Step into The WYLD Shop, and you may just leave a new you! Its lifestyle merch, styling services and overall vibe are that inspiring.
“What sets us apart is that you can buy or browse online, then zip down to the store and have a play, and try on everything and anything!” says Kara Bensley-Austin, founder of fashion site theWYLDshop.com and bricks-and-mortar lifestyle store The WYLD Shop. The Australian expat is also one of The Finder’s 2019 Expatpreneur Award winners.
Having worked in fashion retail throughout school, and managing major stores after that, Kara was ready to “try something and somewhere new” when she and her husband moved to SG in 2010.
By that time, she was working for an Australian eyewear company, selling sunglasses and optical frames, and was given the opportunity to introduce the Le Specs brand to Singapore. “It’s the one that got me into all of this business trouble in the first place!” jokes Kara of the brand worn by Lady Gaga and other celebs.
She first tested The WYLD Shop concept – to offer exclusive Australian high-street brands mixed with local and Asia-based designers – with a pop-up shop here in 2011. Encouraged by the brisk sales, she launched her e-commerce site that same year. Then, in June 2018, she opened her retail boutique on hip Joo Chiat Road.
What makes the offerings so special? Both the site and store stock AUS/UK sizes 6 to 16, keep prices affordable, and only carry brands Kara is personally passionate about. This list ranges from MINKPINK (“epitomises Australian fashion culture”) to Nala Designs (“vibrant, Asian-inspired hand-illustrated designs”) and even vibrators by Smile Makers (“There’s nothing a little self-pleasure can’t fix!” she wrote on the store’s Instagram page). Exclusively at the store, you can browse amongst stylish furnishings and home accents, eyecatching artworks, statement-piece jewellery and bags, organic skincare, adorable kids clothing, and more!
“Our mission is to provide a safe and fun environment to shop, where our customers can be happy, confident, comfortable humans who embrace their uniqueness,” says Kara, who has printed the brand’s slogan – “Live WYLD. Live Free!” – across the inside front wall of the store.
Just in time for The WYLD Shop’s first birthday in June 2019, Kara is offering a new “Rescue, Refine, Revive & Refresh” professional styling service! Go to the site to book either a Wardrobe Cleanse or Personal Shopping/Styling Service.
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