Wander & Wonder into new store
- Published: July 20, 2017
Jake Brummett, owner of the newly opened outdoor lifestyle store Wander & Wonder, is no stranger to the trails and hiking spots throughout Yellow Springs.
“It’s my favorite place. I’ve been coming here since I was in high school [in the early 1980s]. I’ve spent a lot of time at the covered bridge, John Bryan State Park, Glen Helen and the pines,” said Brummett in a recent interview. “I mean, that’s just the way we grew up.”
Yellow Springs is the perfect fit for an outdoor recreation store, he believes, because of the natural scenery and abundance of outdoor activities available to community members and visitors alike. Aside from their love of Yellow Springs, Brummett and his wife, Raina, decided to open Wander & Wonder in the area because they saw a role in the community that needed to be filled.
“There don’t seem to be a lot of stores that carry stuff you would actually use while enjoying Yellow Springs. We wanted to hit that part,” said Brummett.
When customers come into the store and they’re new to Yellow Springs, he encourages them to visit Glen Helen and other outdoor recreational areas around town. The Brummetts want visitors to explore the natural parts of the area, not just walk up and down the main street and leave.
Currently residing in the Dayton area, the Brummetts have previously lived in Columbus, Rochester, N.Y. and Memphis, Tenn. For the last three years, Jake has been brewing beer in Centerville for Lock 27 Brewing while Raina makes her living as a market manager.
In addition to running Wander & Wonder, Jake is also hoping to expand into brewing at a self-owned pub. It just happened that space for their retail store was available sooner.
“You have to take what comes first. So, when I found out the former tenants [previously occupied by Urban Handmade, followed by OATS] were leaving, I contacted Dunphy Real Estate and put down my deposit.” said Brummett. They gained access to the store on May 25 and spent nearly a week painting and preparing the space for opening.
The Brummetts are passionate about supporting other local businesses and selling sustainable, environmentally friendly goods. They worked with Basho Apparel to create their website, stickers, logo, front entrance sign and eco-friendly screen printed shirts. They are also happy to support Bruce Grimes, the local potter who lost his studio in a fire this past April. Grimes provides handmade pots for the succulents that perch right outside the store entrance.
Any non-local goods sold in Wander & Wonder are selected by Brummett based on how environmentally responsible the company is. The store boasts items from Coalatree, United By Blue and tentree (which uses tencel, a clothing fiber made out of wood, and other natural recycled materials in their apparel), companies that use their profits to give back to the environment. For example, every time a tentree item is purchased, the company plants 10 trees. Since 2012, they’ve planted over 14 million around the world.
The Brummetts also sought to support other small businesses outside of Ohio, which led to carrying products from Be Hippy, a husband-and wife-owned lifestyle brand out of Colorado focused on inspiring people to live happily and adventurously. That message aligns with the Brummetts’ outlook as well.
Apparel, shoes, colorful succulents, jewelry, stainless steel water bottles, backpacks, wool socks and copper cups are just a few of the products lining the walls of Wander & Wonder. Their most successful product so far, according to Brummett, has been their hammocks manufactured by Coalatree. They’ve sold them all, including their display piece.
As pet parents to six dogs ranging from six to 96 pounds, the Brummetts also found it important to sell goods for furry hiking companions. Their pup Nugget most often accompanies them on their trips along the trails. They sell outdoor pet gear by Ruff Wear, which makes top-of-the-line dog gear, according to Brummett. They have pet items ranging from collapsible water bowls, heavy-duty leashes collars and harnesses, water toys, to camp-friendly pet beds and sleeping bags. Naturally, pets are welcome to come and peruse the store for themselves. There’s even a water bowl waiting for them just outside the entrance.
The Brummetts say they practice what they preach when it comes to sustainability.
“It starts as simple as turning the water off while you brush your teeth, you know, so you’re not wasting water,” said Brummett. “I do little things like that and not preheating the oven because you’re just wasting energy.”
Customers also appreciate the Brummetts’ emphasis on the environment. Helen Goldberg, visiting Yellow Springs from Cleveland, purchased a cat toy. She was happy to hear of the environmental responsibility behind goods sold in the store.
“I love how everything is very sustainable. You feel like you’re really helping someone or something,” said Goldberg.
Those seeking apparel and gear that will be useful outdoors can stop in Wander & Wonder Tuesday through Friday, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Saturday and Sunday, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. They can be found online at http://www.wanderandwonderys.com as well as facebook.com/WanderandWonderYS and Instagram (@wanderwonderys).
*Jessica Sees is an Ohio University student interning with the News. The article has been modified from its print version to clarify the couple’s plans regarding the store.