Brands to Follow in 2016: Hey Wanderer
Casey Freeman and Savannah McNeill are two extremely creative and driven garment designers located right here in the heart of East Nashville. Their designs are free spirited & lovely & we are over the moon to carry their hand-crafted clothing in our store! We absolutely love supporting our local artists.
The two friends cultivated a trendy and picturesque AirBnB where they (& their three sweet pups!) take in guests with the warmest welcome.
How/when did you start Hey Wanderer?
First we had a blog, "Oh So Pretty the Diaries" in December 2011. Then at the beginning of 2014 we wanted to refocus and change the direction of the blog, so, we changed the name to Hey Wanderer. Shortly after that, Savannah made a kimono that was supposed to be a DIY post for the blog. I really liked the kimono and so did our friends. I can't even exactly remember how we came up with the idea but we raised money for Savannah to buy fabric to make more kimonos. She bought fabric and made kimonos that we sold at a pop-up shop at friend's house. We were really excited and surprised by how many she sold. We decided to keep going with it and started selling at several festivals the Fall of 2014. Hey Wanderer has been growing and changing ever since.
What is your favorite part about having a business in Nashville?
Casey - It's such a great time to have a business in Nashville. There is a lot of good energy and buzz around Nashville right now. People are finally noticing the city for more than country music and really respecting the city as a larger, more diverse creative community. However, it's not so big that you can get lost.
Savannah - I just love Nashville and all of our friends here! So it's a bonus to be able to do something I love in a place that I love.
What advice would you give to a beginner in the fashion industry?
Casey- Just go for it! Do what you want and don't worry about what other people are doing. Don't look at other people's success and measure yours against theirs.
Savannah- Dive in! Waiting to follow your dreams because of fear is only hurting you. You'll do yourself, and your friends and maybe the world a favor just by starting. You'll always have time to figure out the rest. None of us actually know what we are doing most of the time.
What is the best part about having an Airbnb?
Well, you meet some really great people. We find that, for the most part, our space attracts some like-minded folks and we love to know what people are doing in the world. We are actually real-life friends with the first group of people who ever stayed in our Airbnb. We also recently met a girl who had an alpaca farm who made her own yarn. People are just full of surprises.
Tell me about a day in the life of the Hey Wanderer girls.
Casey- Gosh. Every day is so different. We've actually tried to be better about working normal working hours. Before we started the day whenever we wanted but then we'd work through the night. So we're trying to be more disciplined so we can have sanity and give ourselves a time to stop and take a break. When you run your own business there is always something to be done. It always depends, I'll answer emails or send out orders. Savannah might be sewing something or working on a new pattern or dyeing fabric. Our AirBnb guest check out by 11 and then check in is at 4, so sometime between then we run around the house trying to get it ready for the next guests.
Savannah- I always go into the studio and open the french doors and turn music on first thing in the morning. And somewhere in the day there is a lot of laundry getting done for Airbnb.
What are you working on now?
At this very moment we are working on raising money through Indiegogo in hopes of having a booth at Firefly Music Festival, which attracts over 90,000 people, this summer. Being a vendor at this festival could be life-changing for our brand. We've applied to music festivals before, but this is the first one we've been accepted to, so we are pretty excited! The booth fees are pretty expensive and we have to make A LOT of product to take with us. More than we've ever made. But, that requires a good amount of money in a short amount of time. This is why we are reaching out to our friends, family, and people who believe in our brand! There are a few options for donating on Indiegogo. Folks can just make a straight up donation, they can purchase an item that is listed on the Indiegogo site, or they can donate $25 to come to our Ladies Brunch that we are hosting at our home on June 4. It is going a fun time to eat, drink and mingle with some local ladies. And we are giving away a sweet $500 gift basket at the brunch (some Hey Wanderer items included), so we urge any lady in Nashville to consider coming! We would love to meet you AND be able to attend Firefly.
Just a reminder to always show love to small/local businesses!
EmilyThe girls are both donning Hey Wanderer kimonos that you can find for sale here.
Photos by Alaina Mullin