Posted 19th June
We talk to Wendy Miller of Wandering Bee, to find out a bit about the brand, how she got into accessories and more
Tell us about Wandering Bee - how did you come up with the name and what sets it apart from the other brands out there?
It took a while to come up with the name but I am 100 per cent happy with Wandering Bee, as it’s so personal to me. Wendy also has the meaning: Wanderer.
The Bee is for two reasons; firstly because I absolutely love honey (I have it with everything, it would be my one item I would choose for a desert island), and secondly, because bees are such an intrinsic part of our being and are found all over the world. I wanted my brand to be worldwide and this gave me the scope to sell items far and wide.
It’s important to have good quality products, made to last the test of both fashion and time (it's also important to ensure they won’t look worn out before their time). My accessories are a good choice for all ages of women and make great gifts. It's particularly important to me to keep the price reasonable, as it makes them more available to all.
How did you get into accessories?
I've always loved accessories! As a farmer’s daughter, I would be found walking around the farm from a young age, with my carpet underlay shawl, or at a ploughing match or market wearing hats, scarves and about 10 necklaces at once! My grandmother was a huge influence on my love of vintage fur and matching accessories to your outfit. With working life taking me all over the world, I loved looking at shops and magazines to get to see different styles and ideas.
What inspires each new collection?
Inspiration comes from a number of directions - from everyday living to things I see in magazines and travelling. I love to mix colours and textures and try to make the pieces timeless. This way you can wear them year on year while still looking effortlessly chic. It’s nice to have an item which everyone asks where you got it from! The choice is whether you tell them…
What's your current favourite piece?
For the spring a cashmere scarf with a suede trim and tassel - it's great for a chilly evening when you don’t want a jacket, or alternatively, over a jacket for a cool festival look!
For the summer I love the kimonos – they're so versatile! Jeans or shorts with a vest t-shirt just thrown over the top create instant glamour. Alternatively you can wear one over your swimwear to be beach bar ready!
For the winter it has to be the embroidered wool loop with recycled fur trim - it's really warm and the colours are great for brightening up those cold dark evenings. There's also the added bonus of each one being unique.
What advice would you give someone thinking of starting out in accessories?
Do your homework as it's highly competitive! Products are so much more accessible with the internet so you need to have an edge, price is so important too. It’s important to listen to your customers and get their feedback.
I think if you start small, give it a try. I have to say I haven’t regretted it but I have made mistakes - that’s sometimes how you learn.
You can find out more about Wandering Bee here.
Photographs by Lens & Hound