Q&A: Vanessa Wade, Founder of Wiley Body

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Though nature, music, and art provide us with infinite reasons to feel creative, the people that we’re constantly inspired by are our fellow makers and small business owners.

Dune Gift + Home is a haven for these original souls, where their works and wares grace the shelves, ready to bring happiness to a lucky shopper who walks through our doors. Our mission is intricately intertwined with their businesses, and, for that reason, we thought it apt to feature these entrepreneurs and makers on our blog from time to time.

Today, we start with Vanessa Wade, Founder of Wiley Body, the makers of natural skincare for babies, free of harmful ingredients that could affect their sensitive skin - and yours.

Let’s jump into the Q&A.

Tell us about your background! How did you get to where you are now?

For many years I did branding, website design, and photography for clients. I loved helping other women start their businesses and work to make their vision come to life. Deep down, I think I always wanted to have the same thing: a business to call my own and to grow bigger than myself.

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What made you want to start Wiley?

It all started with the birth of my first daughter, Emma. I was giving her a bath and she would not stop screaming when soap got in her eyes even though I was using soap that claimed to be “tear free”. That’s when I got to investigating and looked up the ingredients that were in all of the products I use. 

These products that I grew up with and assumed were great for my daughter had incredibly toxic ingredients and terrible ratings on EWG, a website that gives you a rating of how safe a product is. It was then that I set out to create products of my own full of natural, plant-based ingredients that I knew were safe and gentle for my family.

Who is Wiley for?

Wiley is made for every body. I created our first product, Body Bubble (a 3-in-1 shampoo, body wash and bubble bath), with the hope of eliminating the need for more bottles in your bathroom vanity so everyone in the family can use it. We’ve even heard of some customers using it on their dogs!

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What are your plans for Wiley in the next year? In 5 years?

Right now, I’m working on the launch of two new products and hoping to launch those within the next few months. I’m so excited about these products I’ve poured so much time and love into. They’re truly amazing (and effective!) and I can’t wait to get them out into the world.

In the next five years I’m hoping that the brand will grow up with my children. I’d love to perfect this baby line and eventually roll into a tween and adult line of products.

What’s inspiring you right now?

With the excitement of getting these new products launched, I’ve been listening to a ton of business-related podcasts. Some of my favorites right now are Second Life, Well Made, and How I Built This.

Can you walk us through your beauty routine?

I wouldn’t say I have a routine necessarily, but I do have a few products I am obsessed with. I love Youth To The People face cleanser, Summer Fridays Jet Lag mask and Berlin Skins cocoa eye butter (it smells delicious). After having a whole slew of products on my counter, I’m glad I have finally narrowed it down to just the necessities.

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How would you describe your style?

Simple and effortless. I love a good pair of high waisted jeans with a nice linen top. I don’t love outfits that are overly complicated, so most of my style is just a good flowy dress or jeans and a tee with some simple jewelry. As a mom and business owner, it needs to be something I can throw on and run out the door!

What is your favorite scent?

I’m a huge fan of citrus scents, so anything including grapefruit, lemon or lime. Yummm!

Have you read any good books lately?

You Are a Badass by Jen Sincero - This book is a must read! After struggling with postpartum depression this book was just the boost I needed to get out of my own way and start Wiley. 

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What is your favorite item in your home?

We recently built a studio space in our backyard and I’ve been collecting a ton of ceramic pieces for it, I’m obsessed!

Do you think there’s an item that every home should have?

Plants - they’ll liven up any space. Even if you can’t keep them alive, there are some good fake options too.

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Do you have a personal motto?

“This too shall pass.”

Any advice for small business owners?

Just keep going. There will be a lot of obstacles to overcome in your business but you’ll be so happy you kept going and pushed through them. And find a good group of other business owners you can run ideas by! It can be really isolating running your own show so having other shop owners that “get it” and who can be supportive of you and keep pushing you when times get tough will be a life saver.