Voss Boss Entrepreneur Spotlight Series— Rieke Jenson, Owner Of Wild Child Brand
For many entrepreneurs and small businesses, social media can be an absolute game-changer! All it takes is one viral post and a business can suddenly take off.
At Like A Voss Inc., we’re highlighting local businesses and entrepreneurs who are killing the online game. This week’s spotlight is on Rieke Jenson, Owner of Wild Child Brand!
Wild Child Brand was born out of a love for exploration and 70s nostalgia. We create travel souvenirs, stickers, and paper goods that have a little whimsy, a little retro, and a whole lot of adventure! Our studio is based in the Pacific Northwest where inspiration is never lacking.
Our CEO Mandi interviewed Rieke about her secret to success in business and in life. We also got some awesome insights into what they think makes social media such an effective tool in business.
A Little Bit About Being a Female Entrepreneur
1: How long have you been in business?
Wild Child Brand is pretty young. It launched at the end of 2020.
2: What made you decide to break away from the 9–5 and start Wild Child Brand?
In 2018 I stepped away from working 9–5 and started working for myself as a freelance Graphic Designer. The majority of my freelance work is in creating graphics for Film/Commercials. During COVID the industry came to a standstill and I found myself with a lot of extra time and restless energy on my hands. That’s when I decided to make the leap and launch Wild Child Brand. It had been an idea I was bouncing around for a while, but the time never felt right… until it did!
3: What do you love most about being a female entrepreneur?
One of the things I like most about being an entrepreneur is the flexibility and freedom I have. I can work remotely, which allows for more opportunities to travel and adventure. Having this new freedom has also forced me to be more disciplined and goal-oriented, which has made me grow exponentially. I do things now that I didn’t know I could or even needed to. As a new business owner, I’m constantly learning and expanding my skill set. I’m continuously inspired by the community of strong, creative, and supportive women entrepreneurs out there.
4: What is the hardest thing you have had to overcome as a female entrepreneur?
The hardest thing I have had to work through has been the marketing and networking side of the business. I’m naturally an introvert and having to put myself out there felt pretty foreign and awkward. I wasn’t used to having to pitch myself or my brand. It was a vulnerable feeling. But the more I’ve been doing it the easier it has become. I’m learning that there is a separation of me and my products, the two are not the same. I think when you’re really passionate about something those lines can get blurred.
5: What is one thing about working in your industry that people would be surprised to learn?
How much behind-the-scenes work goes into running a design retail shop. I’d say that it’s 30% creating designs, 70% everything else (paperwork, marketing, shipping, networking, bookkeeping, social, website management… the list goes on)
And Now Onto The Social Media Questions!
6: Do you have a favorite social media platform? Why?
Instagram is my favorite social media platform. I’m such a visual person that I connect the most with its style. There is also such a strong artistic community and network of like-minded adventurers.
7: What made you decide to start using social media as a way to promote your company?
I started posting my illustrations and designs on my personal Instagram account and they were well received. Launching a page for my shop seemed like a natural step. I wanted to create a place to post shop items and my adventure photos and use them as a way to connect with other like-minded people and businesses. It’s also a huge perk that it’s free!
8: How has social media impacted your business? Would you say that it’s an effective marketing tool?
I feel that Instagram has been an effective platform for creating my brand awareness and also for connecting people who enjoy adventuring/travel/retro aesthetic. I’m noticing that my followers aren’t always into all three. Some really like the 70s nostalgia, while others are really into hiking. I’ve found that having a variety of interests has helped expand my reach. My shop page is still a baby but it’s constantly growing!
9: What advice would you give to other businesses and entrepreneurs who want to use social media as a way to connect with customers?
The advice I’d give to others interested in connecting with customers on social would be to not limit yourself. Stay true to your brand but find different avenues to connect with people. I would also say engage and respond to comments and questions. Use social as a way to create a community, not just to collect likes. It will create a stronger brand in the long run.
A Little More About Rieke
I currently live in Eugene, Oregon with my partner and two little furball sisters, Frannie and Josie. When I’m not working on Wild Child Brand or designing for commercials/film I enjoy cooking, bingeing shows, travel (surprise, right?!), going to see live music (hopefully again soon), and thrifting.
Thanks for taking the time to get to know Wild Child Brand and me!
Connect with Rieke
Know A Voss Boss?
Leave her name in the comments and we will find her + reach out. Or, if you’re a female business owner you can nominate yourself too.