Vancouver-based jewelry brand Wolf Circus celebrates 10 years

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Wolf Circus offers “semi-fine jewelry” handmade in Vancouver using either recycled sterling silver or recycled bronze.

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The origin story of the Vancouver-based jewelry brand circus of wolves is that of divine intervention.

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“It all started because one day I was cycling to my Mandarin class and found this bag of jewelry materials, like clips and wires, feathers and beads,” Fiona Morrison recalls. , founder and creative director of the brand. “They were right next to my bike lock. When I went to park my bike they were just sitting there. And then when I left a few hours later after class, they were still there. So I just took them home.

A full-time student of entrepreneurship at the University of Victoria, she admits that she thought about launching her own jewelry line at the time.

“It was quite funny, I had kind of thought about it a bit,” Morrison says. “I had this wolf head ring and got so many compliments because it was so bold, daring and fun. A lot of the jewelry available in local stores in Victoria was quite feminine and adorable. And I wanted something something a little more edgy.

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Recognizing that there was a void in the market for “affordable and slightly edgy” designs, she had brainstormed early ideas for starting a business.

Finding the bag of assorted jewelry making tools was the final push to achieve this.

Fiona Morrison is the founder and creative director of Vancouver-<a class=based jewelry brand Wolf Circus.” class=”embedded-image__image lazyload” src=”https://smartcdn.gprod.postmedia.digital/vancouversun/wp-content/uploads/2021/06/261949469-0703_feat_wolf_circus-s.jpg?quality=90&strip=all&w=288″ srcset=”https://smartcdn.gprod.postmedia.digital/vancouversun/wp-content/uploads/2021/06/261949469-0703_feat_wolf_circus-s.jpg?quality=90&strip=all&w=288, https://smartcdn.gprod.postmedia.digital/vancouversun/wp-content/uploads/2021/06/261949469-0703_feat_wolf_circus-s.jpg?quality=90&strip=all&w=576 2x” height=”911″ loading=”lazy” width=”700″/>
Fiona Morrison is the founder and creative director of Vancouver-based jewelry brand Wolf Circus. circus of wolves

With her newly acquired assets, Morrison set out to learn the art of jewelry the way many start-up entrepreneurs seem to in the digital age, that is, by watching videos on YouTube.

“I think you can learn almost anything these days there,” Morrison laughs. “I was basically going to school in the day and then coming home and crafting and making jewelry. I would put pieces that I had bought from crystal stores or Value Village and put them on a chain and rework them.

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She began selling her designs from her backpack to other students on campus.

“I definitely didn’t have a concrete business plan,” she admits.

Morrison remembers going to her parents to share her idea for a jewelry line. His mother, heading for the door, briefcase in hand, for a day at the office, stopped to listen. Then she asked her daughter to continue her studies.

“And my dad said, ‘Whatever you do in life, it’s going to turn into a circus,'” Morrison explains.

Taking those words to be the closest thing to a parental green light she would receive, Morrison turned her attention to the jewelry startup. She has also completed her degree.

“At first it was just something fun. A way for me to avoid getting a real job,” says Morrison. “But, it definitely turned into something much bigger and much crazier than I could have ever imagined.”

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Ten years later, Morrison, now 30, has built her brand exponentially, posting 118% year-on-year growth since 2016. Based in Railtown, the Wolf Circus team now has 20 full-time employees.

“More than half of our team work in jewelry production, and the other half work in high-profile roles like marketing and execution,” says Morrison. “I have someone who started packing and filling two years ago, and now she is our e-commerce manager. I hired someone as a young intern, she was my second employee , and now it is our wholesale manager.

“Seeing them grow and being able to develop them and my team in all of their roles has been the coolest thing for me.”

Morrison highlighted the 2019 award through the Fashion Institute of Technology, which saw Wolf Circus receive $100,000 from designer Tommy Hilfiger as another favorite business achievement. Wolf Circus was also nominated for Accessories Designer of the Year at this year’s Canadian Arts & Fashion Awards.

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Vancouver jewelry brand Wolf Circus celebrates its 10th anniversary this year.
Vancouver jewelry brand Wolf Circus celebrates its 10th anniversary this year. circus of wolves

Wolf Circus offers “semi-fine jewelry” handmade in Vancouver using either recycled sterling silver or recycled bronze, according to Morrison. Designs have evolved from the original pieces of repurposed stones and trinkets to include entire collections of necklaces, rings, earrings and more.

While the pieces in the collection have “grew up a bit,” Morrison says the brand’s overall attention to things like durability and affordability has remained much the same.

“Our target audience really chooses to represent brands whose aesthetics, durability and brand values ​​truly align with their values,” says Morrison. “ I think that’s really important in fashion today, and I think that’s one aspect of our brand that hasn’t really changed.

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“Supporting local and buying consciously, knowing who makes your products, is very, very important.”

Morrison credits the brand’s penchant for connecting directly with its customers as the key to its considerable success.

“Being really in tune with your consumer. Ultimately, that’s the most important value you can have,” Morrison says. “Find out what their needs are. What they want. Once you can understand that, I think you can really change and move and take a brand where you want it to go.

“As long as you stay true to them and your brand values.”

Going forward, Morrison says she would like to expand Wolf Circus’ unisex offering. The inclusion of size – a growing topic of conversation in the jewelry industry – is another key area of ​​focus.

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“The ring size is the biggest,” she says. “We’re trying to gear up to have ring sizes 2-12 on our website eventually. This is our long-term goal. It also reviews necklace lengths and chain lengths. We’re taking a more customizable approach with this.

Offering options in the fine jewelry category is another “long-term” brand goal, according to Morrison.

“I think it’s really important to grow with your client as their budget starts to grow and they want to start buying longer-term parts,” she says of the expansion plan. .

As for what his parents think of turning his college hustle into a full-fledged business with a 10-year history, Morrison says they’ve completely embraced his entrepreneurial spirit – albeit with a hint of lingering surprise. .

“They are very happy. I think they’re pretty impressed and shocked,” Morrison says with a smile, noting that his father, whose original “circus” comment was factored into the Wolf Circus name, has since passed away. “They’re very proud of me, I think, and what it’s come to be.”

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