Fiona Morrison is the owner and designer of Wolf Circus Jewelry, a line of demi-fine jewellery handmade in Vancouver, BC. Fiona first learned her craft through YouTube while studying at the University of Victoria, and began selling to friends around school. With an aim to inspire others to embrace their confidence during their daily hustle, Wolf Circus is now available online and in stores across Canada, the U.S., and internationally. Fiona’s most recent milestones include winning the Fashion Institute of Technology Design Entrepreneurs program in 2019 and making it to BCBusiness’s top 30 under 30.
My first job ever was… working part-time doing data entry for a floatplane manufacturer (super glamorous, I know!)
My proudest accomplishment is… winning the Fashion Institute of Technology NY design entrepreneurs grant
The idea for Wolf Circus came to me when… I was studying at UVIC and had a few bolder jewelry pieces, which always sparked conversation with my peers. I realized that there wasn’t enough “badass” jewelry out there that my friends at university could afford. I learned everything off youtube and began by selling to my friends on campus. The word Wolf in our name came from a wolf head ring of mine which drew a lot of attention and Circus because of my father’s statement after I told him my idea “it’s going to turn into a circus”.
My boldest move to date was… putting $500 on my credit card worth of materials and starting the brand. Taking the brave first steps is always the most difficult.
I surprise people when I tell them… I love Excel!
My advice for aspiring entrepreneurs is… listen to your customers and always look for opportunities to pivot. Your early ideas of what your business may look like can always change and so can your business plan, just be open to looking at new opportunities and finding where the value is for your customers.
My biggest professional influences have been… my Dad has always been a huge inspiration for me and has taught me a lot about problem-solving and helping me with putting jewelry together in the early years.
“I think it’s our job as a brand to slow down and focus our energy into producing products as sustainably as we can and better meet our customers’ needs.”
My biggest setback was… most businesses face plenty of hurdles during the early stages, including new market entry, cashflow, gaining customers etc. I think for most people, the biggest setback is really changing your mental state to how you perceive problems and looking for more creative solutions. I had to mentally shift and refocus our strategies to stay true to why I am doing the work that I am and rediscover what the real value is to our customers. If you are truly listening to your customers’ needs, you won’t be chasing them.
My passion for design began when… I was young; if I had a sewing machine at the time, I might have started a clothing line.
My favourite piece of jewelry from our collection is… the Simone necklace and Candice rings.
The one thing I wish I knew when starting Wolf Circus is… I’m constantly amazed by how an afterschool side project could have grown into this, but if I had known, I wouldn’t have worked as hard!
I stay inspired by… consulting and helping uplift other small brands.
My next step is… honestly, I don’t know. The climate and fashion industry is moving so quickly, and COVID had really made us rethink how we sell. I think it’s our job as a brand to slow down and focus our energy into producing products as sustainably as we can and better meet our customers’ needs. I’m not sure what those next steps are going to look like, however, being small and open-minded is always an advantage.