A little intro to Forest and Wild
Hi Folks and thanks for reading our first ever blog post! we are so excited to have you here!
I thought I would start by giving you a little intro to myself (Gabby) and our little shop. Going forward we will be sharing all kinds of fun blogs about various topics including parenting, activities and projects for kids, environmental topics and more. If there is a particular subject you would like us to cover feel free to send us an email or comment below.
So let me introduce myself, my name is Gabby and I am the owner of Forest and Wild and the creator behind Trae Designs.
I grew up in the UK and went to school for Early Childhood Education and soon after moved to Whistler to seek the ski bum life while I figured out the next chapter. I nannied, ran kids’ art programs and managed a group daycare. After meeting my partner and having two children, we decided to make the move to Squamish which is just 30 minutes down the road from Whistler and once again opened up a small daycare.
My program consisted of lots of nature and play based learning in the outdoors as well as open ended crafts and activities that involved mostly natural products. I often struggled to find natural and open-ended toys that were also pleasing to the eye, so I decided to try and create my own, I had been running a side gig making wooden signs so already had a little experience with woodworking. My first ever product was the "Happy Campers" which remains one of our most popular items in the shop, it has evolved a lot since then but the idea remains the same, its natural, non-toxic, opened ended and pleasing to the eye making it versatile to use as a play item or decor. That was it, I hit the ground running and could not stop creating and designing new items, and so Trae Designs was born!
A few years later (2018) I had a workshop injury (almost lost a couple of fingers) so I had to close the shop for a couple of moths while I recovered. Thankfully with some plastic surgery and lots of hand therapy I was able to get back to what I loved, the first time back on the tools was rather nerve wracking but I worked through it and was back in action in no time. I was also a lot smarter and safer in the workshop!
After a few years and baby number 3, I felt like I needed more (because I wasn't busy enough with 3 kids and a small business hahahaha) so I reached out to a couple of my favourite makers to see if they would be interested in selling their products in my shop alongside Trae Designs, but I couldn't seem to stop at a couple of products so once again I decide to take the leap and open a full store that carries a variety of brands from around the world. I tend to be rather impulsive and once I get an idea in my head I jump in head first, however that doesn't go without lots of learning, making mistakes and being extremely frustrated at times because running a small business has it’s challenges, but I pushed through all of that and found exactly where I was supposed to be.
So here we are as Forest and Wild 4 months in and it has been amazing! I absolutely love sharing products that I believe to be some of the best quality in the world as well as sharing our values on topics like sustainability and play based learning. I take great pride in curating unique products that are made to last and are gentle on the planet, all while keeping the shop interesting, inspiring and fun. We have on average a 60% return customer rate which warms my heart knowing that our customers are enjoying our products and coming back for more.
I would love to hear from you so feel free to comment below, have you purchased from our store? if so, how was your experience? or is there something you would like to see in our shop that we don't currently carry?
Thanks so much for reading, I love this little community of families and am so thankful for all the love and support! I couldn't be here without you!
All my love
Photos by Darby Magill Photography