I’m back with a Review + Reveal with The Wild – makers of kids apparel and accessories! This time I am extra excited because not only is this shop CANADIAN, but they are based less than an hour from me within Ontario! They could basically be considered local, which is pretty amazing. Being Canadian and local is only the tip of the iceberg with this shop. Owned by a husband and wife team (Billy and Adriane), the designs they create are all monochrome, and they’re mostly adorable little animals! You know how much I love all things monochrome and adorable little animals… I mean, who doesn’t right now!?
My favourite thing to dress B in on a daily basis is leggings or shorts and a tee. It’s comfiest for her, she can play without the restriction of tight or frilly clothing, and she can just focus on being a kid. I generally buy B her tees from online shops with cute, gender neutral, screen printed designs on them, or from the boys section of brick and mortar shops. Don’t get me wrong, I love lace, and silk, and frills like the next mama. But I feel better knowing she is comfortable above all else – mad style is just a bonus!
Since I’m such a big fan of tees, you are likely to notice that we have a lot of them, and that I will be featuring shops that have them. They all ultimately do the same thing (design tees!), however no two are the same. You’re probably wondering what I mean by that, and all I mean is that the shop designs their tees, prints their tees, and sells their tees. Some shops do their own screen printing. Some shops have pros take care of it. Either way, the most important things when buying screen printed tees are the following:
- a unique/cute design
- softness of the material
- quality of the print
The Wild is ON POINT for all three.
Their hand drawn designs focus on simplicity – quality over quantity. Adriane has a background in painting, so it doesn’t surprise me how amazing these designs are! Since 2014 she has successfully created characters that have a recognizable style, fit well together, and engage both the wearer and those around them. I like designs with focus that aren’t super busy because B can grab her shirt, understand what she is seeing, and say “bunny!”. They have really sweet animals like porcupines, bunnies, owls, octopuses, and many, many more. You can view a photo list all of their available designs here (which is a really cool feature that I’ve never seen a shop do before!).
The designs are screen printed on American Apparel pieces. I can’t get enough of AA – it’s the highest quality, softest cotton I have ever found, personally, so whenever I see that a shop uses AA pieces, I tend to stick them on the favourites list. I’m talkin’ so soft you could snuggle it kind of material!
A big bonus about The Wild is that they print their designs themselves using non-toxic, water based inks. Yep. They do it all themselves. This is amazing! I mentioned above that some shops do and some shops don’t, and I don’t judge either way, but I am always super impressed by the ones that do it all (and also envious!).
Oh, and try not to get too excited guys, but they also sell their designs on ADULT tees, bags, bibs, and stuffed friends!
Get to know more about this amazing shop and the family behind it below, and don’t forget to find The Wild on social media:
Tell us a little bit about yourself!
I’m Adriane, the mom behind The Wild, a brand of modern, unisex apparel for little ones. I have two sweet boys of my own, Benjamin and Sawyer, and I’m married to my best friend, Billy. Together we juggle the business and our little family here in Hamilton, Ontario.
Tell us a little bit about your company – How did it come to be?
When our oldest was born, I knew right away that I wanted to be home for him. Being a very career-minded person, I wanted to find a way to be home for him (and now Sawyer) while also having a creative outlet that would also allow me to help support our family financially. I’ve always loved to paint and draw, and I wanted something that would also involve the kids and get them excited. So, one by one each character in The Wild was born. Together with the kids we chose which animals to add, named them, and it just sort of grew from there! We started out with clothing for babies, kids, as well as some accessories like soft toys, bandana bibs, and totes, and we’ve recently added parent/kid sets. We have a lot more we have planned for The Wild too!
What have you learned since you opened your business?
For one, it’s incredibly hard. The balance struggle is real and I never get it right, and I feel guilty about that all the time. But, I can only do my best, so I just try to get as much work done as I can while remembering that my family ALWAYS comes first. That was the whole point and I never want to lose sight of that. So if that means my lead times are longer, so be it. I’m a mom first, always.
What is your biggest tip for someone interested in starting their own business?
Just start. There will never be a perfect time, the stars will never align. I went to a business program to help me refresh my marketing diploma while Sawyer was still nursing and my mom and husband had to juggle the kids between their work schedules. It was crazy. But I just did it and it was the best thing I ever did!
What does a day in your life look like?
Well, we wake up as early as possible because my children insist on that (ha ha) so I try to make breakfast for them while I’m half asleep and waiting for my tea kettle to boil. If I have a ton of printing to do that day I may work in the morning for a while or the afternoon, never both. If I work in the morning, the kids ‘help’ me at my printing table (we talk about each character as I print it and guess what the next one will be, and they will also colour or play while I do that). Then in the afternoon it will be family time, so we might play in the backyard, or go to the park, or run errands. Evenings are very low-key, dinner, baths, etc. And I try to get as much work done as I can after they are in bed. Also, I never sleep. What is sleep, anyway? 😉
Who inspires you?
My boys inspire me constantly, and seeing them paying outside, that’s when they are most excited and happy. When we take the kids down to the waterfront in our city, and they are running through the woods and throwing rocks in the water, that’s my time. I feel overwhelmed with inspiration and I have so many ideas for The Wild. I’m also so inspired by other families that I see on Instagram, seeing them with their little ones, that time is so precious and the imaginations of children amaze me. Together with my boys we will look at one of our characters and we will create an entire story about them. They don’t need the story all made for them, they can create it all on their own.
Don’t forget to check out The Wild shop here!