Meet Caley Adams, Founder & Creative Director of Wildes District
Describe your business in a few words:
Caley Adams is the Founder & Creative Director of Wildes District, an NYC-based design studio that specializes in emerging women’s and e-commerce brands. Wildes District works closely with founders to build meaningful experiences that span multiple touchpoints — including brand, web, app, print, packaging, and more. Caley has over a decade of design experience working for some of the world’s most celebrated brands, including Chanel, The Row, Rolex, Warby Parker, Birchbox, Ralph Lauren, and ALDO.
After spending years building larger brands, she turned her focus toward working with early-stage companies to help them navigate the many phases and challenges of brand development, from pre-launch to post-launch life and created Wildes District in 2018. Today, she leads the Wildes District team and partners with founders to help build their brands from the ground up, with visually compelling but scalable design. Their clients include some of the most of the moment names today including Andie Swim, Aurate, Kin Euphorics, Chief, Coterie, Elix Healing, and Margaux.
What was your background prior to starting your own business?
I worked in the design field for almost a decade before starting Wildes District. I worked at several agencies, I worked in-house, at startups, at bigger companies, at smaller companies, as a freelancer, everything. I worked a lot within the fields of fashion, beauty, luxury, and e-commerce design.
Did you always know you wanted to be an entrepreneur?
No! I think it just kind of found me. I felt that I had a lot to offer by diving off and starting my own business, but I wouldn’t have done that if I felt there wasn’t a need for it/a market opportunity.
Take us back to when you first launched your business, what was your marketing strategy to get the word out, and did it go as planned?
All of our marketing and new business was word-of-mouth (and mostly still is). We love the brands we work with. Like us, almost all of our clients are women running businesses, and so there’s a lot of mutual support there. We were not expecting this level of referrals and so that was really nice, and as such we haven’t had to put as much effort to date into business development.
What is the accomplishment you are the most proud of to date?
I’m really proud of being named one of GDUSA’s “People to Watch” for 2022. It’s a bit nerdy, but I used to read this graphic design magazine as a student in college dreaming of my career…and so it felt really exciting to be included in the issue this year.
Do you believe in work/life balance? What are some of your best tips?
Work/life balance is really a tough thing to nail down. There are times where work takes over everything, and similarly there are times where life takes over everything. I think this is just the way life is, and it’s a hard thing to try to tame sometimes. Whenever a big swing in one direction or the other happens, I try to accept the moment, and acknowledge that it’s just a season of life that it will pass, because it always does.
What have you achieved recently that you’d like to celebrate with our community?
My home was featured on Apartment Therapy, which was fun and exciting. They did a home tour and put it on their site and Instagram. https://www.apartmenttherapy.com/caley-adams-colonial-house-tour-photos-37044616
What’s next for your business? What can we expect to see over the next few years?
We are starting to hone in even more on our specific niche. We are doubling down on women-led businesses and businesses that are targeting female consumers. We’re starting to say a lot more that doesn’t align to our belief systems, and that’s an exciting place to be. We’re producing work that makes us proud.
What excites you about being an Entreprenista League member?
Meeting fellow women entrepreneurs!