Emma Mcilroy and Julia Parsley use to work at Nike which is where they’ve probably collected some of their smarts and a clear vision for their own brand, Wildfang. The brand got noticed by multiple media outlets from Vice to The Guardian for two main reasons: they cater to a niche and the brand is not just pants and sweatshirts, it’s a movement.
Wildfang launched less than a year ago, on February 1, 2013 but the idea came to Julia over three years ago. They did some consumer research and realized that the niche was real and well worth leaving their cushy jobs for. But they didn’t do it for the money. Mcilroy admitted that behind the scenes, it’s a “labor of love:”
“We desperately want this brand to exist. We are the consumer and we want the tomboy to have a place to call home. We are striving to create a place we are proud of and that our tomboy is proud to be a part of. I’m personally utterly driven by the consumer and making a positive impact in her world.”
While not every passionate good idea can turn into a good business model “the path to success starts with the passion that lives within you [and if done correctly] that passion leads to profit” wrote Geri Stengel in Forbes. Mcilroy and Parsley’s passion for having a solid selection in the tomboy’s wardrobe enabled them to find a niche in a highly saturated clothing market. But there is still a long way to fame and fortune. I asked Emma at what point would they feel they’ve made it if they haven’t had the feeling yet:
“We certainly haven’t made it. In fact we are nowhere near “making it”. Honestly I think that’s part of the mindset of an entrepreneur – you’ve never really made it. I can’t imagine sitting back and thinking “oh now we’ve made it”. We just don’t think that far ahead. It’s about nailing the next three years.”