Who runs the world?

Malaysian jew­ellery brand Wan­der­lust + Co is all about cel­e­brat­ing girl power.

The Star Malaysia - Star2 - - Front Page - By BERVIN CHEONG star2@thes­tar.com.my

HER jew­ellery pieces have been spot­ted on in­ter­na­tional stars the likes of Gigi Ha­did, Ash­ley Madekwe, Olivia Culpo, Romee Strijd and more. How­ever, did you know the founder of Wan­der­lust + Co calls Serem­ban her home­town?

Jenn Low may have started her busi­ness while she was still liv­ing and work­ing in Melbourne, but she is def­i­nitely proud of her roots. She has even moved her base of op­er­a­tions to Kuala Lumpur.

“It warms my heart when I hear feed­back about how our prod­ucts have a very global vibe. Our geo­graphic lo­ca­tion merely demon­strates that Malaysian brands can com­pete on all lev­els,” states Low.

The 32-year-old first parked the do­main name wan­der­lu­s­tandco.com in 2009. It was only in the fol­low­ing year that she be­gan the ground­work to launch it – from putting a busi­ness plan to­gether to build­ing the e-com­merce web­site.

“I ran the en­tire busi­ness from my bed­room at first. It wasn’t as glam­orous as you would imag­ine. I had to do ev­ery­thing by my­self at the begin­ning. I even built my own light­box out of card­board to pho­to­graph my prod­ucts!”

Low, who com­pleted a dou­ble de­gree in busi­ness and arts, worked as a mer­chan­diser be­fore start­ing her busi­ness. She was work­ing on the shop floor which al­lowed her to learn the ins and outs of re­tail.

To­day, she runs an all-woman team in an of­fice space in Bangsar. While she says it wasn’t a con­scious de­ci­sion, she is happy that Wan­der­lust + Co is help­ing push the no­tion of fe­male em­pow­er­ment.

“It was ob­vi­ously hinged on the idea of how the fu­ture is fe­male or the girl boss move­ment thing. And I’m re­ally proud about how peo­ple are mod­ernising with such ideas re­gard­ing gen­der.”

When it comes to the de­signs, Low notes that she works with an in-house de­signer, plus fac­to­ries in China and South Korea. Her aes­thetic is one that com­bines clas­sic shapes with mod­ern styles.

“With ev­ery col­lec­tion, I be­gin with a spe­cific group of fe­male muses and their en­ergy. The Au­tumn/Win­ter 2017 girl and her squad for ex­am­ple, are al­ways seek­ing. They are fierce, spir­ited, gritty and fear­less,” she re­lates.

“From there, we peg key shapes, such as cres­cents, con­stel­la­tions, wish­ing stars and be­gin sketch­ing mo­tifs to an­chor the col­lec­tion. At the same time, we take into ac­count

feed­back from our cus­tomers.”

As it is, Wan­der­lust + Co cat­a­pulted to fame af­ter catch­ing the eyes of “it girls” in the United States. It was from there that it gained the at­ten­tion of var­i­ous in­ter­na­tional press and be­came the talk of celebri­ties.

“I think that to­day we are so lucky to have so­cial me­dia chan­nels be­cause you can speak to your cus­tomers so eas­ily. You can con­nect with them im­me­di­ately with vi­su­als and mes­sag­ing,” Low points out.

“When I started out, it was be­fore In­sta­gram. Things were a lot harder. But then again, ev­ery­one is on a level play­ing field now. Ev­ery­one has the same chan­nels to com­mu­ni­cate their vi­sion. So you must re­ally stand out.”

Wan­der­lust + Co has re­cently added a new range of ap­par­els and life­style mer­chan­dise to their col­lec­tion. Th­ese in­clude T-shirts, swim­suits and py­jama sets along with floats, straws, sippy cups, phone cases, LED lights and cup hold­ers.

The new prod­ucts are said to com­plete the fash­ion and life­style brand in terms of what it can of­fer to cus­tomers, apart from just the jew­ellery that are so well loved and cel­e­brated.

When asked how the brand has grown up with the au­di­ence, Low ex­plains: “We are con­stantly search­ing and seek­ing – as fash­ion is ever chang­ing, for a style or a vibe, or pieces that fit in with us at a point in time.”

“I love ac­ces­sories. The de­ci­sion to kick­start Wan­der­lust + Co was one where I wanted to en­cap­su­late a pos­i­tive en­ergy into an ac­ces­sory brand. And it’s not just about jew­ellery, but also about a life­style,” she adds in con­clu­sion.

Photo: Wan­der­lust + Co

— RAY­MOND OOI/ The Star

Low is the cre­ative vi­sion be­hind the Wan­der­lust + Co brand. She runs an all-woman team based in KL.

Denim jack­ets that come with ap­pliques in cel­e­bra­tion of women.

De­signs that spread the mes­sage of pos­i­tiv­ity, while cel­e­brat­ing sis­ter­hood. — Pho­tos: Wan­der­lust + Co. De­signer-look­ing jew­ellery in a va­ri­ety of styles.

Fun life­style mer­chan­dise from Wan­der­lust + Co.

Jew­ellery that can be mixed and matched, or lay­ered.

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