Wanderlust – we’re all guilty of experiencing this feeling. As a 20something-year-old, our desire to travel and explore the world is almost entirely unavoidable. If I had it my way, I would be in the Yosemite Valley right now, camping somewhere in the mid-west or swimming through a natural spring in northern Florida. Oh how I lust for you, Mother Nature.
For some, this feeling of wanderlust is just too much to bear. So what do you do when you can’t get up and travel? Start your own online store, duh. Marisa Folz, owner of The Wander Shop, walked us through her personal journey to how she got to where she is now. Come celebrate the unknown, fashionably! Tunes provided for your adventure ahead.
20Something: Tell me a bit about the Wander Shop. How did this all begin?
Marisa Folz: The Wander Shop is an online and pop up shop featuring women’s and men’s apparel, accessories and lifestyle items. We strive to have something for everyone and to inspire our wanderers to step outside of their comfort zone in what they wear.
I majored in event planning at UCF and pursued my degree working for a destination management company in south Florida. I quickly realized that the 9-5 job in a cubicle was not for me. I had way more fun dressing up for the job than I did doing the job. I grew up in retail as my mom went to fashion school, had her own clothing line and owned three awesome stores. She retired her stores after 20 years and started a little store online. I got most of the inspiration from her. As every day passed in my little cubicle and being super stressed about something I wasn’t passionate about gave more and more thought about quitting and starting an online shop. I reserved the domain name and a few more months went by till I finally decided that I was going to quit my job and pursue this journey.
How did you come up with the name for your shop?
MF: I have always loved to travel. I never got much of a chance to travel much in my childhood so I used a lot of my free time in college to go anywhere that I could. I never let an opportunity pass me. I wanted to incorporate my wanderlust into the shop. I also knew that I didn’t want to be just an online shop but I also didn’t want to have a brick and mortar. The idea behind being a pop up shop is that we are a “wandering” shop. Therefore, The Wander Shop.
Can you give me the 411 on you and your partner behind the brand?
MF: My mom was always in on this with me from the start. As we started getting more serious about actually doing this, I was telling friends about the idea to see what they thought. This is when Jon came into the picture. He loved the idea and between all three of us we decided let’s seriously just do it! My mom is definitely our basis, being there to guide us throughout this venture with all of her prior experience. We all share equal parts of the business and have our own roles and responsibilities.
What has been the biggest obstacle starting this project? How long has it been up for now?
MF: The biggest obstacle starting this project is definitely that there isn’t enough time in a day. My mom helps my dad run his business, Jon works at Neiman Marcus and I have three other part time jobs working for Free People, Lagunitas Brewery and my dad’s business.
We launched the website and had our grand opening pop-up shop on Aug. 30, 2015.
What influences your selection of clothing to have available on your site?
MF: The selection of clothing is a reflection on all of our own personal styles. We wouldn’t put anything on the site that we wouldn’t want to wear our self. Being located in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., we incorporate a lot of surf/beachy style inspired items, but we all add our own twist. Jon loves urban and street wear, my mom has a little preppy in her and I am very boho-chic inspired.
From a fashion perspective, what can our readers expect to see from you in the future?
MF: We are always looking for new places to pop up and expand our customer base. Eventually, we would love to get an airstream trailer or truck to have the shop inside of, making it a lot easier to travel the shop around. We are constantly looking for ways to evolve and narrow the scope of our brand.