Retailer Spotlight: Wayward
Posted on November 28 2017
Wayward Interview with GM and Founder – Kevin Winkel
What is Wayward and what led you to start it?
Wayward is all about connecting, inspiring and enriching the lives of anyone who puts an emphasis on appreciating their time here and making the most of it, through exploration. It's really about pushing yourself to seek new experiences and appreciate the things that make those experiences more enjoyable. There were so many factors leading up to the reason Wayward exists today, but ultimately it is because we felt there are so many great people and brands out there prioritizing adventure and creative endeavors, and there really wasn't anyone in retail bringing that community and those brands together.
What are some of your top brands you carry?
Wayward is still in its infancy as a retailer and hasn't even made it through a full year, so we are constantly seeing brands evolve within our mix. We are seeing success in everything from heritage brands like Filson and Fjallraven that have stood the test of time, to some very new and even local focused brands like a Mystery Made here in Seattle or Bridge and Burn out of Portland, OR. We have a very specific focus on bags at Wayward and believe every trip is guided by what you bring with you, so we are excited to see brands bringing new designs and ideas to this market that can help make exploration more enjoyable. Matador is a great example of this. We also love brands that give back, like Parks Project who donate proceeds directly to National and State Parks. Other than that, a few other standouts are Norse Projects, Carhartt WIP, Cotopaxi, and Roark Revival. Even our Vintage finds are doing great.
Where can we visit you in person?
We have three locations: Downtown Seattle, Bellevue Square in Bellevue, WA, and in the Wicker Park neighborhood of Chicago.
What's the most epic adventure you've ever been on?
That's a tough one. It's been one hell of a journey with a lot of adventures over the past couple decades. The top three that come to mind would be, in no particular order, spending a month backpacking in the Yukon Territory. The five years I spent chasing snow as a snowboard photographer--putting a crew of relatively broke 17-28 year-olds traveling the world always meant for some stories--and recently becoming a father. But really, opening Wayward over the past couple years has been pretty epic, and the team and experiences we have had so far really has been a true adventure.
Looking forward, we plan to stay focused on connecting with the communities we play in and bringing more like-minded people together. We hope to inspire more people out in their playgrounds and create with their hands and minds. This hopefully will mean more growth for Wayward, the team and being able to get out and do some more exploring ourselves.