Meet the Maker Series: Wild & Wolf
This design forward brand brings whimsy and wonder to their product. Learn more about this maker in our interview below!
How did Wild & Wolf get started?
We started out in 2005 in the historic city of Bath, in the UK, which is where you’ll find our headquarters today. In our first tiny office, we identified a gap in the market for garden tools that were functional but that also made beautiful gifts. Wrapped in pretty floral prints, our innovative 6-in-1 Hammer Tools, trowels and shears soon attracted the attention of the V&A, the world’s leading Museum of Art & Design, and we collaborated on our first licensed product program creating a range of tools featuring iconic prints from the archive of William Morris, William Kilburn and others.
Where do you find inspiration for your products?
We take inspiration from everywhere! There’s the inspiration we get from research and data, such as pouring over trend forecasts, looking for emerging trends in fashion, visiting leading design shows around the world as well as looking on social media. The more fun way is when inspiration strikes when we least expect it: out and about for a walk and spotting some architecture, a pattern, a texture, a color palette, anything visually interesting that inspires us in our daily lives. For example, the palm leaf print on our Pretty Useful Tools packaging was the result of a jolt of inspiration from one of the team’s designers whilst out on a stroll in an urban city centre!
Tell us about your design-forward thinking approach to developing products?
Rather than creating products for the sake of it, we pride ourselves in our thoughtful approach, both in terms of the materials we choose and the function and utility that the product offers. Our products are often described as being a perfect marriage of style and substance. In the early days of Wild & Wolf we often made reference to the William Morris quote “Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful.” This quote still resonates with us today, so much so that we have it printed on our wall!
How do you differentiate your offering from the many gifting items on the market?
We understand that people are navigating very busy lifestyles and therefore we love to develop original, design-led products that offer useful solutions to enhance daily life and solve everyday challenges. When designing our Pretty Useful Tools Credit Card Tool, for example, our talented designers brainstormed 6 key tools that would offer practical uses for the urban young professional. This resulted in a multi-tool with a comb, bottle opener, nail file, box cutter, screwdriver and the ever important emergency hair tie holder!
Since excellent design is at the heart of what we do, we devote just as much time and love to the product packaging as we do to our products. We take an approach of challenging the throwaway giftbox culture by making our packaging part of the gifting experience, which makes it that much more special and considered. This can be seen in our beautiful, premium gift tins that present products such as our Gentlemen’s Hardware Key Multi Tool and our Pretty Useful Tools Credit Card Tool as previously mentioned.
What trends are you currently seeing?
A trend not showing any signs of going away: Avocados! The cute green fruit has steadily remained a favorite over the past few seasons and we just had to join in the fun with Avocado Smash, our fresh take on the popular card game of Snap. Really tapping into the love for Avocados, we went beyond just an ‘Avocado-themed’ game by creating Avocado shaped packaging featuring a lifelike texture that also drove inspiration for the ‘avocado-textured’ playing cards..
Organic, non-toxic, ‘reductarianism’ and vegan design approaches are propelling the trend for “Clean Living”. As people become more concerned about non-toxic ingredients, ethical sourcing and sustainable living, we’re anticipating a rise in products that seek to promote health and actively improve the environment.
We’re also seeing a nostalgic decades influence, mostly in the form of a revival of retro color combinations and 90s inspired typography. This trend was the perfect inspiration when designing our new season’s collection of products for Yes Studio, including our ‘WAKE UP!’ and ‘It’s Not You, It’s Monday’ mugs, ‘Don’t Panic’ notebook and Mixed Emotions Club double-ended nail varnishes.
There is currently a huge trend for products that are designed specifically with social media in mind: creating that eye-catching and scroll-stopping product that is totally Instagrammable. Products, for example, with a beautiful design aesthetic that lend themselves to the popular Instagram flatlay and that feature snappy or fun captions, like our ‘Feminist’ and ‘I Did Not Wake Up Like This’ mugs from Yes Studio.
When developing new brands, what key qualities are important for you to consider?
We love the detail of crafting thoughtful products that spread happiness, mean more, and live longer. We aim to create thoughtful gifts for every occasion – ones that you’ll be as excited to give as you are to receive. It’s very important that our new brands fit our Wild & Wolf umbrella brand’s ethos and values: creativity, innovation, approachability, integrity and above all excellent design. We also put a lot of thought into the individual brand’s identity: for example Yes Studio, our vibrant brand with something to say! The hallmarks of Yes Studio are the sassy and playful messages on drinkware, stationery and beauty accessories that help you to say it loud, proud, and like you mean it!!
What do you envision for Wild & Wolf in the future?
Our ultimate goal is to become the world’s most thoughtful gifting company. Whether you’re looking for a unique gift for a friend, something special for a family member or a fun new toy or game to excite a little one, we want Wild & Wolf to be the preferred choice, and a household name for unique, design led gifts. Being a creator of gifts is such a privilege because it means that we’re able to help people spread joy and happiness to friends and family. We envision a future where hopefully, when it comes time to buy a gift for a loved one for their birthday, Valentine’s Day, Christmas or any other gifting time, Wild & Wolf will be top of mind as a one stop shop for the perfect gift for everyone, from a stylish and functional unique tool, to a beautiful, sustainably-sourced children’s toy, and everything in between.