How long have you had your shop?
The storefront has been open for just about five months now, I opened in mid-June when COVID precautions allowed for businesses to open up. I actually launched the online platform first to test out what products to bring in, building up my inventory and to help me get used to running a business, plus it helped me build an online audience.
What did you do before running The Wolf Moon?
Most recently I came from the marketing world. I worked at Loblaws Digital and Joe Fresh on their digital marketing and graphic designer teams. I had worked there for 3 years before leaving to open my shop in January.
What prompted you to leave that environment and start your own company?
I actually ended up taking a leave of absence from work right before COVID hit. I was a little burnt out from the office world and feeling a bit disenfranchised, so it felt right to take a step back and figure out what was next for me. I went back to my hometown, which is in northern British Columbia, and was spending time with my sister and my family and really remembering what I liked about small town life.
I ended up back in Toronto after a few months and was spending time with a friend, we were both kind of keen to get out of the city. I was telling her how I really wanted to find a house with commercial zoning on the main floor and a place above it to live, later that day I looked online and found this house, the one I run The Wolf Moon out of. I came up to Haliburton to have a look at and honestly it all kind of worked out, I moved just over a year ago and I am just getting through my first year of running this business and everything that comes with that.
When this was coming to fruition did you always have a plan to sell locally made or fair-trade goods?
No, not directly, because the house had commercial zoning, I went with the option to get a small business loan and to do this I had to put together a full business plan. Through that process I really reflected on my own life and a lot of the brands I was wanting to carry were LGBTQ+, BIPOC, or female led small businesses, so it fell into that category. I did love the idea of the business having that backbone of supporting people who have been ostracized or have had more notches against them from the start.
How would you describe your theme for the shop?
In terms of the products, I would say there’s always something a little bit unique about each of them, whether they are actually handmade, making each one one of a kind or just a little bit more offbeat. I tend to carry a range between items that are more practical, which makes them easier to sell, one of a kind items and those really unique pieces that you won’t find in any other shop in the area.
You carry a lot of brands that are sustainable, how important is that quality to you?
That has definitely been much more of a focus in terms of my life and the vision for the shop. With any of my products I really do try and choose vendors that have a focus on sustainability or all-natural products. For example, Toyo Makes Things, all her products are made from second-hand fabrics that she sources and Scott Wallings prints are made from off cuts of paper and his t-shirts are all second-hand that he prints on. I love showcasing vendors that have a focus on sustainability.
You offered Merch for Pride Month, did you work with an artist or graphic designer or was that all in house?
That Pride Collection comes from a label in Toronto, Operation Soap. They do a series of shirts celebrating Queer Culture. Our Pride Week was a week after Toronto’s so it was a great opportunity to bring that collection up here.
Do you have any upcoming launches or new products joining your shop for the holidays?
Living Libations is a local Haliburton company and I am really proud to start carrying this brand at my shop.
What are you currently reading?
I am currently listening to an audiobook, Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste NG
Local shops like The Wolf Moon are vital to makers. We put so much love into our products and to have someone love them as much as we do, and help us with ways to reach customers is everything. So many of the shops I sell at, the owners are not just colleagues but friends and give me integral feedback to what customers are saying. You can check out Reed’s shop at The Wolf Moon Shop and follow along on Instagram.