One of the first things I freaked out about when I went cruelty free, was perfume. I was a SERIOUS perfume hoarder and have gradually started becoming one once again. But this time, with cruelty free and handmade ones! Wylde Ivy was a brand I was first introduced to, via some other cruelty free bloggers. I had kept hearing the name and then was continuously told I needed to try the perfumes. It goes without saying, I finally followed the hype and ended up doing exactly that.
Wylde Ivy has been mentioned as not only a great perfume brand, but a great alternative for high end (non cruelty free) brands! DupeThat has actually mentioned a couple of times, that some of the Wylde Ivy scents, are actual dupes or close replicates of some perfumes, that personally, I don't support, but are well loved in the beauty community. Ashlee experiments a lot with different scents, and I think that's truthfully my favorite part of indie makers. They aren't scared of mixing things you would NEVER expect to go well together. So let's get a sense of how she gets influenced to do just that.
Your about me explains that you started as a soap maker, and then delved into perfume. Looking back when you had your salon, did you ever think this would be your life right now?
No, never! I actually think about the strange meandering path that my career and life have taken quite often. Pretty much everything in my life has been a bit of a surprise.
Since you have been making products for a decade, how much has your inspiration and branding changed, given the times change?
I try and stay very true to myself. I am quite a simple person. I find that I'm much more at peace when I follow my heart and gut instincts rather than my head. I've always followed my own path, and not the popular trends. My inspirations have always come from art, music, books, and movies....ultimately anything that fuels my imagination. I like to think of myself as a storyteller by scent. Not much has drastically changed with my branding since the early days. I think my branding has evolved to be clean, minimal, and hopefully chic functional. I want Wylde Ivy to be about the fragrances and products themselves rather than setting the stage with excessive branding. I want people to walk away with their own interpretations and feelings, so I try to keep things minimal.
How do you keep up with the ever growing and ever changing, indie community?
The ability to network and share on social media channels, has fueled the most amazing outpouring of pure talent. It is truly awe inspiring....and a little intimidating! It does keep me on my toes though. You have to stay new and fresh, while keeping a consistent quality and vision for your customer base. In the last ten years, I have witnessed such an amazing explosion of greatness from the indie community. I have noticed a trend of community and support, gaining momentum in the last few years. It is so refreshing and wonderful, and great things happen for everyone when you support your tribe!
Since you are constantly creating new scents, what has been your most favorite and what is a scent you are still trying to perfect?
My most favorite scents I've ever created have been Wylde Summer, Day of the Sugar Skull (from my Halloween line) and It's My Party, Bad Girl Edition. Though I never put anything out that I don't adore, I have to admit that I created those fragrances just for me. They are a mix of everything I love. Floral fragrances give me the most grief. I am extremely picky and I need my floral notes to be undeniably authentic. Floral notes that wear authentic and true, can be hard to find and work with.
If you were to create scents to individually go with your twins and husband, what would they entail?
My twins, though they look exactly the same, have very different personalities. One of my daughters is a tip toeing dreamer, a twirling dancer, a girl who wears here emotions on her face. She would be the fragrance of strawberries, cotton candy clouds, sheer musk whispers, and white spring flowers. My other daughter is bold, dramatic, and has the spirit of a jester. She would be deep vanilla, white amber, raw sugar cane, smoked cocoa, and crushed crimson berries. My husband is strong, mechanical, and eternally has his head in the clouds. White patchouli, hint of crushed oakmoss, deep blue mountain water, and crisp ozone.
What are some products you'd like to eventually add to your shop, but haven't yet?
I have a whole notebook of ideas that is ever growing. Within the next year, I want to expand my soap line and bring back my spa inspired soap line. I want to also expand my all natural lip balms and delve further into all natural products and fragrances.
What has been the biggest challenge with having your own company?
This answer is always time....having enough time at work, properly delegating my time, and making sure I don't spend too much time at work. When I first started Wylde Ivy this was not as much of an issue. Wylde Ivy was my business and my hobby. Then kids came along and now I have a whole second world to try and work into my schedule.
On the opposite end, what has been the most valuable lesson from this whole experience?
I have learned to be fluid, go with the flow, and keep a light step. Nothing is certain and nothing is permanent. You have to be able to change ideas quickly and recover from stumbles and falls in the blink of an eye. You can't get complacent and you must always have a backup plan....and preferably a backup plan for that backup plan.
What has been the most memorable gift you have ever received?
I have gotten the most amazing handwritten notes, little mementos, and heartfelt emails from my customers over the years. These are truly such special gifts. Stories about my fragrances on first dates and weddings, how fragrances reminded someone of their childhood or their first home, how a scent comforted them when they were ill or going through a trial. They are all so special. Being self employed and running a creative business can give you some very hard days. Those days you can really start to question yourself and your path. These little gifts always uplift my heart and help me along.
Of coarse the crushed flowers, "I Love Mom" pens, and sticky handmade picture frames my girls give me, always hold a special place in my heart too!
What is one of the most memorable scents to you, and why?
Black Cat has been with me since almost the beginning of Wylde Ivy's perfume journey. It was one of the first fragrances that I created when I began blending my own. I remember just falling head over heels in love with the process and creation of scent. Worlds of possibility opened up to me at that moment. Black Cat has gotten a lot of attention over the years, from being featured in Purina's Mother's Day Gift Guide to being included in the inaugural shipment of The Cat Lady Box subscription boxes.
What are 3 interesting facts about you?
I collect vintage photographs of strangers.
I can juggle and play the ukulele....not at the same...and not well. Actually now that doesn't seem so interesting!
I worked on a rescue farm caring for dogs, cats, horses, goats, and donkeys for over ten years.
If you could make a 20 second phone call to yourself at any point in your life, past or future, when would you call and what would you say?
I would call myself on July 1 2006 and tell me to start the shop, moved to higher ground. We had flooding that had not been seen in our area in over 30 years. We ended up with over eight feet of water in my shop, as well as in my husband's workshop. We were able to get a good portion of my stock and supplies moved before the worst of it, but we lost so much. It was a very hard thing to recover from.
What's one responsibility you wish you didn't have?
My least favorite job responsibility, is the website maintenance. Listing new products and fragrances, search engine optimization, meta data....it's all so tedious to me! I'd so much rather be creating. Since I run my own private web shop and an Etsy shop, I have to do all the maintenance twice.
Ignoring responsibilities, what are some things you wish you could do/explore?
That kind of goes back to the time issue. I really wish I had more time to really be a supportive voice in the indie community. I should blog more, I should be on social media more for my brand, I should be sharing all the fun behind the scenes things that go into making Wylde Ivy work.
What can we expect next from Wylde Ivy?
2018 will see quite a few new additions to Wylde Ivy! In the New Year, I'll be releasing a new line of single note layering perfumes. They will be wearable on their own for simple, yet beautiful fragrances but the real magic will happen when they are layered with other fragrances from the Wylde Ivy line. With them, you will be able to add a marshmallow top note to a fragrance to amp the sweetness or say a soft white musk note to make a fragrance more delicate. I won't give away all the details, but there will be choices for every taste!
I will be reintroducing my Spa Soap line from years ago. They will be all natural soaps inspired by lavish skin care ingredients and spa treatments.
Keep an eye out for quarterly mystery boxes that will feature seasonally themed products that are either exclusive to the box or a first hands on preview of new items that will be added to the shop!
Soap, perfume, authentic branding and creations, what else could you want from a brand? I mean...for me, that's all I need.
What are you going to pick up from Wylde Ivy or what have you tried that you're obsessed with?
Lastly, what custom would you request be made?