We’ve opened our first studio & concept store in Ilfracombe, Devon. Founder, Georgie, wanted somewhere the team could not only hand make the jewellery but a place where customers could come in & browse the Wanderlust Life collection. We’re also selling a carefully curated mix of gifts, plants & home wear that compliment our paired back, minimalistic aesthetic. The store is open now from 9-5pm Mon to Friday but why not pop in & meet the makers at their Gin & Jewellery event on Friday 14th July from 4 to 9pm where you can preview the entire collection, enjoy an exclusive discount and there’s a chance to win a goodie bag.
Discover Georgie's inspiration behind the new studio & store
Tell us about the background of your boutique & why you opened?
Wanderlust Life started in 2013 as a small start-up business. 4 years on, and we now have an online store and stock over 40 stores across the UK & Europe. We’d outgrown my small studio, and it was the right time to set up a purpose built space.
We had curated a few pop-shops over the last few years, and I guess that planted the seed of opening a more permanent retail space within the studio where customers old & new could come and see the entire collection.
What was the inspiration for the studio design?
My inspiration was to bring the aesthetic & vibe of Wanderlust Life into a physical space. We wanted a space that reflected our pared back, minimalist aesthetic.
The studio’s exterior evokes Ilfracombe’s Victorian seaside heritage, with striking curved floor to ceiling windows, and I love the juxtaposition of the pared back interior.
A good friend of mine owns the property and renovated it from a derelict building – he really has restored the place to its former beauty! He is also a creative and we’re sharing the space (he works on the open space mezzanine above). We both have a very similar vision, I couldn’t really ask for a better landlord!
What do you predict for the future of retail?
Over the past few years there has been a real shift with so many people shopping online, but I think there is still something special about shopping with independents.
We’re a generation of online shoppers, but I still believe there is something unique about shopping in a physical space where you can see, touch and feel the product.
Why Ilfracombe? What do you love about it?
Ilfracombe is a bustling little seaside resort best known for bucket & spade holidays, but it’s also fast becoming a hub for independent shops, award winning restaurants and decent coffee shops. The entire town has the most beautiful Victorian architecture, and super interesting low-cost spaces – perfect for independents & creatives.
I think a lot of people think that you need to be in city to survive and be successful creatively. In reality, with the age of online shopping you really can be based anywhere, so why not be based a stone’s throw from the beach?
We all live such fast-paced lives, especially in bustling cities and I think a lot of us are craving a quieter, slower way of life.
It’s definitely a quieter way of life here, but its full of beautiful perks… we live and work two minutes from the sea! Setting up my own business has been super hard work, but I always try and find time to walk to the beach on a sunny day, or take a long lunchbreak if the sea is looking inviting in the midsummer heat. It’s those little moments of joy that feed my passion, and that feeds back into my work and creativity too.
What are your favourite independent businesses (cafes shops bars etc) in Ilfracombe?
We’re huge fans of Blacksands for an after work alfresco drink. We love their good vibes, mellow tunes & gorgeous food + drinks. Annie + The Flint do the best coffee in town. There are so many great shops, coffee shops & restaurants popping up, and we want to share a few of our faves with you...
Fore Street in Ilfracombe connects the Harbour to the High Street & we're a short walk from St.James Gardens bus stop and Ropery Road car park (opposite The Ship & Pilot)
- Black Sands Bistro, St. James Place – for good vibes & great food.
- Annie & The Flint, 126 High Street – for your daily caffeine fix & fresh food goodness.
- Home at 5 – for mid-century & scandi inspired homewear.
- Sweet William Florist, 115 High St – for fresh cut flowers & all your botanical needs.
- Verity, The Quay – visit Damian Hirst’s 66-foot bronze-clad sculpture.
- Other Criteria, The Quay – for art from emerging & established artists in Damien Hirst’s gallery.
- Thomas Carr, 56 Fore St – for Michelin-starred seafood & seasonal produce.
- The Habit, 46-48 Fore St – for cocktails & sea views.
- Tunnels Beaches, Bath Place – for swimming, rock pooling & exploring Ilfracombe’s Victorian seaside history.