Wolf and Cub: Go Wild with Vintage Fashion
March 16, 2021
With its art-filled walls, the warm glow radiating from strung lights and dangling fixtures, as well as the brightly colored tables and perfectly curated setups, stepping into Wolf and Cub feels like entering a cozy corner of the world. “[What] we really try and bring is a fun experience–something you can’t get shopping on Amazon. Online, you can’t touch and feel and smell and experience just being in the store,” Mrs. Moody-Rosete, one of the co-owners of the small, independent shop, expressed.
In 2014, Bolles parents Emily Moody-Rosete’s and Varick Rosete’s passions for sustainability, creativity, and fashion fused together to form Wolf and Cub, a concept shop that carries a wide variety of vintage, new, and specialty pieces made all around the globe.
Named for the Rosete’s own spirit animals, the shop offers customers ways to capture their own unique spirits of the fashion world. “Deep down, what we love is just encouraging people to be themselves and harness their own style,” Moody-Rosete explained.
Besides running Wolf and Cub, both Mrs. Moody-Rosete and her husband each work an additional full-time job. She is the Managing Event and Program Producer at the Cummer Museum while Mr. Rosete is a Creative Director for the production company Tiger Lily Media.
For Moody-Rosete, creativity has been flowing through her veins since childhood, “I feel like maybe it’s just innately in me. I know I had a paintbrush in my hand when I was under the age of two. My mom didn’t mind if I was getting messy and just experiencing things. I think that probably laid the foundation, and then I just really ran with it,” she elaborated.
As a child, she had an unofficial business selling hair bows door-to-door. Eventually, during adulthood, this love translated into Anomaly, essentially an early version of Wolf and Cub located in Five Points with a live music venue at the back of the store.
The focus shifted more towards the music aspect of Anomaly, which ended up being moved downtown, and the nightlife demands, in time, became too wearing. Still remaining true to her artistic nature, Mrs. Moody-Rosete began working at the Cummer Museum meanwhile still making jewelry and other accessories on the side.
Missing the entrepreneurial fulfillment, however, she and Mr. Rosete then began the brand of Wolf and Cub. She described starting out, “We were doing pop-ups and night markets and just smaller things, but we didn’t have a brick and mortar location.” After temporarily running the shop for around three months in a different downtown location, they discovered Wolf and Cub’s soon-to-be home on North Laura Street, and it has almost been five years since moving in.
Moody-Rosete excitedly explained the process of discovering items for the store, “We carry hand-curated vintage. It’s all handpicked by my husband and I. We love to travel, so before the pandemic, we would love going over to Paris and finding vintage there and bringing back suitcases full [of items] that we’ll then sell, and then, I go to New York and go to a vintage jewelry dealer there that carries what they call “deadstock,” which is uncirculated vintage.”
Besides the hand-curated vintage, Wolf and Cub also sells t-shirts designed by Mr. Rosete (they also offer custom t-shirts).
From an idea to a physical shirt, the process exemplifies the business’ dependency on teamwork. He plans. She prints and preps for sale. Together, they decide on colors and the overall aesthetic.
As so many of their beliefs and values guide the small pack that is Wolf and Cub, the store also offers shirts that advocate for important causes they support. “Honestly, as a small business, there is a risk in putting yourself out there like that and showcasing your political beliefs, but at the same time, I feel to be quiet is going against what we believe,” Moody-Rosete elaborated.
The proceeds from some of their advocacy-related merchandise, such as their ‘and justice for all’ and Ruth Bader Ginsberg shirts, are donated to the Southern Poverty Law Center. Another shirt design also helped raise donations for JAMS, which is the Jacksonville Art and Music School.
Part of the love towards Wolf and Cub also comes from how personal the Rosetes try to make the shopping experience feel for their customers. “A lot of my customers become my friends too, which is nice. They have been shopping with me for a long time, especially people that have been shopping with me since my days in Five Points at our old store Anomaly,” Mrs. Moody-Rosete fondly said.
Despite all the challenges of establishing and running a business, Moody-Rosete approaches everyday life with creativity and a smile, “If you love what you do, you just got to keep going and don’t give up. Just keep on keeping on.”