Classy fashion with a little bit of sassy—that’s a pretty good way to describe Benton’s newest hot spot, Wild. The boutique specializing in women’s trendy apparel opened earlier this year and has wasted no time making its mark on the downtown’s continuing revitalization.
“Wild was created by a group of women who really love fashion and wanted to bring something unique to Saline County,” said store manager Madalyn Jacobs. “Our style is for women going out with their girlfriends or maybe on a date night to have a chance to stand out. We can even help find that perfect blazer with a colorful twist for a business meeting.”
In addition to the women Jacobs mentioned, the boutique was established through the collaborative efforts of Chris Jordan and Adam Barnes, owners of the Benton-based graphic t-shirt shop, Stated Apparel.
“Along with Stated Apparel, we’re also a wholesaler of graphic t-shirts,” Jacobs said. “Some of those are specifically designed for women, like Smart Mouth, Savannah Grace, and By The Sea. That put us in a unique position to be able to print shirts for the store we could sell at a discount, like we do with $10.99 tees on ‘Wild Wednesday.’
“Chris and Adam thought this could give us an advantage toward marketing to women, and they were right. They had the vision and it has certainly worked out thus far.”
The two men reached out to Lyndsey Taylor about bringing something fresh to downtown, joining forces with Stephanie Caldwell and Maddy Jacobs to bring the vision to fruition. “It was their concept to have something truly different to offer downtown Benton,” Jacobs said. “They wanted something more upscale, offering clothing and an experience unlike anything other retailers really did.”
After a few meetings with property owner Bart Ferguson to get the retail space and atmosphere just right, Wild was born.
“We’re a great fit for this area because we’re in one of the fastest growing counties in the state,” Jacobs said. “Much of that growth is from younger families relocating here, and being in downtown Benton along with places like Valhalla, Baja, and others puts us well on our way to a more modern feel of an arts district, which is awesome.”
So what is it that makes Wild stand out?
“Here, we have an upstairs VIP room where you can come and pop a bottle of champagne with friends,” Jacobs said. “It’s more than just a clothing store; it’s a spot where you can just come and hang out. “We’ve become one of the hottest spots for bachelorette trips and brides. We have a whole bridal section.”
But as Jacobs describes it, Wild has a little something for women of different ages and fashion tastes. “We have something for all of our shoppers, regardless of their age. We’ve got fun scrunchies and graphic t-shirts for girls as young as nine, and we have options for those who may be a bit older but want to take a look at some of the fun clothing we offer. We really do try to have something for everyone.”
The boutique even has a specific piece that always seems to be in high demand among its clientele. “We have a signature hot pink blazer that, when we get them in, sell out in about 30 minutes. People just love them. It’s the Wild blazer.”
With a great storefront in a reemerging downtown Benton and a local reputation perfect for the area, you may think Lyndsey, Madalyn, and their coworkers might be satisfied—but you’d be incorrect. This is the 21st century, and for a business to thrive it needs more than just a strong physical presence…it must also have a prominent presence online.
“Social media is our main driver, and it is so important these days,” Jacobs said. “We are constantly running online contests or ads to get our name out there. Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok are great platforms where people see us and get a feel for our personality.”
However, the social media campaign is a never-ending cycle, requiring strategy, timing, and understanding of the process to be most effective.
“With Facebook and Instagram, we have a pattern we follow,” Jacobs said. “We post stories every day because potential shoppers like to see the social stories. Also, we post at the same time every day to boost the algorithm and keep us fresh in our followers’ timelines.
“With TikTok, we post cute videos about trending captions and hot hashtags. We also do short 30-second ‘how to’ fashion videos. An example might be, ‘How To Wear A T-Shirt Three Different Ways.’ Customers really like those, and they’re a creative way to engage with them and offer a few tips to help out.”
Thriving in the digital space hasn’t been confined to only social media platforms. Now you can access Wild through their newly launched app, searchable under “Wild Babes.”
“This app gives our customers the chance to just shop us from their smartphone, where they can go live in the app and do live selling,” Jacobs said. “This is a valuable feature that can be used worldwide, not just in Saline County.
“We’re really looking to use these tools to get our name and brand outside of Saline County and Arkansas with our online business because, with that capability come cool opportunities to expand in ways you can’t imagine.”
Wild is located at 102 N Market St. in Benton. You can reach them by phone at 501.794.6363 or online at https://shopwild.online/.