Originally published in The Pulse

Incorporating nature’s beauty into wearable art

“Plants help us focus and identify where we are,” says naturalist Lin Feagans. “We hope to inspire your wild by creating unique pieces using materials found in nature.”

On a gloomy, rainy afternoon in her workspace also known as her kitchen, she spoke about what inspired the birth of the business, Wanderlust & Wolf.

Wanderlust, by definition, is a strong desire to travel. In 2016, Lin and Shawn Feagans had a newly discovered need to express their love for the outdoors with jewelry. Kindergarten teacher Lin had the idea to start Wanderlust & Wolf after several recurring dreams that involved wolves. These subconscious messages moved her to pursue a more creative outlet utilizing her degree in outdoor education.

Originally from Michigan, Lin moved to the warmer scenic south where she met her wife Shawn and it did not take too long before they were inspired by the new beginnings, surroundings and fellow artist friends.

Shawn handles the marketing elements and Lin develops the product line. Lin began crafting Native American inspired pieces as the wolves in her dreams carried heavy meaning in Native American culture. Brightly colored beaded necklaces and sculpted silver feather clasps were a few of the first creations, then she branched out to laser cutting and using pressed plants in resin.

“I attempted to incorporate succulents and air plants into my designs, but Penelope wouldn’t allow it,” she explains. I asked if that was her daughter, but she laughs and points to the allegedly evil kitty who destroyed all the low maintenance plant life therefore dictating what trended next.

She chuckles adding this advice, “Leaving small objects around for the cat to knock on the floor does not make for a successful business.”

Their son Jackson, on the other hand, fully supports all elements chosen to add to the collections.

“He loves going on walks or to farmer’s markets with me to find new flowers or inspiration.”

Currently pressed flowers in resin jewelry is more bountiful than other times of the year as the warmer weather permits for more plucking.

As Lin has an Outdoor Education degree, she understands the importance of take only pictures and leave only footprints. She therefore has made an effort to collect nature only in an environment that is not detrimental to the area thriving.

“We pick from public places that are well populated and do it in a sustainable way, only taking what we need and clip to where the plant can grow back.”

She also supports other local businesses by reaching out to farmers and flower shops as dependable resources.

“I found Feathers & Fruit and their Two Buck Plucks at the Wednesday Main Street Market by happy accident this year. A Lilac blew off their table across my feet and I was overwhelmed as I have not seen lilac since I moved here,” Lin describes as she displays the newly created pedal pendants.

“Lilacs are all over in Michigan so it instantly reminded me of home and I was so inspired to immediately preserve them.”

Since Lilacs prefer colder climates, they are more common in the North and are not usually found south of Tennessee. Her current top three flowers to work with are lilac, Queen Anne’s Lace and fern but then she added that daisy fleabane is her new favorite.

“A woman wanted a seed from a trip she recently took and I was ecstatic to be a part of capturing her memories as well as empowering her to keep them on her.” Custom orders are more than encouraged as Lin loves hearing about someone’s story and in a way, it allows her to feel as though she has been incorporated into that person’s journey.

Including the bouquet flowers and wedding colors, a bridal party set may be tailored made to contain any combination of necklaces, earring, tie clips and cufflinks. Wanderlust and Wolf will also offer a discount for larger group purchases, bridal or not so gather your friends and design your own flower friendship bracelet.

The current collection includes resin, laser cut wood, stones, beads, copper, silver, rose gold, necklaces, earrings, bracelets, rings, cufflinks and hand stitched hats. From personalized photos to R2D2, unicorns to paddles, Agate to Jasper, Wanderlust & Wolf enjoy being able to cater to all who wander.

The availability of Wanderlust & Wolf product is almost as abundant as their inventory. You can find them and a one-of-a-kind handmade item at the Sunday Market, on Etsy, as well as permanently displayed at Merchants on Main, Starline Books and Locals Only.