Makers for Makers: The Wild Standard
Linsey and Tara are the hard working creative duo behind The Wild Standard producing high quality handmade flags that are guaranteed to stop you in your tracks. That's how I discovered them at least. The flags are simple, natural, and just down right stunning. Linsey and Tara's passion shines through in each stitch. And, let me hit you with a surprise, while the two own the company together, they are separated by many many miles. Drive those miles and you've found yourself halfway across the States.
The two empowering ladies make it work and they are totally killin' it. There are a lot of wonderful handmade products out there from greetings cards to tote bags, but let's be honest, some stand far out from the crowd. And these flags are standing 1,000+ miles ahead of the crowd. So basically Linsey and Tara have taken the miles separating them in their long distance business partnership and used them to get ahead. (Maybe they are onto something here...)
There is no doubt that Linsey and Tara are bold creatives and daring adventurers so we couldn't resist sharing their story here with you. It's worth a listen.
Tell us about The Wild Standard.
Linsey Metcalf: Hmmm, well, little known fact about us, WS was started up by myself and Tara and we live and work half way across the states from one another. She is in Texas and I am in California. It makes for a lot of late night phone chats and texts but we make it work. I tend to handle business and creative and Tara manages and produces each flag we make: materials, stitching and shipping. We also have a shop dog, Babe, who routinely gets buried in fabric.
What made you realize you needed to bring this dream to reality?
Linsey: I think with a lot of our story, we have to give thanks to our friend Phil Sanders. A few years prior to our start, Tara and I had tossed around the idea of collaborating but never found the opportunity with our schedules. Back last July, Phil called me up and asked if I wanted to make a couple flags for Foster, his creative co-working space he was starting up in Atlanta. I began to work up the art and pull materials together and at that point I called up Tara and asked her if she wanted to join in and stitch this thing up for me. She and I finalized all the details, went through a couple prototypes and finally landed on the flag we have today. Our flag in Atlanta had great reception and Tara and I had a great time and worked well together, so we thought we’d give flagmaking a stab. From there we formed The Wild Standard and officially launched last October.
What are the core beliefs, values, & overall mission that drives your company?
Tara Bauerschlag: I think keeping our friendship the most important, that’s how we started; I would never want business to overshadow any part of what brought us together initially. You always hear stories of people fighting in partnerships, but we make decisions together. We are conscious of each others feelings’, thoughts. We balance each other well, the core of our business is balance, and we keep that in the forefront of everything we do.
Linsey: Yeah, having our company created out of a friendship, I think a lot of our internal goals are about valuing friendship over work, or personal goals. Take care of one another and communicate, especially since we can’t work together in the same room, or even state for that matter. We want to enjoy our work and make a quality product that we are proud of.
What was your biggest obstacle when starting out?
Tara: The fact that Linsey had to move across the country the week that our business was launching made it slightly hectic to try to find a sweet spot for scheduling when we would make decisions. You never realize how difficult it is to be long distance until you have to make decisions and you aren’t able to go to someone’s house and hash out the details in person.
So during our conference calls and periods of being able to physically work together we try to get as much work done as we can. Even though half of that time is spent eating pizza and talking about boys. And sending each other gifs.
Did/Do you have any mentors? Or Makers you admired that have inspired you?
Linsey: I often find it difficult to attribute one individual. I tend to find that my life is made up of the influences of so many different people. And as far as makers, a couple personal favorites are Dana Tanamachi-Williams and Christian Watson of 1924us.
Tara: Right now I really enjoy Allison Kunath’s work; she’s the one I’m following closely. Sophie Roach is a great one, she always gets me stoked. And Powwow World Wide; they’re a collective centered around street artists’ work. It’s amazing to see them collaborate to decorate an entire city. Really, anyone pursuing their passion to create something authentic, original, and with their own hands is always inspiring to me.
What does your typical day as a Maker look like?
Tara: Day job first, when I get home I give myself an hour to decompress, and then I start working on Wild Standard. And I keep that going until I can’t see straight. Thankfully I have a lovely man to make me dinner most nights.
Linsey: Ha, right, first the day job. If it is a Monday, Tara and I will typically hop on the phone after work and chat thru our details from the previous week and what is coming up that week. Any other night I might respond to emails, work up files for our printers or draw up custom art for folks OR hang on the back porch with my friends. I’m lucky enough to live next door to some of my closest friends, so good people are never far.
What do you love most about being a Maker?
Linsey: Meeting new people has been one of the most enjoyable aspects that I didn’t expect. We get to make the most wonderful internet friends thru social media. Sometimes they will come thru town and we will get to hang and other times we just get to support them from afar.
Tara: Freedom of creativity, true collaboration with someone. The decision to own my own business is probably the best decision I could have ever made.
What advice do you have for Makers just starting out?
Linsey: Find a good team to work with. Do what you love. If you don’t love it, don’t do it.
Tara: Just know, you will never be prepared. Be realistic. Be able to say no. Under promise, over deliver.