Instead of slowing down after retiring, Jo Wray kept busy and decided to start two companies: Jo Wray’s Antiques and The Wild Flower Heart. Combining her love of antiques and unique clothing, both of her companies represent Jo in a different way.
The Wild Flower Heart offers handmade in the USA boutique clothing and jewelry that Jo designs herself. Jo’s favorite material to use to make the clothing comes from pre-loved denim jeans, but she also uses vintage materials such as velvet and lace. Most of the jewelry is made from flattened vintage spoons. These materials are sourced from small vintage and antique shops that Jo peruses in her free time.
“Whenever we go on a vacation or take a trip, I search everywhere in between for different thrift shops,” Jo said. “For instance, in September, we went to Montana, Wyoming, and South Dakota. We took a different route on the way back and I hit up all the thrift stores on the way without venturing too far off the path. It’s fun, it’s just like a treasure hunt and I actually have a lot of fun doing what I do.”
Keeping a Strong Online Presence
The Wild Flower Heart has been doing quite well since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic because most of the sales are done online. With the power that online shopping has had throughout the pandemic, retailers who have kept their business running online were not hit as hard as those who did not have a strong online presence.
One of the problems that Jo has encountered with The Wild Flower Heart during the pandemic has been her photo shoots with her clothing. She has done some during COVID-19, but since the models cannot wear masks in the photos, it becomes a safety hazard for everyone involved. A safe way to combat this is before any retailer does a photo shoot for new merchandise, everyone involved should take a COVID test to be sure they do not have the virus. While masks should still be worn when photos are not being taken, it provides a little piece of mind for when the model needs to take off their mask.
COVID-19 has caused many in-person events such as trade shows to be cancelled since it can be difficult to control social distancing with large crowds of people. Jo has also found this difficult with her business during the pandemic, since multiple times a year, she usually purchases a selling booth at outdoor festivals or shows. As events are slowly starting to open back up, Jo has a few on her mind for the new year.
No matter if you sell online or in a brick-and-mortar store, all retailers are going through difficult times during the pandemic. Jo is keeping things positive and her head held high when it comes to running her business, which is something we can all take a lesson from. Jo is constantly working on new designs for The Wild Flower heart, and you can see all of her current designs on her website: www.shopwildflowerheart.com.