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Since their high school years, Erin Rowe and Kathryn Gosciejew have been those friends that are always “scheming something.” That ambition lead them to making their own jewelry and selling it at markets and local stores. Their next “scheme” was to open their own gift store where they could sell their crafts and items from other artisans. But when they opened The Wild Fern in 2019, they knew that their ambition still wasn’t done growing.
The Wild Fern’s new larger location in Delmar will not only accommodate their merchandise but will also accommodate make-and-take classes and events. The Wild Fern will close its doors at its Seaford, DE location in mid-January and will reopen at 38613 Benro Dr. in February.
“We loved the Downtown vibe [in Seaford], but we knew we were too big when we moved into that space, so when that lease was up, we decided to jump,” Rowe told What Now Philadelphia. “We always wanted to have make-and-take craft classes, where the kids can come and paint ceramics or wooden items, and you can have a kid’s party or a girl’s night. It’s hard to find stuff like that to do when the kids are home in the summer, or it’s cold in the winter.”
Their Seaford store was only 650 sq. ft., but their new location in Building B of Delmar Commons will offer them 1,750 sq. ft. of space. Darrell Walker, Commercial Real Estate Consultant with Davis Strategic out of Salisbury, MD, represented The Wild Fern and worked with Dann Gladnick of DSM Commercial to help broker the deal for the new location. The Wild Fern sells gift items, like jewelry and humorous wine glasses, food items, like handcrafted cocoa bombs and gourmet flavored pretzels, candles and fragrances, and home and seasonal decor. They are always looking for cool new vendors to join their current roster, who are mostly women, to sell fun and unique items in their shop. The Wild Fern selects artisans that would otherwise be vending at pop-ups and provides them with a permanent location to sell.
“We have something for everybody. Having 30 to 45 vendors really allows for a good variety of items. At the same time, people feel good about shopping from 45 other small businesses they wouldn’t normally see if they didn’t attend a farmer’s market or craft fair,” Rowe said. “We also always strive to be affordable. We don’t really carry anything over $50 unless it’s a big piece of furniture.”
When the pandemic hit, Rowe, a mother of four, and Gosciejew, a special needs teacher, were forced to pivot and find a way to make sales while their store was closed. So, the two women, who are now 32 and have been friends since they were 14, decided to do live sales on Facebook twice a week until they were able to open again. It’s something they’ve continued since it brought them loyal customers from as far as Oregon. Get updates on the official store opening and live Facebook sales at facebook.com/thewildfernde.