This blog post marks a memorable moment in my life because it’s the first real slice of time I’ve been able to sit down and fully appreciate that Wild & Free Jewelry is now available through Free People!
It’s been a whirlwind of chaos the past few months. Days passed by in hyper-speed. I feel like I blinked and woke up four months in the future. But the time lapse was oh-so worth it.
Let’s rewind a bit and start from the beginning….
Back in September, a buyer from Free People reached out to me via e-mail. When I received the message I was heading home from Lake Powell and had turned my cell reception back on after forcing myself to spend a week immersed in nature with no social media or work distractions. When I saw the e-mail I nearly dropped my phone. I think I read the message a few times before even accepting the reality that one of my biggest dreams lay just beyond my reach.
First I felt a huge rush of excitement, like I won the lottery and discovered unicorns existed all at once. I wanted to scream, dance and cry at the same time.
Then, a second wave hit me, full of instant anxiety. Anxiety that sunk in so deep, I began to feel like everything I’ve ever done vanished. I tried to imagine fulfilling Free People’s wholesale request and found myself at a loss. I felt like I failed before I even tried.
As many of you know, I run Wild & Free Jewelry alone, and because of my desire to keep the brand intimate and custom made, I don’t compensate for wholesale to retail mark-ups when pricing an item on my website. I also don’t have a manufacturer (since I make everything by hand) and rarely do I create items over a quantity of 5 for bulk orders.
From experience I knew that wholesale accounts are a lot of work, not only physically, but emotionally. It takes all my effort to keep up with website orders flooding in as well as producing a hefty quantity of designs for a wholesale account. I was deeply worried that Free People would change their interest once they realized I am just one girl, working from home and taking daily trips to the post office, not quite as professional as Wild & Free Jewelry may look at first glance.
I took some time to think it over and eventually decided that despite my lack of resources, I had to do everything in my power to make it happen! I adore the brand so much, that whenever I receive one of their catalogs I have to sit down and slowly turn the pages, admiring every inch. I remember setting up my Etsy shop at 19 and thinking to myself that someday I wanted to create something so awesome that it would end up at Free People. This was it! This was the moment it all could come true, there was no way I could let it go now.
So, I explained my situation to the buyer and she responded with an interest in placing an order for units of The Dreamer Mermaid Crown and the Treasure Island Macaw Feather Extensions, a total request for 115 items.
Looking back on the craziness that ensued after I accepted this order, fills me with so much gratitude for the genuine friends in my life who helped make this dream a reality. Gluing shells one by one, cutting leather, cleaning feathers, it was all such a tedious process and I know that without my friends I would have lost my mind. This order was one of the hardest things I’ve done in my entire life, but equally, if not more, rewarding.
The original batch of mermaid crowns sold out on Free People’s site in just under two weeks. I recently made a small amount for them to restock, and to celebrate I took these photographs for FPMe styled with a beautiful gold swimsuit from Siempre Golden.
I once dreamt of seeing my creations among the beautiful collection of Free People. Now, that dream is a reality. What a beautiful coincidence that one of the first items they carry from Wild & Free Jewelry is called “The Dreamer.”Never lose sight of those passions that fuel your soul. Never give up. Work hard, be true, and let the universe unveil all the magic it has to offer.