Miquela & Vandal📍 North Carolina, USA
We caught up with Miquela & Vandal of Wild & Willow to hear a little more about the art, inspiration, and life behind their incredible handmade dog collars and accessories.
"The moment it went from an idea in our heads to a finished product we were happy with was so rewarding."
What type of medium do you work with? (leather, clay, textile, etc.)
We work with vegetable tanned leather!
What fuels you to create the pieces you share with the world? Tell us about your work.
All of our work is inspired by nature and designed for adventure. Our goal is to create one-of-a-kind pieces that are more than just a collar, they tell a story. Sustainability is one of our top priorities, so all the leather we use is certified by the Genuine Italian Vegetable Tanned Leather Consortium, and all of our packaging is recycled, recyclable, and/or reusable.
What are some goals or places you look to grow?
We love working on new designs and melding functionality with art. The goal is to provide a sustainable solution for leather dog gear that also sparks that sense of adventure in others. We are constantly learning and strive to continue improving our craft, both the actual leather working and the business side of things.
Share achievements with us, what were some “Aha” moments?
Honestly, our biggest achievement so far is just jumping in and doing it. The moment it went from an idea in our heads to a finished product we were happy with was so rewarding.
What are some lessons you learned that could help other makers?
It’s been pretty incredible to discover how awesome the small business community is. We have connected with so many amazing people that all just want to see each other succeed. Also, sometimes things don’t go exactly the way you hope; something you are super proud of may not hit the way you want it to. That’s okay, keep pushing forward and don’t give up.
What's a fun fact that brings you and your piece together.
We make dog collars, but our dogs are almost always naked. We really don’t have many of our own pieces because we focus so much on making them for other people. The pieces we do have are mostly prototypes. Also, our dog that hates the heat is named after the desert and our dog that is cold in anything below 60 degrees is named after a mountain in Alaska.
Okay, so you are done working for the day/week, what do you do?
Is more work an acceptable answer? Just kidding, we love to get outside! Hiking, mountain biking, kayaking, anything that gets us outdoors. Bonus points if we can bring the dogs too. We also love board games, so that’s the go-to if the weather is less than ideal.