Today I am so excited to bring you another Makers for Makers feature! Ashley Turner is the empowering lady behind Run Wild Child Co, a brand that screams adventure through it's unique handmade shirts. I was lucky enough to connect and cross paths with her thanks to the this very community of uplifting souls. What I love most about Ashley is how she is using her spirit to help push others to be as wild and loving with their own lives as she is with hers. Each shirt she produces through her company is designed to help inspire others. We need more people like Ashley in this world with her hard work, commitment to her family, dream chasing abilities, and good-natured heart. Without further ado, here's the story behind this amazing person and company.
TELL US ABOUT YOU AND WHAT YOU DO.
I am the owner/operator of Run Wild Child Co. which, at the moment is a shop of hand printed shirts with designs and sayings that are meaningful to me :) My intention is also to include some other products that are authentic and meaningful to the brand in the new year, but for now it has started out as printed shirts.
WHAT PUSHED YOU TO TURN THIS DREAM INTO REALITY?
I actually came up with the idea for this shop one afternoon while laying in bed with my youngest babe while he napped lol. Originally it started out as an idea for an online shop that retailed other brands (specifically for kids, and not as much for adults). I spent many hours researching other brands I liked that I wanted to include in the shop and then when it came time to execute the whole thing, it didn't feel quite right. So I slowly scrapped the whole idea and decided to start designing my own! And RWCC was born. The shop really started with a 50/50 of kids and adult apparel but is slowly moving toward more and more adult, and less kids. It's fascinating how businesses have a mind of their own, and can direct us in the most miraculous ways if we just let go of control and let things flow.
WHAT IS THE CORE MISSION BEHIND WHAT YOU DO?
The whole idea and feel behind the RWCC brand is to invite adventure, authenticity and also community. My mission behind the product is that it, in some round about way, speaks to everyone in unique aspects of their life where they can relate to others within the words on their shirt. The High Tides shirt originated because I'm from the east coast.We also all have a little wild child in us or a little wanderlust, and this brand seeks to embrace and invite all that in everyone who wears it.
WHAT WAS YOUR BIGGEST OBSTACLE STARTING OUT?
I think trying to nail down what my vision was! When I first came up with the idea, I had no intentions on making my own clothes, and so it took a while to really figure out the vision for the brand, where it was going, and what my intention was for it. I am about 5 months in now and I really feel like I have a clear vision, wonderful connections with other amazing collaborative shops, and a really exciting plan/addition in place for 2017. I guess I don't like to think of it as an obstacle, but more a necessary learning process in order to come to where I am right now and where I am headed! One other thing I have found challenging starting out is to know how much inventory to have on hand! The Black Friday sales, for example, completely caught me off guard being my first one yet, I sold out of a lot of things and potentially lost out on sales because of that. But, once again, a learning curve and a necessary one!
DO YOU HAVE ANY MAKERS THAT HAVE INSPIRED YOU?
Once I started designing and putting those designs on shirts I was really influenced by Hannah And Tisse from @radearthsupply and Lindsey from @mothersunandthecaptain. All three are really badass women, strategic (and in my opinion brilliant) entrepreneurs (and some of the youngest I've met!), and/or moms (which I obviously have a soft spot for), what they do with their brands is incredibly authentic and inspiring. Not to mention, they are within a collection of the sweetest and kindest women who strive to create community and collaboration and not competition. Women who build each other up inspire me. AnnMarie from @threeleavesco is another, who has been supportive in cheering on other like-businesses on the Instagram platform and who is forever a cheerleader in my (and I'm sure other's) corner!
WHAT DOES YOUR TYPICAL DAY AS A MAKER LOOK LIKE?
I am a stay-at-home mom to two little wildlings, who in the beginning were the muse for the whole brand. They keep me incredibly busy but there are a couple days a week where I am without them for part of it and on those days I work on packing and shipping orders, sketching any new designs (or doodling them on my computer), and connecting with a friend of mine in the city who helps me a lot with any digital stuff (turning sketches into digital formats and re-sizing/editing), then restocking or ordering new product. And lately it has been co-creating and business planning for 2017's big spring launch which I'm so excited about, but that's all I'll tell you for now ;)
WHAT DO YOU LOVE MOST ABOUT BEING A MAKER?
I used to own a Yoga Studio here in my hometown, and I decided then that I always wanted to be an entrepreneur. The main reason for that is because I love the flexibility of being able to create whatever I want! The sky is the limit, and while there are definitely strategies for building a brand and developing a following, I truly believe people are here because people are attracted to authenticity, and so being a maker means I have the power to be authentic and true to myself, the power to colour outside the lines, and live outside the box, and change my mind as much as I want to. Being an entrepreneur (and maker) for me means I am in charge of my own fate, and that it's up to me to create something really great...there is a lot of excitement in knowing that.
WHAT ADVICE DO YOU HAVE FOR MAKERS JUST STARTING OUT?
Well, to be honest, I am just starting out, myself! haha, So I'm definitely no expert on that one. But I guess what I have found helpful for me in this whole start-up has been letting go of the control. In five months the business has really morphed and taken on a mind of its own and that could have been really scary had I been fixated in one vision of the truth for the brand. It really became something very different than what I originally set out to do! But I am thankful that I allowed myself space to step back and let the vision slowly manifest. That has made it a really exciting experience so far.