Born from a passion for travel, purpose and inspired living, Wanderlust Life is an understated jewellery and lifestyle label with a minimalist edge. Established in 2013 by Georgie Roberts on the North Coast of Devon, the collections are created at the Wanderlust Life studio and store in Braunton. Made up of a close-knit all-female team, Wanderlust Life embodies a clean, pared-back aesthetic based around the elegance of natural elements and deliberate simplicity.
Georgie, tell us when and how you started your business?
Georgie Roberts: I started Wanderlust Life in 2013. Before then, I had held a variety of roles from creative agencies and running yoga retreats to working with Damien Hirst. I also travelled extensively, gathering inspiration before returning home to Devon and turning to jewellery making. It was my own wanderlust that gave the initial inspiration for the brand but as the company has evolved, the focus is on a more holistic approach to journeying as an individual. Wanderlust Life started in my spare bedroom. It was my side hustle for a little while until I took a leap of faith and invested my full time and energy into the brand. I’ve never looked back.
Your pieces feature a spectrum of semi-precious stones and birthstones. Where does your love of semi-precious stones come from?
Georgie Roberts: From my mama. She’s always been into crystals and gemstones, so they were around as a child. I used to love going through all of her crystals and jewellery and picking a stone, then looking it up in her gemstone book! She gave me my first necklace – a tiny, really simple gold heart on a chain. She used to put it around my neck and say ‘love makes the world go round darling’. I loved that it held meaning, and that has always been at the centre of each piece we create. People used to always comment about that necklace. Before I launched Wanderlust Life, I remember thinking I wanted to create some jewellery that was minimal like the heart necklace but also had to do with gemstones. That thinking actually led to the first piece I designed – our signature fine cord necklace.
What have been the challenges creating and growing the business?
Georgie Roberts: Initially, I think it was having faith in myself to leave a full-time secure job to pursue something that felt totally unknown! I had never run a business before. I didn’t have a loan or a plan B – I had to trust my gut and learn along the way.
Running a business is always a challenge. I don’t think that changes as you become more established. I think the difference is how you look at the challenges and the stresses, how you choose to react to them.
I think it’s also really important to stop to celebrate the wins, no matter how small and, equally, don’t sweat the small stuff. Don’t see things going wrong, try and reframe them as a lesson for next time!
What has been your greatest achievement to date? Is having a shop the ultimate?
Georgie Roberts: I think my successes have changed over the years. Of course, when I opened our shop and studio back in 2016 it was a huge achievement. I was so nervous on our opening night. I felt so exposed and petrified no one would turn up. But over 300 people came to celebrate and that was a really good moment. More recently, I think I feel really proud of getting through the pandemic, running a business and supporting our team through that. It’s a big responsibility to employ people, and I think my team is my greatest achievement.
What is the key to getting the right team around you?
Georgie Roberts: Having the right people and energy around you is EVERYTHING. Connection is just as important as competence. Communication is everything. We now have a dedicated crew of 16 talented women and they play a vital role in the company. Each individual voice and every opinion matters to me.
I’m so lucky to work with such a wonderful team of ladies that are part of Wanderlust Life – I spend a lot of time with them.
We’re an all-female collective and they are such a huge support to me. It’s very empowering to work with such a great group of women who have so many different skills and qualities about them.
Often we’ll make plans to paddleboard, or have a last-minute BBQ on the beach after a day at work – we are very lucky to live and work where we do.
What would you say to any woman who wants to follow her passion and make it a business?
Georgie Roberts: I’m a huge believer in the power of manifestation. Environments bloom where we direct our energy. If you don’t know where to start, write a list. Make it into a mood board. Make it visual. Put it up on the wall and sit with it for a while – question why you chose the images you did. It’s such a brilliant exercise to find your flow and purpose.
We have a quote that I put on our shop and studio wall that says, “What we talk about, we create; what we focus on, we amplify; what we dream of, we manifest. How you direct your mind determines your reality. Choose wisely”.
What inspires you and your designs?
Georgie Roberts: Coastal living is very much integral to our brand. It’s a feeling and an aesthetic and definitely inspires me, my lifestyle and our designs. I also have some very amazing people close to me that continue to inspire me daily to be the best version of myself. Connection is everything and life without meaning or purpose feels irrelevant, so I love to create jewellery that helps to hold meaning. Each piece holds a narrative and is designed to act as a talisman. We think of our jewellery as a visual mantra, fortifying customers as they set out to lead their best lives.
Do you think we are moving more toward spirituality and a better understanding of the power of crystals?
Georgie Roberts: Absolutely. It’s definitely becoming more mainstream and much more accessible and acceptable. We work with over 30 different gemstones and each has its own mantra that represents the properties of each stone. We don’t expect the gemstones to deliver magical superpowers but we hope they remind the wearer of the possibility of achieving great things from a simple beginning. It’s a great way of setting intentions.
What are your future plans for the business?
Georgie Roberts: My partner and I embarked on a full-on lockdown project, renovating a 70s beach bungalow into a laid-back luxury holiday home, which has become an expansion of the Wanderlust Life ethos. I absolutely love putting energy into making beautiful spaces. I enjoyed creating our shop and studio so much that I saw the bungalow – Casa Paloma – as an opportunity to expand my creativity into another division of Wanderlust Life.
We’re always working on new collections to expand and develop our range of designs. We have a very exciting personalisation project happening in the summer that I can’t wait to share!
You can also visit the Wanderlust Life store and studio at 14 Caen Street, Braunton, North Devon EX33 1AA.