Wilderling is the brain child of Victoria Eyles. Founded in 2016 as the result of friends and family wanting to buy locally crafted baby shower gifts. The business started as a handmade baby accessories brand in Queenstown, New Zealand, trading under the name Baby by Victoria.
The main focus of the business was to make high quality, hand printed products and to sell them at local markets. Having a degree in Clothing and Textile Sciences, Victoria designed, developed patterns, sourced fabrics, screen-printed fabrics and manufactured all the products in her home studio, as well as selling weekly at the Queenstown Arts and Crafts market. These early days saw a very home-grown philosophy emerge, friends would help out and visit at the markets every Saturday (Friday’s as well in summer) and it was and incredibly creative and inspiring environment. These early days of selling at the markets, come rain or sleet, was a resilience building exercise that cemented Victoria’s love and connection to the brand through good times as well as the many challenges faced. The market scene over those years was a really humbling experience, the stall holders banded together through all types of weather and supported each other through bouncing ideas off one another and being that positive ear when times were tough. Eventually as demand increased it became evident that there was a need to rebrand to ensure longevity and the growth of the business.
In 2018 after the birth of her first child, ‘Wilderling’ was launched, along with an online website. The name was thought to be the perfect fusion of ‘Wild’ – to capture the natural landscape of Queenstown/New Zealand and ‘ling’ – from the concept of a little hatchling to symbolise a baby. The new brand name was to also reflect the opportunity to diversify into children’s clothing in the future. This move from solely selling at markets to also having an online website enabled Victoria to be more flexible, while raising her young children. The same core values of quality, handmade, sustainable operating practices and use of natural fabrics was still an integral part of the business and what the original concept was formed on and still operates to, till this day.
The decision was made during mid-2020 to expand the business and to diversify into a children’s clothing line – something that Victoria had always envisioned for the business. It was such an exciting prospect, being able to thoughtfully cloth young children in beautifully designed, natural fabrics, a real dream come true for Victoria. In order to do this, there was a need to expand production from solely hand making each piece, to having skilled craftspeople take on this role. Finding a factory that aligned with our values and level of quality was achieved after months of visiting various places throughout New Zealand. It was important to Victoria to meet face to face with people and to see their work in action and by keeping production in New Zealand meant she was able to easily do this and build up relationships with the talented men and women making each piece. Every product made has a story to tell and it was vital that this continue to be the case.
As a business we are so proud of our grass roots and where we have come from since those early days. Our core mission has always been the same and now with our latest re-brand, we have finally been able to put it into words all of the ideas, goals and visions we have had for the brand since the day we started.. it is with great pride that we share with you our beautiful new branding, which was designed for us by the talented Lara Marshall from LMK (https://www.lkm.co.nz/):