Been waiting for this. The festive gifting ready, dream stocking filler or under the tree surprise worthy new collection from Wolf Circus has arrived, but you'll have to be quick before we grab it all for ourselves. We've been head over heels for this female-run brand since they joined the store last year because, well, it's hard not to get behind jewellery that makes you feel special on the daily. We felt like the treasure hunt was over when we crossed paths. This special brand is based in Vancouver, and everything - from design right through to shipping - is done in-house there. They embrace femininity in whatever form that suits you best 'with pieces for you, whoever you choose to be' and we feel exactly that when we wear their demi-fine jewelry.
Each and every piece is hand fabricated or cast using the lost-wax casting process from either recycled sterling silver or recycled bronze that is coated in a high grade 14k gold plating. Facts and figures aside, this brand is a powerful force of good, with strong social justice and acceptance messaging throughout their campaigns and a proudly inclusive approach to everything they put out. Despite being bang in the middle of a busy season, founder Fiona found the time to chat with us about what gets her going and why she backs a sustainable approach to jewellery design.
How and why did it all get started with Wolf Circus?
Being a jewellery designer was not in my initial career plans but I was always interested in design and creating. It all started with some wire wrapped crystal necklaces and feather earrings which I had purchased from a local gem store. I initially began selling them to my friends at my University campus and then to local boutiques. Everything I learned to begin Wolf Circus was from Youtube.
Can you explain the meaning behind your brand name?
At the time I began the brand I was very into vintage wolf t-shirts. The word circus because when I told my dad he said 'anything you do will turn into a bit of a circus' and that's how our name came to be!
What does a normal working day look like for you?
It all depends on the time of year and what we're working on. Most days it's coming in early with a coffee in hand hoping to get through all the emails and ensure everything at the office is running smoothly. As the owner I have to be a jack of all trades as best I can and jump into lots of aspects of the business. During design time we're usually playing with chains and samples, drawing sketches and testing things out. The office usually gets a little messy during design periods with chains, beads and prototypes everywhere. Design periods are definitely the most fun but also the most stressful.
Can you share one thing you prioritise doing each day?
A coffee and going for a walk, or trying to get some exercise. Thankfully Vancouver has really beautiful outdoors close by!
What do you do to remain inspired to create?
When I have a lot of other things on my plate I find it difficult to mentally switch from working through excel spreadsheets to jumping into designing. I find that I need to take a big mental break from my other day to day work to become more grounded so I can switch to my more creative side. I find this best by taking a moment to look through old magazines or art books, playing with our pieces and getting inspired by how they can be worn and looking through vintage jewellery books.
Tell us more about being a female-run brand.
We have been really fortunate that the fashion space we work in is run by a lot of other female business owners. It's been a really supportive and incredible space to work in!
What is the moment you are most proud of as a brand founder?
Seeing customers excited about the brand and love what they buy.
Can you tell us the design story or inspiration behind one of your pieces?
For our most recent collection lots of the inspiration behind the textures actually came from fabric. Characterised by soft, silky folds and organic shapes. We drew inspiration from sartorial pieces of the past, exploring the striking simplicity of texture and form. Gemstones such as emerald, blue zircon, and red topaz colour in the lines of this ethereal collection.
Biggest struggle in running a brand?
Keeping up! And maintaining that work life balance.
Biggest joy in running a brand?
Whilst we're talking about joy, what one song can you not resist dancing to?
Shaka Bundu by Penny Penny is a recent office favourite
What in your view is an ideal future for the world's shopping habits?
Buying more vintage, recycling, re-selling and finding brands focused on the longevity of their pieces.
If you could share one piece of advice, what would it be?
I believe it is really important to have patience and remember that a part of building a brand doesn't mean it will blow-up overnight. Taking the time to build organic growth and really watch who your customer is along the way with plenty of trial and error will create a more sustainable brand in the long run.
Sounds good? It's even better in person. Get browsing the new in Wolf Circus collection, make a wish list and drop those heavy hints. And don't forget free UK shipping on all orders over £150, plus support Social Bite with our charity gift wrap.