...is half of the founding duo behind Wild Ruffle, a locally-focused blog turned boutique located in downtown Prior Lake. Cate began this blog with the dream of opening her own boutique featuring handmade/locally made items, and over time, that dream has grown and evolved greatly. Today, alongside her friend and business partner, Tammy, Wild Ruffle prides itself on donating 20% of their profits to charitable organizations.
Talk about the beginnings of Wild Ruffle.
Wild Ruffle began as a life and style blog, nearly five years ago. I began it as a creative outlet, hoping to one day open a retail shop, and Tammy joined in the fun two years ago.
How has your business grown? How have you grown?
The business has evolved from the blog, to one day only Pop Up Shops, and eventually into a brick and mortar retail shop in downtown Prior Lake. It continues to grow and change all the time—we’ve got big things on the horizon! It’s been our privilege to be able to meet so many wonderful people along the way, from our loyal readers and shoppers, to small business owners, and more. Each of them have helped us to grow, both in our business and in our personal lives. We’ve learned the importance of rooting each other on, and helping others to grow as well.
What do you love about providing a space for MN makers and artists to sell?
Most of the makers at our shop are fellow moms. We love being able to give them a space to have their own creative outlet, and to help them provide some extra income for their families. And at our Pop Up Shops, we’ve watched many of these artisans grow over the years, branching out and taking flight. We like to think we had a small part in encouraging that growth! In addition, we love being able to provide unique items to our customers. They’re not going to find our product mix anywhere else!
What is the essence of Wild Ruffle?
I’d say the best word to describe it is beauty. The people who are a part of what we’re doing are beautiful souls, full of kindness and love. They’re making beautiful things. And there’s beauty in the friendships that are being formed, and the relationships that have been built out of the shop and our pop ups.
Do you have any advice for someone just starting out?
Our advice for anyone starting out is to change. That goes against what the world would tell you, right? Never change—you’re great just how you are! But that’s the thing, it’s an ever evolving, always changing world of business and creativity we’re in. Just when you think you know when you’re doing, something new comes along to show you just how little you know. You’ve got to be open to new ideas, and changing how you do things, all the time. Also? Don’t be afraid. Or, be afraid, and do it anyway. You’ll never know how much you can accomplish until you just jump right in and go for it.