We had the good fortune of connecting with Vale Wiley and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Vale, what role has risk played in your life or career?
Taking a risk is worth it every. single. time. I truly think the chance at success outweighs the scariness that comes with risk. There are pros and cons in every situation, of course, but risking it all to seize an opportunity is better than wondering “what if?” later on. My entire adult life so far has been built on risk – moving here or there, going to college, choosing to drop out, deciding to go back, applying for jobs, quitting jobs, chasing opportunities… it was all a risk. I jumpstarted my own career after I took my biggest risk I could imagine, which was dropping the stability, leaving the comfortable and pouring my heart, soul, and all I had in my bank account into my dream. Even though the fear was there, I risked it! And now I have my dream job, my own business, and I eventually did get that degree 😉 So, I think that risk is just an unavoidable part of decision making and life in general!
Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
Wanderess Collections is a women’s clothing boutique offering a collection of classic and trendy styles, jewelry, lounge wear, accessories and cute lil’ home goods items! Our vibe is a perfect blend of vibrant and neutral. We have something for everyone – from the laid back coastal girl to the bold city girl and everyone in between. Nothing compares to the in person shopping experience and because we offer that, we act as not only shop owners but personal stylists. This alone sets us uniquely apart from big box and online stores. One thing I am so proud of as a company is that each and every customer of ours knows we have them in mind, always. We shop with them, we style them, we make inventory choices FOR them. Having a strong local presence means knowing your community and showing up for them, just like they show up and support us. That’s something I’ll always be thankful for, proud of and prioritize! I got here, Wanderess Collections got here, because of dedication, passion and vision. None of it was easy but it was all meant to be. So much sacrifice has gone into the creation and success of Wanderess Collections and it’s honestly been extremely hard at times. However, giving up never crossed my mind. Keeping our energy focused and taking things one step at a time is how we’ve overcome challenges and reached milestones as a company. And it’s been FUN! It’s been so fulfilling and fun! I will be the first one to share my struggle, but I think it’s more important to share the successes, the inspiring pieces, the wonderful-ness that comes with chasing dreams! I’ve learned the lesson along the way to rejoice in the all the good times, no matter how small or big. There’s always the pressure to be great and successful, but the best lesson I’ve learned is to celebrate EVERYTHING because it’s all so special and amazing and apart of the process.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
Okay bestie! We’re starting the day off right by grabbing a coffee from Scooter’s on our way to thrift around Sandy Springs all morning. We’ll stop for lunch at Sunflower Cafe then dig for hidden gems in the shops of Little 5 Points. Let’s get tipsy on the rooftop of Corner Tavern! After that we can catch a show at Aisle 5 and dance the night away. We’ll start the morning off early with a Vinyasa class at Ember Yoga a few doors down from Wanderess Collections. I’ll have to give you a tour of my shop, of course! And Downtown Woodstock, too. We can be cute and buy each other flowers at the Woodstock Farmers Market and admire the beautiful fall leaves as we drive up to Eagles Rest Park for a hike. You’ll love the Meditation Garden here just as much as me! After such an active day, tomorrow we’ll take it easy. We can grab some Rock n Tacos first, then chill out with a wine tasting in Rowell. A little wine buzz and antique shopping never hurt anyone. Pop the champagne, it’s your last day in town! Let’s brunch it up at The Ivy and get lost in Buckhead. You might be hungover for your flight but the memories from Johnny’s will last forever <3
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
There are so many people who deserve recognition in my story! Starting a business from the ground up and keeping it running every day truly takes a village! From my sister and best friends volunteering to take over check out at Wanderess Collections, to my handy-man of a boyfriend building and fixing things on the regular, to our amazing employee who loves this shop like her own, to my Mother who doubles as my business partner and bestie, my Dad who is my business mentor and the rest of my family and friends who believe in and support Wanderess… I have so many people to be thankful for! My story wouldn’t be the same without them.