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Meet Katie Duncan of Wanderwild

Today we’d like to introduce you to Katie Duncan.

Katie, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
Kelly and I always knew we wanted to launch a dream together, but it was many years before we landed on Wanderwild. Early on in parenthood, we felt that we were better parents when we got out of the house with our families, learning, exploring, and adventuring together. We quickly realized that the success of our day with our children often depended on a well-packed bag.

We also felt really strongly that our kids thrived when they were given responsibility and independence to pack and carry their own things. This is where the vision for Wanderwild began. Soon after, Kelly and I had sketched a line of backpacks, gathered color palettes, designed fun and youthful patterns and brainstormed unique and useful features built especially for kids. What grew from there was through a lot of hard work, perseverance, building a wonderful network of partners and constantly pushing ourselves to reach our ultimate vision – to build the best backpack for kids.

Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
I’m actually not sure a smooth road exists in the world of startups. Wanderwild is no different. From trademark litigations to better understanding the current trade climate, we’ve had our fair share of struggles. That being said, we remain really thankful for our peaks, valleys, and some bigger rivers we’ve had to cross to get to where we are today. If there weren’t challenges, we wouldn’t be constantly pushing ourselves to learn and better ourselves as business owners. Kelly and I welcome these challenges as an opportunity to learn, pivot, grow and build a better brand.

Please tell us about Wanderwild.
We believe experiences are everything. Wanderwild was founded on the idea that with the right gear, children can set out with their families for days filled with learning, exploring, and making memories. All of our products are designed with love in Colorado. We are founded by two moms with a love of cheerful patterns and purposeful features.

We are known and trusted in the marketplace for our the durability of Wanderwild products. Our customers know and love that we have built a product to last through many years of school, activities and travel. Wanderwild products combine style, function and durability, which was a major gap in the marketplace – We’re really proud of that.

Do you look back particularly fondly on any memories from childhood?
No doubt, spending our summers at our family cabin on Lake Owen in Wisconsin. The freshest air, the clearest lake, the most treasured family and the sweetest of memories. We spent time fishing, boating, swimming, waterskiing and other hilarities that should probably be kept as family legends. There simply wasn’t a better place to do childhood!


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