Building A World-Famous Jewellery Brand: Q&A with Jenn Low, Founder of Wanderlust + Co

Worn by celebrities such as Jessica Alba, Gigi Hadid, Kourney Kardashian and more, Wanderlust + Co is a jewellery label that delivers luxe, designer pieces at an affordable price point for today’s global digital girl.

Founder Jenn Low, was inspired to create Wanderlust + Co after identifying a gap in the market for mid-priced, luxe designer looking jewelry pieces.

Armed with an Accounting and Communications education background and couple of years of Australian-based fashion merchandising experience, she launched the brand in 2010 and never looked back.

Jenn leads an all-female team including design and operations from the brand’s headquarters in Kuala Lumpur, with a global vision and positioning in a busy fashion e-tail world.

LadyBoss spoke to Jenn Low about her journey.

Q: Tell us about Wanderlust + Co. How long you’ve been doing it, and who are your customers?

A: Wanderlust + Co is a jewellery label that delivers luxe, designer pieces at an affordable price point for today’s global digital girl. Inspired by intuition, individuality and our ever-changing muse, our #WCOgirlgang is fearless, loves life and is optimistic about what tomorrow brings. We just turned 7 years last month. My team and I are really proud of some of the milestones we’ve achieved together – seen and styled on strong, beautiful women from Gigi Hadid, Chrissy Teigen, to Jessica Alba, as well as being sold on Revolve, in Nordstroms and Birchbox in the US. I feel grateful for where we are at, and inspired to take on the next 7 years!

We love trends but also translating them into clean lines and wearable shapes.

Q: What are your popular/trendy designs at the moment?

A: We live in a consumer driven world today – businesses and brands are paying a lot of attention to what customers want, and because people are so diverse, naturally the demand for varying trends are higher than ever. As a brand, we have a sensibility and aesthetic that is true to Wanderlust + Co – we love trends but also translating them into clean lines and wearable shapes.

Earlier this year, we launched RAYS SS17 with a focus on geometric and circular shapes. For FW17, we are very much inspired by cosmic energy and all things constellation. For the holiday and Christmas season, you will see a lot of fluid organic shapes, translated into wearable, statement pieces, with an emphasis on earrings.

 

Q: How do you stay ahead in the competitive market?

A: Always be prepared to reinvent your messaging and the way you connect to your customers. Be true and authentic to why you do what you do, but be open to new ways of communicating the brand and products to the customers. We pick a muse and energy for our girl every season, and set out to share the new season story and collection with our customers – our genuine voice and intuition driven messaging sets us apart.

Be true and authentic to why you do what you do, but be open to new ways of communicating the brand and products to the customers

Q: What are some of the future trends you see in your customers?

A: Brands will have to continuously improve go-to-market strategies, including the pace of launching trends or ideas, to finished product. The see-now-buy-now phenomenon is increasingly real as the digital world continues to create an instantaneous driven space.

Consumers want to receive the products within a few days of seeing it on the runway or at a new season showing. Social media has also created a demand for transparency. Consumers want to know how things are made, who it is made by, what a brand stands for, where the dollars spent are going towards and so on. With the new understanding, when wearing a piece from a brand, they feel the sense of belonging with a community and a connection with the messaging.

 

Q: What were the challenges you faced starting Wanderlust + Co?

A: When I first started Wanderlust + Co, this was pre-Instagram and it was harder to get your brand out there, but once you do, there wasn’t as much competition so to speak. Today, the barriers of entry are far lower as more and more apps and businesses are created solely to enable start-ups. It’s challenging to continuously stay ahead of the curve, but at the same time very inspiring to be part of an global brand eco-system that is co-educating the consumer on how to shop and be savvy! As with any business, Wanderlust +Co goes through growth cycles, and I’ve realized over the years that you simply trade challenges and problems as you go through different phases. Today, I try to enjoy the journey and the learnings along the way – both the good and tough times.

Anything worth doing is going to be tough, but you have to commit and never give up

Q: How did you overcome the challenges & obstacles?

A: Have a growth mindset – be clear on your goals but flexible about how you get there. There’s going to be challenges, anything worth doing is going to be tough, but you have to commit and never give up. Grit and perseverance will set you apart, especially in our instant gratification driven world.

Q: In terms of sales & marketing, how do you reach your audience, and what works?

A: Oh wow this is a tough question! In a nutshell, we are incredibly active on social media, various forms of digital outreach (running keyword and retargeting ads within Google, Facebook, as well as weekly EDMs), plus working with our global base of influencers and media. As our audience is ever changing, we monitor data and results carefully and build new campaigns based off our findings – the key here is also to realized that one size does not fit all.

As our audience is ever changing, we monitor data and results carefully

Q: Where do you see the future of Wanderlust + Co?

A: We are currently stocked in more than 400 stores globally, with approximately 70% of the business we do, from the US. Whilst that has built the brand to where it is today, we are bringing our sights back home – to Asia, and South East Asia specifically. Looking around our local malls in KL, most brands distributed are from abroad.

My vision is to continue to grow our retail and wholesale sales, as well as drive pop-up store initiatives, and distribution partnerships across the region. All to continue to grow our reach and be true to our vision of being the first South East Asian high-street jewellery lifestyle brand to go global.

We are currently stocked in more than 400 stores globally, with approximately 70% of the business we do, from the US.

 

Q: As an entrepreneur, what motivates you?

A: I think that at our very core, entrepreneurs are optimistic and are generally looking to change something with the work that they do. Given how tough it can be to run a business and continuously revive our drive for it, I believe that having a growth mindset, and optimistic outlook on challenges is the way to go. I know for me at least, it’s the very thing that keeps me going.

Q: What would be your advice for Gen-Y entrepreneurs keen in starting a business?

A: Hustle hard and put in the hours but also remember that it’s your job to lead, make decisions and be a bundle of energy and enthusiasm. Love and authenticity scales – love your customers, love your people, be true to why you began, love what you do and do great work consistently.

Written By

Liyana is a Co-Founder and Editor of LadyBoss. She is also Co-Founder of Anagram Group, a corporate training company which serves over 100 MNCs and government clients in Singapore, Asia, and the UK. She also advises SMEs on their marketing communications strategy through her communications consultancy, Anagram Communications. Prior to Anagram, Liyana was Head of Communications for Singapore's largest foreign chamber, and Content Editor of Singapore Business Review. Outside of work, Liyana enjoys travel and spending time with her husband and baby twins.

Leave a Reply