Burlington warms up to the ‘WildLife’

Two local entrepreneurs are expanding what it means to be a clothing shop.

Wild Life, a clothing store in downtown Burlington, is the second business venture of Nicholas Dagostino and Dave Mullin, who also started Sticky Brand. 

“They had a stand up and really interesting hats and t-shirts,” said senior Chris Potter.

“[Sticky Brand is] a sticker and printing company and we try to work with a lot artists, up-and-coming bands and musicians and try to be involved in those communities,” Dagostino said.

While Sticky Brand has been around for about five years, Mullin said Wild Life is a new addition to the growing business.

MOLLY DUFF The Vermont Cynic The stairway into WildLife shop
MOLLY DUFF The Vermont Cynic
The stairway into WildLife shop

“Sticky Brand and Wild Life kind of work cohesively together,” Dagostino said. Mullin and Dagostino said they use their business to support other entrepreneurs and artists. “We work with everyone from musicians to artists to restaurants who want different things,” Mullin said.

“Burlington is a pretty tight-knit business community, so all the different business owners usually interact together and help each other out in different ways,” Dagostino said.

Not only does the duo work with other businesses, but Mullin said they also work with artists who are just starting up. “People can come to us, they can get their stickers made, their banners made for their pop-up shops, and they can get their clothing made and then they can also sell it in our store,” Mullin said. 

“We’re pretty much willing to try out any local brand if somebody is trying to create a product themselves,” Dagostino said. “We can help somebody from the ground up sometimes.”

The two said they have helped a number of UVM students and graduates, providing not only a space to sell art and products but also promotional banners and stickers and business advice. 

“[Wild Life is] really not just a store, its really a whole community of artists and entrepreneurs,” Dagostino said.

The shop itself was not necessarily intentional, Mullin said. “It kind of fell into our hands and got a lot bigger than we expected,” he said.

However, Mullin said it has been difficult to bring customers into the shop.  Dagostino said the two have been making use of social media to get the word out.

Sophomore Skomer Bennett-Clemmow said he found the shop simply by chance.  “I just went in one day and ended up buying a t-shirt,” he said. “I was just impressed at the variety of things,” Bennett-Clemmow said. “There were quite interesting things as well, it wasn’t just all the same bland streetwear style.”

Bennett-Clemmow said he was also interested in the store because he is in the process of creating a fashion, music and photography website  and hopes to connect with Wild Life and Sticky Brand in the future.