Hey everyone, Cass here. It's been a while since we had a substantial update in the world of Wildilocks on the blog - and now is that time. It's with both a relieved and heavy heart as well as a forward facing stride that I bring the latest news from this little alternative corner of the world.
Firstly - it's hard to believe that Wildilocks began over 10 years ago in a little market stall in Subiaco. There has been a huge amount of change in my life and the lives of others touched by the weirdness that is my unique and somewhat twisted vision of diversity and inclusiveness: but one thing has become very clear in this time. Wildilocks is essentially my baby, and the way I want the world to be for my baby is often not at all aligned with the way the world currently is. With a background in festivals, the alternative scene, busking and travel, and in the last 7 or so years, a very strong affinity and involvement with the Burning Man festival and its' Regional events, much of what I have envisioned for Wildilocks has been at complete odds with what is required for a business to function in this commerce-mediated world: at least, not for it to still be personal, yet reach a wider audience. This has been a monumental struggle for me: I have wished so often for a path to open up with a clear way to do things differently but still co-exist and also grow within the default world's existing structure, but if such a path has been possible, I've not met the right collaborators as yet, and in my experiments to grow and spread the Wildilocks message I have almost inevitably been drawn back to the harsh realities of a world where being an employer is seen in a very particular light and requires many procedures I've struggled with psychologically: especially without cloning technology!! I've attempted to grow Wildilocks within the confines of society and business practice as it currently requires and with the limitation of having only one physical body yet a wider geographical reach: and this has changed me as a person. I'm not at all sure I like the changes; in fact, I think I can say with some confidence that I really don't. This has never been what it's been about for me, and in trying to explain my vision to people and ask them to share in creating it, nurturing it, taking ownership of it and maintaining it, I have not really managed a true, lasting connection, and something has become lost which I've been chasing for some time now. And so much has changed in the past 10 years since this venture began.
The way people are socialising has changed. Where once you really needed to see people in person to catch up and feel you were participating, now you can get a similar feeling any time, any place, staring at your mobile phone screen. People are less motivated to act physically as they are vicariously experiencing their friends' actions and as a result feel simultaneously satiated and envious. Not sure how healthy this is for us, but it's what is happening. While the line between content creators and consumers has blurred, so has the means for surviving in the physical world via physical effort reduced as real physical participation has reduced and virtual representation has increased.
The alternative scene has changed. One could say there's been something of a lull over the past few years, especially in Perth: what was a vibrant gothic scene, some would say the best city in Australia to be going out goth clubbing for most of the 2000's, has been gutted by politics and a city with a fantastic weekly club now has monthly events at best, which many do not attend: total attendance over any period of time, even if monthly events are relatively well attended, is significantly lower. A phoenix has yet to arise from the ashes. While that may still come (and given the historic ebbs and flows of the goth scene, is actually quite likely) that time does not seem to be on the horizon any time soon.
The way people are purchasing has changed. Retail in general has shifted online significantly, and less events also means less demand overall. While Wildilocks was an early leader in online sales, having multiple physical locations has meant this area has been neglected terribly, and our online inventory and marketing has not kept up with the times.
All this equals an inevitable need for change. And the truth is, the alternative scene is much healthier in Melbourne right now than it is in Perth - not that there hasn't always been a drift from Perth to Melbourne, but the difference has become more pronounced in recent years. So - it is time for a restructure.
This means: Wildilocks Perth will be going FIFO. Base108 will be ceasing physical trading on 27th April 2013. But THIS DOES NOT MEAN WILDILOCKS IS CLOSING! Far from it!! (and our Melbourne salon is going strong as ever with two lovely new staff and some of the craziest Saturdays we've seen in years!). However, it does mean there is going to be more competition for appointments in Perth, as Wildilocks from this date will be hosted @ Identified Hair in Kensington (just a hop, skip and a jump from the CBD, south of the river). Jude @ Identified Hair is one of very few career hairdressers I have met who I feel understands and supports the Wildilocks ethos, and while Jude's thing is a little different to mine, she is very keen to provide Wildilocks with a base to continue servicing our loyal clients with the best dreadlocks and extensions in Perth (and indeed, the world). Not only that but you will be guaranteed the absolute best service as I will be seeing all clients personally. This restructure means that appointments for dreadlocks and extensions installs and maintenance will agenerally need to be booked more in advance (eventually possibly up to 8 weeks but initially up to 4 weeks) and most will require an advance payment of a deposit as appointment slots will be be more precious and no-shows cannot be accommodated (if you are a regular with no no-shows o cancellations, this may be waived). Rates will not be increasing, and will continue at $95 per hour with our guaranteed price freeze continuing into 2014 at least. I may also consider some mobile appointments depending on location. So do not fear, your Wildilocks fix is still going to be very much available! We will also be maintaining the Perth phone number to keep booking and enquiries easy as pie (mmm, pie), but email bookings and consults will also be highly encouraged. As of what will be happening with the Base108 premises? Was wondering if you'd ask. There will actually be a salon taking over the premises - but it is going to be a barber salon and they will not be providing Wildilocks services, though I have been told they are skilled in hair tattoos, as well as providing more mainstream urban streetwear and a possible recording studio - for those of you who remember the premises when Narcissist were there, it looks to be a return more to the kind of thing they were doing. So the spirit of 108 Barrack St is evolving, too - just in a different direction now.
As is usual when there is any change, and also because we're a little overdue for one anyway, from this Saturday in both Perth AND Melbourne, we will be having: OUR BIGGEST SALE IN HISTORY! This is because we need to ship as little as possible over to Melbourne as we consolidate our stock, plus we need to make room to fit everything in once there, so I am pleased to announce, for ONE WEEK ONLY from April 23rd to 27th, we will be having a ...
BUY ONE, GET TWO FREE for A WHOLE WEEK.
Yes you read that correctly, BUY ONE GET *TWO* FREE (this is for all clothing, boots and accessories in stock, free items must be equal or lesser value than purchased one) for a WHOLE WEEK. This is an absolutely, guaranteed, 100% WILL NOT BE REPEATED SALE! For Perth it will be your last chance to try items on, though in the coming months many many items not currently on the Webstore will be added though, so all is not lost.
We have a couple of other BIG pieces of news. As part of the restructure, Wildilocks will now be allocating resources to wholesaling & distributing Special Effects and Directions hair colours within Australia & New Zealand! If you are a hair professional or an alternative store and wish to have immediate access to our new trade prices, please contact us on email@example.com - we will be creating a whole new website section for this new aspect of the business - we will also be adding quantity discounts to our retail webstore too. Please note that Special Effects currently have several colours out of stock which won't be restocked for several months so our Wholesale Section won't be launched til after all colours are full available once more (even though this happens a couple of times a year almost like clockwork, we are hoping to head that off by increasing our stock levels once wholesaling). Not only that, but for those of you who are concerned with availability of the brands we stock once we have moved - don't be! We will be shipping at least 3 days a week from now on, plus Identified Hair is not only providing a home for Wildilocks in Perth, they are also happily providing a home for Special Effects too, so you can find these now in salon @ Identified Hair - Jude is also happy to provide Special Effects colour services in salon too at any time, not just when Wildilocks is being hosted.
Now, looking ahead and what's coming up in the not distant future. Wildilocks has been asked to be involved with World Goth Day celebrations @ DV8 in Melbourne - we'll be outfitting some gorgeous gothic models and raising a toast to everything dark and delicious in Australia's Goth Capital City on May 18th. More details to come soon on this.
Please note we WILL be closed on the 25th of April for Anzac Day in Melbourne but will be open in Perth for the sale so those of you who have the day off but might not be able to come down otherwise, can have a chance :)
We will also be looking to revive our "Treats" blog and Youtube channel which has been languishing for far too long due to lack of time and resources: watch for some awesome new additions over the coming months.
Lastly, I would like to thank each and every one of you who has been involved with the evolution of Wildilocks in Perth in some way in the past 10 years who have appreciated and understood the vision of Wildilocks to not just beautify the alternative world, but take a stand for those who have no choice in being perceived as "different": by consciously choosing to appear strange and unusual, you are making a political statement to the mainstream, and helping encourage acceptance and diversity. I am still walking that path proudly after all these years, and hope to keep doing so with you all for many years to come. I am really looking forward to reconnecting and maintaining that connection in a more personal way with many more people in both Perth and Melbourne over the coming years thanks to this change.
Pop in if you can this coming week to grab a bargain and say goodbye to Base108, to witness this particular Wildilocks chapter in closing, and welcoming in the new.