The Byron Set: Wandering Folk
Meet Sharnee, the beautiful soul behind the intricate and enchanting Wandering Folk designs. Born and bred in a little surf town just outside of the Byron shire, Sharnee now resides along the coast in Sydney’s eastern suburbs. We still consider her part of the Byron tribe, so when we found out she was in town over summer we couldn’t resist a catch up! What better way to spend time with an always adventuring designer of ‘magic carpets’ than for a picnic in the hills just outside Byron Bay.
Rain was on the radar, but I’m always more than optimistic, so we stuck it out and only a little sprinkle of a shower passed by (lucky her rugs are water resistant!). Of course after the rain comes the rainbow (yes we saw one) and we chatted through a pastel sunset sky, right until the stars came out and the only light we had was the glistening moon peeping through the clouds.
Here’s a little insight into the girl behind the brand…
Tell us about your journey before starting Wandering Folk
I’ve been a bit of a creative all my life, painting, drawing and collecting beautiful vintage are what I live for. So when I found out that a Textile Designer was an actual job (basically a Textile Designer is artist for fashion and homeware’s) I put my head down and bum up to make this dream come true. I moved to Melbourne to study Textile Design at RMIT and 3 years later I landed a dream job at a leading print studio in Sydney, where one of my highlights was my artwork seen on the catwalk at NYC fashion week. I made the leap to become a freelancer and have never looked back, its coming up to about 4 years now. wow! I still work as a textile designer as my main job and work with so many beautiful labels, being able to paint and draw everyday for my job is pretty amazing, and seeing my artwork out on the street, that never gets old.
I always wanted to have my own label and design my own prints so this is how Wandering Folk was born, I’m also a huge lover of adventures, the wilderness and camping so Wandering Folk has now just become an extension of my life.
Wandering folk captures the essence of adventure and travel… we’d love to hear one of your favourite travel memories or about your most loved destination.
My favourite adventure was a recent hiking trip in the Blue Mountains a few months back with my boyfriend. It was a 3 day hike, so we had to carry all our own food, water and camping gear. It was the hardest walk I’ve ever done but the most magical! The first night we camped by a fresh water stream under sand stones cliffs, this place looked like something out of the amazon rainforest, it was stunning.
The second day was the biggest challenge a 5 hour hike up the mountain, we set up camp on the edge of a cliff over looking the most amazing valley, eagles souring below us and not a soul to be seen. We had a picnic on a Wandering folk rug (of course) with a camp fire and watched the full moon rise, when I thought the moment couldn’t get any better my boyfriend dropped a knee, he knows how much I love a fairytale…so this hike was worth every step and will never be forgotten haha!
What’s the biggest lesson you’ve learned along the way so far?
Wow I’ve learnt so much over the past 2 years since starting Wandering Folk, the biggest lesson would be that you don’t always get it right first time, every time and persistence is the key!
So you’re a coastal girl living in the big city, how do you get your nature fix when you’re at home?
Yes living in the city gets a bit much sometime, though I live on the Eastern beaches in Sydney so the ocean is very close by even if it is very busy haha. I’m pretty lucky to have a group of friends that are mad for adventures so we are always off wandering, camping and exploring every chance we get. Sydney has so many beautiful places to explore that are not too far, so most of our weekends we are off to get our nature fix!
I love coming home to the little sleepy coastal town where I grew up, just up the road from Byron Bay. My family live across the road from the most amazing beach that is empty most of the time and their backyard is like a jungle that backs onto a big river, I spend most of my time here when I’m home lazing around and I love going waterfall chasing with my sister.
Do you have any future trips on the horizon?
Yes I’m off on a big America Trip in a few months, cant wait to get back over to America to explore more of the national parks and beautiful coastlines.
What’s next for Wandering Folk?
I’ve been working on some new prints that will be ready for next Summer and we have also been working on some exciting picnic accessories that I can’t wait to share with you all very soon.
Wandering Folk picnic rugs available online here