“Women Who Work” is a series that celebrates the millennial woman who is breaking barriers for women, excelling in business, contributing to her community and industry in a big way, and setting the example for other women to go out in the world and kick-ass. If you or someone you know fits this description, feel free to reach out for a feature!
Amanda Nelson is not a woman to be messed with. Although she didn’t have the privilege of growing up in the South, Amanda’s every bit of the strong, opinionated, well-dressed, slightly foul-mouthed-yet-still-polished woman you’d expect to find below the Mason-Dixon. Learn more about this bad ass fashionista and business owner in our latest “Woman Who Works.”
Buffalo, New York
Penn State/ Art Institute
Whistle & Wild,LLC
Awards & Recognition:
Been in multiple magazines in the DC/ Northern Virginia/ Baltimore Maryland as well as news segments, which I thought was pretty cool!
Photographing models for W&W, painting, singing, eating tacos & brisket
What is the funniest thing that has happened to you recently?
I sent an email to a zoo asking if my husband can interact with the primates there. I haven’t laughed so hard since I don’t know when. (the answer was no)
If you could go back in time and meet any notable woman in history, who would it be? Why?
Lady Godiva, look her up. She is a straight bad ass. Her husband was not very nice to the townspeople and taxed them to death…she hated that he did this and wanted him to lift the debt. He challenged her and said if you ride through town on horseback, naked, then I will. & Guess what she did next….rode through the town with only her hair to cover her. #GOALS
You’ve been involved in the fashion industry for years. What was the first moment you realized that fashion was something you wanted to pursue for life?
I remember in 9th grade I was leaving for school in the morning and I took this long piece of sheer fabric from my house that I think was meant for a curtain valence and styled it as a scarf. My mom looked at me and said “you’ve always done interesting things like that” & I just knew.
What made you want to start your own online boutique? Was there anything that was harder than you expected about the whole process?
I wanted to make my own choices and use my style and influence on the brand. & YEAH! Taxes are hard and DC laws suck when it comes to registering to a biz, home selling permits, etc. oyeee.
You went from a 9-5 type job to starting your own business. What was the scariest part of that leap?
The scariest part was coming up with a name. I didn’t care if people were going to like Whistle & Wild or not, still don’t. It’s about me and my customers. It’s a way for me to express my creativity and to use it as an outlet. The name had to be catchy and just right.
What advice would you offer to other women looking to quit their “day jobs” and pursue their dreams full time?
Research! They would really have to have a solid business plan. It’s all fun and games until everything falls apart. A solid and proper business plan will take you far.
You recently made a big move from Washington D.C. to Austin, TX. Has the move affected the way you shop pieces for customers? How different are style in the North from the heart of Texas?
The move was more “on brand” for W&W so it was easy on the customers, and I would be lying if I said it didn’t affect the way I buy for my customers. The styles in DC are far more polished, stiff and rigid compared to the styles you’ll see on the site and the gram. But I like that it wasn’t “typical” or “expected”.
Women are now the dominant force in small business ownership and succeeding in industries that were once taboo for women. What more do you think we can do to increase the number of female-owned small businesses?
Seminars, Mentoring, Internships, and anything else to get the word out to these young women. They may not even know they want to be an entrepreneur but with a little nudge and push from someone successful …who knows, you may find the next Oprah that way!
Where do you see yourself, and whistle and wild in the next five years?
Girllllll, Five years is a lonnnnnng time who knows. If you were to tell me last year that I would be living in Austin (my dream city) I would have never believed you. But I will say this; Whistle & Wild will not slow down, the sky is the limit and this girl is not stopping any time soon. I’m looking for more partnerships, more collaborations, more everything. 2018. The year of more for W&W .