Owners Bea Pearson and Nicki Barley are hugely excited to be bringing their sustainability and wellbeing multi-channel retailer Wild & Rust to open its first store in Duke Street on 15 August.
Bea has formerly held CEO/COO, Executive and NED Board Director roles including COO of Robert Dyas and Nicki is an entrepreneur and experienced florist, and was previously owner of the White Gnd in Henley before selling it in 2012. They are passionate retailers with over 40 years of experience between them.
The business, founded in early 2020, specialises in sustainable, stylish and responsible retail focused on home lifestyle and décor, vintage and reclaimed furniture complimented with a mood boosting plant shop and a carefully curated wellbeing range (consisting of soaks and soaps, creams, balms, aromas, candles and herbal teas along with a certified organic CBD range made locally in the Oxfordshire Countryside).
Despite the challenging trading conditions and restrictions faced by high street retailers and landlords during these unprecedented Covid-19 times and dire economic outlook in some markets, Bea is confident that Wild & Rust will fill a gap in the market to bring stylish sustainable retail and responsibly sourced product to the local customers of Henley and beyond. She said, “Customers are more thoughtful about how they shop and what they buy and what impact that has on their environment.” The owners have a mutual love of Henley and they feel that specifically the people of Henley share their values. Nicki comments, “There is a real gap in the market and customers want to be able to shop for stylish responsibly and ethically sourced products locally.” Nicki who has built up an extensive network in Henley throughout her years of trading here feels that Henley is the perfect town for Wild & Rust.
Bea is confident this is the ideal time to bring this proposition to market and the response to their brand and website has been phenomenal with people especially excited about the news of their first store opening.
Bea added, “Consumers deserve to have the opportunity to make better choices about what they buy and from who and the Wild & Rust offering is proudly ethically and fairtrade sourced. We strive to support local producers, makers and artists and always source from UK suppliers wherever possible. Products which are produced further away can always be traced to their source, often supporting fairtrade producers and community projects. All of their items are handpicked, some are pre loved and some are recycled using reclaimed materials, most are handmade and almost all wellbeing products are organic made from natural ingredients but most importantly all Wild & Rust products are responsibly sourced and produced. They only use recycled, bio-degradable and recyclable packaging materials whenever possible and they work closely with suppliers to make positive changes where required.”
Being kind to yourself and our environment is at the heart of Wild & Rust. The business is called Wild & Rust as a reference to a shared love by the owners for organic natural plant-based wellbeing, vintage antiques and sustainable product. The brand logo is decorated with a protea, the national flower of Bea’s native South Africa, which represents ‘hope and change’. She explains, “A lot of people are looking for a positive message at the moment and I thought it was really appropriate. It represents our personal vision for the brand and how we feel about what we’re doing. It’s a very proud flower.”