Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Meet Joanna & Ashley // Wild + Bear

Happy February! I'm excited to start the month off with a new shop introduction! I recently came across a super cute shop for kids and immediately thought, "how perfect for my boys!!" I feel like it's super easy to find cute girly things everywhere you go! Classic pieces, trendy pieces, simple, loud, fun, colorful things for girls are at every turn, but for boys... it gets a little tricky. I don't want cheesy, babyish, overdone, threads for them. I like finding unique, playful, simple, modern, witty apparel for boys. That's truly one of the biggest reasons I've enjoyed finding some of these great small shops! There's other moms out there just like me, but they've actually done something about the fact that boy apparel needs some more options! Thankfully Joanna and Ashley joined forces and created Wild + Bear! They have adorable shirts and sweatshirts that say cute things like "beast mode" and "super hero mode" and "wild and free". They know boys and they know their mommas, so basically, they know what they're doing and I'm SO glad they decided to share their vision and creativity with all of us!

Now I'm gonna tell you why this shirt she sent us is perfect and on point :) This boy right here is as rough and tumble as they come. Ok, he might squeal at bugs, but he's a monster truck loving, wrestling, dirt digging, soccer playing, tractor obsessed, high energy, raspy voiced boy! But his long lashes, pretty face, and long hair have strangers confused... very confused! I've thought about cutting his hair, but it's been long for so long now, I'm not wanting to change the way he looks. AND I like that he's "different" and hate the thought of chopping off his locks because of what other people think/say. All the more reason I love this tee!!! There's not a better way to get the message across! Take a look for yourself and better yet, go check out their website to see the other styles they offer!

yup, he's pretty proud of his new tee

c'mon people, get it right ;)

Now that you've gotten a little taste of their cute kids' apparel, Let's meet the ladies behind this rad company! Joanna and Ashley are not only busy mamas to boys, but they are really cool, down to earth, hard working people in addition to that! I'm sure that's why they click so well! Read the short Q&A below to get to know them a little better!

the lovely Joanna and Ashley :)

Where did the name Wild + Bear come from? 

Joanna: Ashley and I have kids' resale shops on Instagram. That's actually how we "met." Her shop is @bestdressedbear and my shop is @shopthewildthings. We merged those names together and came up with Wild + Bear. Also, I call my three boys the "wild things" and Ashley calls her little one "bear" so -- since we're completely inspired by our boys -- it seemed fitting. 


What inspired you to start your own business? 

Joanna: Ashley and I are moms to boys. I have three boys who are 9, 5 and 3 and Ashley has a three-year-old son. Our own sons inspired us to create a line of tees just for boys. We love boys' fashion and dressing our sons in all the latest styles, so we wanted to dream up a line of tees we could see our own boys wearing, inspired by adventure, nature and all those old-fashioned, outdoorsy activities that boys' tend to love. Getting dirty, playing with bugs, being rough and tumble, and just living wildly.  

What is something on your bucket list that you're dying to check off? 

Joanna: I'd love to write a book at some point. It has been and will always be on my bucket list until it's done. 

Ashley: I would love to learn to speak Spanish. I keep trying to find the time to take online classes. Someday, I will! 

How would you describe your own style? 

Joanna: Beachy, bohemian mom. I'm kind of a hippie at heart who grew up on the beaches of Southern California and I would live in flip flops or Birkenstocks if I could, even in winter. I tend to go for comfort over anything "high fashion" and I'm very tall, so you'll probably never see me in a pair of heels. In fact, I don't even own a pair! 

Ashley: I'm a preppy, classic style type of gal, born and raised in Atlanta, Ga. Although, sometimes my best outfits are a mix of a timeless favorite piece from Nordstrom that I've had for years, mixed with a trendy item I picked up at Target! That's when I "fix up"... Lol.  Most days you can find me in work out clothes and sneakers, chasing after my boy!

What does a typical day look like for you? 

Joanna: Mothering three boys: shuttling them around town, to and from different schools, activities and sports, scheduling in some nature walks and hikes as much as we can in between, because we love being outdoors and of course, staying on top of everything it takes to run your own small business with Wild + Bear. So that means, updating our website, packing and shipping orders, invoicing, restocking inventory, communicating with customers and screen printers, collaborating with graphic artists and illustrators, strategizing, marketing, planning, thinking up new designs and everything else "administrative" in between. 

Ashley: I can't do much until I have at least one cup of coffee! Then it's getting my son ready and to school and his afternoon activities, while trying to keep the house in functioning order, and then juggling all the things Joanna said above! Multitasking at it's finest! 

What advice would you give to someone considering taking the jump and starting their own business? 

Joanna: To definitely take the leap and not let fear or all the "what ifs" get in the way or talk you out of it. To not be afraid of failure. To leave your comfort zone and take some calculated risks. It's taken me awhile to realize this, but I'd rather live with failure than with regret. 

Ashley: To go for it. You can start small, and take the steps at your own pace at first. There will never be a perfect time to start, so just do it. If you don't go for it, someone else will.  

What is something super quirky/unexpected about you? 

Joanna: I think the fact that Ashley and I run a business together but live on opposite coasts and have never met in person is pretty quirky and unexpected. Hopefully, we'll change that and get to meet each other one day!
Ashley: Hmmm. I always wear slippers in the house, because my feet are cold all the time! And I love to jam out and play the music in my car loud when I'm by myself! And yes, Joanna and I will meet in person one day! But for now, we will just text and talk every day! 

I'm so amazed that you two have yet to meet in person! That's so cool that you connected through the IG community and started this adventure together! And I love your advice! Just do it, no more holding back! It's great that you had each others support and talents to feed off of as you took the risk of starting your own business! It's so evident how much work and attention to detail is invested in your kids' apparel and shop over all! So honored to feature and reeeaalllyy look forward to seeing how you grow and progress over the coming months! Keep at it ladies! You definitely have something special going on here! 

Joanna and Ashley are feeling the love and are offering a discount of 15% off to all my readers by using the code: LITTLES15. Just go to their website, www.wildplusbear.bigcartel.com and look around! It will expire 5pm EST tomorrow (wed feb4th) so i'd move quick! Also we are running a fun little give-away on my instagram!!! Just to go my feed (@thelittleslife) to check out the details!! It's super easy to enter and you could win a free "all boy" tee from Wild + Bear! Thanks again ladies for sharing with all of us! Looking forward to seeing more of your cute cothes!

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