Artisan Profile - Wolfie + Willow

Words by Rhiannon Owen of Wolfie + Willow and photography by Rebecca Lindon.

Wolfie + Willow moccasins
Wolfie + Willow moccasins
Wolfie + Willow moccasins

Before starting Wolfie + WIllow I was and still am the owner and creative director behind the Inch Blue brand. With 17 years of experience in the design and manufacturing industry I had previously worked in sales and marketing which gave me an invaluable foundation on which to build my first business.

Back in 1999 I became a mother for the 2nd time and our daughter Georgia was a huge and important inspiration for us creatively. As she grew... so did the brand and she was the original model and guinea pig for shoe patterns, enabling us to hone and develop our skills from watching her crawl, take first steps, run and climb. Freya was born in 2004 and our son Gabriel aka "Wolfie" rocketed into our lives in 2009. Each of them has inspired us and after our son was born, the boys' range grew considerably

Wolfie + Willow moccasins

Personally the path to motherhood has not been easy and we have had lots of sadness along the way but the experiences have taught me many things about myself. I would describe becoming a mum as a defining moment in my life. When I held each of my babies, it was an incomparable moment each time. Life is a rollercoaster of highs, lows and everything in between but it's all pure love.  

Becoming a mother has made me aware of my own mortality and less of a risk taker. In our business both myself and my husband Roger choose the materials we use with care and consciousness for the enviroment and again we have taught our lot the same values about respect. I am also less materialistic and our focus as a family is about experiences. Our kids are very well travelled and they have amazing memories from the adventures they've had. I am most proud of my children... they are all different.... all free spirits... confident, creative and kind. Icouldn't hope for more than that really.

Wolfie + Willow moccasins
Wolfie + Willow moccasins
Wolfie + Willow moccasins

There is really something quite wonderful about making things and seeing your ideas grow from a tiny seed into a beautiful plant. With an engineering background and a love for simple design, Roger started making things that appealed to him.... little things for me and his girls. And this is where the Wolfie + Willow story begins! He left his corporate life, threw away his ties and grew his hair.

We had a whole bunch of beautiful products that were very different from the fun soft leather shoes we were making under the Inch Blue label. We wanted to launch a new lifestyle brand to showcase all the leather products we had developed over the years.

The creative inspiration is simple. Roger believes in quality over quantity. As he has learned more about leather and its structure, he has felt frustrated by products in shops which look great but are in fact very poor quality. Leather goods that crack and split because the leather used is sub-standard but disguised with special coatings and finishes, badly made items which fall apart after a year or so. There are no shortcuts taken in making any of our moccasins, totes, wallets and other goods... we are artisans and this is evident in everything we do. We only use the best leather, which gets better with age developing a natural patina through use. Every mark or scratch will enhance the raw beauty of all of our products and they will last a lifetime and beyond. Our aim is to design and make beautiful things that you love when you look at them, touch them, smell them and to know intrinsically that it's as good as it gets.

Wolfe + Willow moccasins
Wolfe + Willow leather tote bag