What do you like most about living and working in Devon?
The beauty of the countryside and being surrounded by water. I also love the flexibility of having my own business as I now have two children, and can do the school run and activities as I can work anytime of the day.
When did you first discover your love of design and what are your earliest memories of design?
Well like most young girls, I grew up loving fashion and reading all the magazines but I guess it wasn’t till I studied for my Arts Foundation course that I really fell in love with visual design and carried that through to my degree in Textile design.
Can you tell us about Wanderlust Wares and how it started?
Work opportunities for Fashion Buyers are scarce down here so I knew my career was going to change. I’ve always loved homewares and design and was always online looking at retailers from around the world and loving what I saw. I decided to set up Wanderlust Wares as both a new career focus and an opportunity to solely concentrate on items and brands that I loved and believed in.
What can people expect to find when browsing the Wanderlust Wares website?
Hopefully some beautiful things for their home or themselves! I also love colour and we have a lot of that!
How and where do you source the products that you sell?
Living in Australia I had some brands like Uashmama that I wanted to bring over here, as even though its an Italian company they have a few amazing shops in Sydney. I’ve travelled to the US and Morocco to source, although that was put on hold for a while as two months after starting Wanderlust I fell pregnant with my second son! I also attend trade shows and the internet allows me to source product when I have less time to travel due to my kids schooling needs.
What is your favourite product that you stock and why?
Oh gosh its so hard to say as I love them all for different reasons.. Uashmama is my obsession I guess, its totally additive and I have them all over the house. Babatree baskets are just so beautiful because of the weaving and colour combinations. At the moment I am loving the rattan baskets we are selling and that are doing so well.
What are your top tips for incorporating beautiful travelled objects into your home?
Buy it when you see it! If you love something so much and can afford it, don’t hesitate to buy it, even if you don’t have immediate space for it. We bought a beautiful Indian peacock mirror years ago in Sydney and had it under the bed for years until we had the right space in the right house for it. There was also a beautiful stained glass lamp in India, which I made my husband carry around in his rucksack on our honeymoon! That way you can build a really eclectic home with items you love.
What are your long-term goals for Wanderlust Wares and do you have any exciting plans?
I really just want it to grow and keep sourcing new things that people love. I have two young kids so I have them to think of with any expansion plans. This year is about sourcing new products and getting out to some festivals in the Summer so we can combine work and some family fun!
A huge thanks to Wendy for giving us some insights into her beautiful business. Above you can see a tiny selection of the amazing products that Wendy sells in her online store. As you can see, all these products are perfect for the ‘Global Nomad‘ trend I wrote about last week. So, if like me, you’d like to bring this trend into your home this season, Wanderlust Wares should definitely be on your shopping list.