You can’t go to the Sunshine Coast without a visit to the iconic Eumundi Markets. A melting pot of local craftspeople, designers and artisans, it is such a creative experience.
So it comes as no surprise to learn that Wild Bear first started out at the Eumindi Markets. Jennifer Sleight and her mum Jackie have however, since moved the business to Victoria and set up their fabulous flagship store in Geelong. The passion for markets hasn’t left their DNA – you can still find Wild Bear at places like Piccadilly and Three Little Birds markets.
There is such a beautiful, genuine story behind Wild Bear.
Jennifer (who has a design and photography background) and Jackie (who has a design and visual arts background, and who is also an artist at Newtown’s Factorie 21 studio) share a rich creative vein, and it can be seen in their lively, vibrant, fun and touch-of-Aussie-lifestyle pieces.
All the clothing is designed and made in Australia. In fact, along with Jennifer and Jackie, there is an impressive group of five ladies who help sew and manufacture each and every clothing item. This talented Wild Bear work force is 100% made up of mothers, some of whom are retirees and just delight in sewing. Wild Bear enables these women to come together, be part of something special, and create beautiful and enduring pieces for little ones.
This means that the clothing is not only of a wonderfully high quality, but the pieces are not mass produced. Oh – we love the idea of dressing our kids in a way that reflects their little personalities, versus everyone else’s in a 5km radius!
We are also particularly impressed with the practicality and wearability that goes behind Wild Bear creations. Clearly these pieces are made by mums who know exactly how to dress kids with the least amount of fuss and most amount of impact. Buttons, zips and fastenings are no-nos; Wild Bear instead opts for pieces that will allow little people to dress themselves, and feel all grown up doing so. Materials are selected with durability in mind – these are pieces that are going to withstand the tornado-style living that goes hand-in-hand with little people.
Along with clothing, Wild Bear also stocks shoes, bags and nappy bags from other Australian designers. The team is always on the look-out for local talent.
Given this, it’s no surprise Wild Bear is a roaring success (we couldn’t resist, sorry!). Not only are customers making bee-lines to the Geelong store, but the Wild Bear team has a strong following in New Zealand, Japan and throughout Europe.
We’re not surprised – one visit to Wild Bear or a look at their products online, and you’ll be wanting to join the following!