YOU’VE probably seen Wanderlust + Co’s jewelry take social media by storm. The Malaysian jewelry brand has built a growing global fan base of customers, influencers and Hollywood stars.
Founder and CEO Jenn Low is one of those amazing entrepreneurs who has a strong sense of style and is driven by passion and courage, focused on achieving her dreams.
“I actually got the idea to start Wanderlust + Co in my early 20s when I was living and working in the fashion retail industry in Australia,” Low reveals. “I realized then that there was no such thing as a wearable accessory brand that was both trendy and affordable, and I dreamed of closing that gap.
“I was truly passionate about creating beautiful and elegant jewelry at an affordable price. This passion drove me to design pieces based on intuition and individuality. I wanted to create a community that embraces fashion trends. jewelry with greater accessibility and create experiences where people could celebrate their individuality and personal sense of style through their accessories.
Contrary to what one might imagine, Low does not come from a long line of jewelers. In fact, she had never been involved in jewelry production before founding Wanderlust + Co (WCO).
“I started from scratch,” she shares. “At that time, the world of e-commerce as we know it today – with apps like Shopify and Instagram and payment gateways like Stripe – didn’t exist. We only had PayPal. And the whole site Web was built on Blogspot and WordPress!
In those early days, one of the brand’s ambitions was to grow from a small local business to a strong global presence. Over the years, the brand has enjoyed huge commercial success, with its pieces spotted on a long list of trendsetters and celebrities such as Kendall Jenner, Vanessa Hudgens and Selena Gomez, which accelerated its rise to fame.
Low shares that WCO has come a long way as a brand since its inception in 2012. “As we approach our 12th anniversary this year, I am grateful to our wonderful community of brand friends, whom we call affectionately our #WCOgirlgang.”
Intuition, individuality, sustainability
“The brands of the future,” Low says, are about more than numbers and outcomes — they’re about customers and their values, identities, and journeys.
“Our mission has always been to inspire and empower our customers with carefully created pieces. It’s not just about looking good on the outside, we also want to design pieces that reflect the values and aspirations of our Today, we consciously create jewelry that is kind to your skin and the planet, aligned with the sustainability mission we began six years ago, as well as our philosophy of celebrating intuition and individuality.
Low says it’s the brand’s commitment to sustainability and its ethos that has been the differentiator for customers. She shares that even in the competitive e-commerce space, she is confident in the strength of the #WCOgirlgang community.
“Over the years, we’ve had so many lovely comments from our customers that inspire us to take on the challenge of creating thoughtfully designed pieces that inspire joy while being kind to our planet.”
Currently, WCO plans to continue to improve its manufacturing process in a conscious and sustainable way. Low says, “We believe beauty is not just in the ‘end product’, but also in the journey of making it. We work with our factories to reduce waste and recycle as much as possible. We hope that with continued efforts and improved sustainable practices, we can make a difference.
“Socially conscious customers are looking for authenticity and sustainable fashion clothing more than ever. We want to be able to create meaningful and loved products that they will enjoy for many years to come.”
The WCO also works with suppliers and artisans who share their vision of commitment to sustainable and renewable practices, transparency and global ethical trading standards. Its factories are SA 8000 and ISO14001 certified, supporting fair treatment and wages for employees, and every piece of jewelry is made with recycled brass and low-emission processes.
According to Low, pieces that contain meaningful stories resonate the most with OMD customers. “Our latest ‘Breathe Mantra Necklace’ and ‘Give It Time Necklace’, featuring uplifting mantras, have been our community’s favorite styles.”
One of the things that Low is particularly proud of is the fact that WCO is a female-run company with an almost 100% female team. As a strong advocate for female empowerment in the workplace, Low is committed to mentoring and coaching her team members to foster their professional development.
“The development and growth of your team is not limited to particular times or periods of time,” she shares. “Rather, it’s about creating and encouraging honest conversations, healthy challenges and collaboration. I strive to create an environment where my team is able to do their best, while feeling supported and fulfilled. Being a compassionate leader is what matters most.
Low believes the future is female and hopes that young women will find empowerment and belief in themselves, so they can continue to be their best selves and grow wherever they are on their journey.
The past two years have been pretty surreal as we’ve had to navigate through the many uncertainties and changes we’ve faced both as a business and as people throughout the pandemic, Low reveals.
“We’ve had to pivot parts of our overall business strategy and day-to-day operations to optimize for more sustainable and flexible business practices,” she shares, adding that the pandemic has also provided time to be introspective and reflect. reflect. “We have made it a priority to stay digitally connected with our global audience through Instagram Live sessions and Q&As.”
Some of the strategies implemented by the OMD have focused on the well-being of its community, with forums and content on self-care and mental health, putting people first and encouraging dialogue within its #WCOgirlgang community. The initiatives included a series of four-week Instagram Live sessions to support conversations about wellness, positivity and all things that sparked joy during the global lockdown.
“We have always believed in a strong digital presence as the foundation of our brand strategy. We have focused on continuously growing our brand awareness through innovative social media strategies and digital advertising. We are truly fortunate to live in a digital world, which gives us access to many opportunities at our fingertips.
“As a digital native brand with an omnichannel business that ships globally, we are also grateful to our global resellers, such as Revolve (US), John Lewis (UK) and Iconic (Australia ), for helping us grow our global presence. Currently, we also have our pop-up store in Bangsar Village 2, Kuala Lumpur,” says Low.
Recently, the growing OMD team of nearly 30 people moved into a brand new office, a Zen-inspired space they affectionately call WCO HQ 2.0. “Having been in our previous space for over eight years, the team and I are very excited to settle into our new home and look forward to seeing what the new chapter will bring,” she added.
Make sense of numbers
With regard to account management, the WCO has an internal finance team of two people, who work with their external financial advisors. Given the need to collaborate and share information, they needed a system that would help keep company data organized, up-to-date, and easily accessible.
“I was looking for an agile and easy-to-use accounting solution,” says Low. That’s how Xero’s cloud accounting platform came into the picture. The OMD team has been using Xero for about six years.
“At this time, we are migrating Excel spreadsheets to the cloud. There was a lot of manual paperwork, which was time-consuming for the team. For me, Xero was an obvious choice when comparing systems. The beauty of Xero is the flexibility it offers to run the business from anywhere, whether at work, home, or on the go. With Xero, we were able to work remotely and manage our workflows more efficiently with the seamless synchronization of sales, inventory and financial data across applications fully integrated with our accounting platform. We also like its user-friendliness, as well as the solid customer support it offers.
Low adds that Xero’s financial reporting features make it easy to check company progress in an instant. Its multi-currency feature is also very handy, making it easy to convert currencies quickly – “with the snap of your fingers!”
This feature makes the whole process very convenient with conversions performed and updated automatically based on the daily exchange rate. “That,” says Jenn, “is extremely helpful, especially as we handle a variety of currencies as a cross-border brand. Being able to receive and send invoices and quotes in different currencies has really helped us become more efficient.
“With Xero’s multi-currency conversion feature, it’s easy to create reports or view all sales transactions in a specific currency of our choosing. Seeing multiple converted currencies side-by-side gives us a real-time view of our foreign currency exposure.
Low adds that with Xero, she can also track and manage fixed assets by creating a ledger to record and depreciate them. “It doesn’t sound very sexy, but as a business it’s extremely important to understand your profit and loss (P&L) statement and your balance sheet. With Xero, I can get a clear financial picture of the business at all times. moment. “
Brimming with charisma, compassion and creativity, along with the right digital tools and systems to enable them to grow and thrive, Wanderlust + Co should continue to shine on the world stage.