Wanderite, a local art company, hosted an art pop-up which bloomed on the corner of Roanoke and Wharton streets on Oct. 2. The pop-up featured naturally dyed bandanas, floral stickers and free tea.
“I’m really passionate about bringing people together around the arts, so I wanted to start with pop-ups, showing my art, hosting other artists and bringing in music,” said Lorrin Webb, the chief vibes officer (founder) of Wanderite.
Rainbow prayer flags covered in drawings of herbs adorned the white pillars of the house on Roanoke Street while neutral-colored bandanas blew in the slight breeze. Shin-height paper-mache mushrooms squatted by the door, adding a more whimsical feel. A table in front of the bandanas featured stickers in the shapes of fungi, coneflowers and a banjo.
According to Webb, Wanderite moved to Blacksburg from the Bay Area of California because of the artist Live | Work | Sell program. This program allows artists to live in the same space that they operate their business (or sell art). For Webb, this means she can promote her eco-friendly art straight from her front doorstep on Roanoke Street.
Hannah Becker, a senior majoring in environmental science and an employee of Wanderite, explained more about Webb’s mission.
“That’s very much what Lorrin wants to do — bring the community together with something that especially a college town doesn’t really have,” Becker said. “Our (college students’) social scene is very much bars and going downtown, but we wanted to bring something that’s a daytime thing and bring together people, and specifically women, and give kind of an alternative way to socialize.”
Becker gestured at the art pop-up and the several people who had stopped by to look at bandanas. Wanderite’s bandanas featured several different drawings of herbs. Some had drawings of herbs local to the West Coast, while others had drawings of herbs that grew in the springtime and herbs used to boost the immune system.
“Environmental impact is a very big, important impact with my artwork personally, which is why I make everything as sustainably as possible and do everything with as little waste as possible,” Webb said. “We use natural dyes and plant dyes and eco-friendly ink. That’s a component that I feel like is really important to bring into any kind of business. … I’m hoping that element will inspire others with small businesses or other artists.”
A portion of every purchase at Wanderite goes towards supporting Herbalists Without Borders, which aids people in gaining access to herbal, holistic and natural health and wellness.
“The main intention is to connect with the community here in Blacksburg, and connect with other artists, specifically in Blacksburg, and to share the art that we are working on every single day,” Webb said.
Wanderite can be found on Instagram, Facebook and its website and sells all of its products online or in person at its pop-up shops.