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Wholly Craft Rebrands to Wild Cat Gift & Party

Susan Post Susan Post Wholly Craft Rebrands to Wild Cat Gift & PartyAll photos by Susan Post
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After nearly 15 years, Wholly Craft is shaking things up with a new name. Starting today, the Clitonville shop at 3515 N. High St. will become Wild Cat Gift & Party.

Wholly Craft loyalists need not worry.

“We want to reassure people who do love us and shop with us that we’re actually not changing; we’re just trying to better communicate who we are to people that have not shopped with us for 15 years,” says Owner Olivera Bratich.

The store, which features a variety of handmade goods from local artisans, party supplies and other gift items, has long-battled perceptions of the word ‘craft.’

“We’re not a craft store,” Bratich says. “We carry hand-crafted gifts, but we’re not like a Joann or a Michaels.”

Bratich adds the notion has intensified over the last few years, attributing the shift to a change in language. Now, craft is more commonly associated with crafting supplies and people that use said supplies, instead of made goods.

She’s heard it straight from the mouths of potential customers. While occupying a booth at the 2018 Columbus Coffee Festival, Bratich came face to face with customer after customer in her target market that loved the curated collections of goods she had brought, but hadn’t been to the store. She heard one common refrain.

“Oh, I pass by that store every day – I always thought you were a craft supply store,” Bratich says.

Instead of the non-crafty thinking the store isn’t for them, Bratich wants to find a better way to communicate that yes, this shop is for you.

While mulling over a new moniker, Bratich’s son inadvertently came up with the perfect name. A youngster learning how to read, he picked up one of Bratich’s Wholly Craft business cards. He saw the ‘w,’ he saw the ‘c,’ and after a few attempts to sound it out, decided Wild Cat was definitely what it said. Wild Cat Gift & Party was born. Also a fitting name considering Wholly Craft’s logo features a cat.

The name gets its ‘Party’ from the recent merger with its sister-store Surprise. Previously located around the corner from what is now Wild Cat, party supplies mix seamlessly with the rest of the store’s previous inventory. The one-time craft corner has also been converted into more floor space to handle the additional goods.

A driving force behind the merger, which came after the decision to change the name, was the ability to expand their events and workshops. Bratich is retaining the Surprise space to host Wild Cat events.

Crafting workshops will start next month, with parties following over the summer. Information and registration for events will be on the new Wild Cat website. There will also be an option to order balloons online and schedule for pickup on the day of events, cutting an often long or two-trip task down to one easy swoop.

Bratich says at first there were anxieties about changing the name, but in this case, change is good.

“If anyone is anxious about it, all they have to do is walk in the door,” Bratich says. “All the things that people liked about us, we have the ability to double down on now.”

Wilde Cat Gift & Party will celebrate its new name with a Welcome to the Jungle (Party!) tonight, Thursday, April 25 from 6 – 9 p.m. Details are available on Facebook.

For more information, visit wildcatgiftandparty.com.

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