Wild Cat began its life as Wholly Craft in 2005, a tiny store serving as an outlet in Columbus for the new wave of craft that was rippling across the country. With 40 crafty vendors, met at local fairs and online through discussion boards and this brand new website (still in beta!) called Etsy, Wholly Craft became a hidden gem for people looking to find the perfect, unique gift for their loved ones. As word of mouth spread, the tiny shop was quickly busting at the seams and expanded twice over the next decade. Its flagship store found a forever home along the path of the much beloved Clintonville Farmers’ Market. Wholly Craft grew to feature over 400 crafters, artists, and designers, and offer an expansive selection of thousands of gifts.
Surprise Modern Party and Cocktail Goods opened in 2016 to serve the needs of creative party hosts and cocktail lovers, offering a curated selection of colorful décor, statement balloons, and gifts for the budding mixologist. After a brief stint in the Short North, Surprise moved into a space on the same block as Wholly Craft in 2018.
Combining forces, Wild Cat Gift & Party is now the premier destination for fun, creative gifts and unique party supplies in Columbus. We’re as dedicated as ever to our DIY roots, feminist ethics and we love filling our tiny space on earth with laughter, creativity, and fun and sharing that space with you. The creativity of our vendors and the helpfulness of our always welcoming team will make your visit to the shop a memorable one!
MEET THE WILD CATS
WOMAN OWNED AND OPERATED BEFORE IT WAS COOL.
Olivera is a cat-loving, craft-loving feminist and the founder of Wild Cat! Originally from St. Louis, she moved to Columbus to pursue a Masters Degree in Women & Gender Studies from the Ohio State University. She loves working with an inspiring and creative community of women as well as being a mom to an adorable, space-obsessed 6 year old son with Autism and 22Q Deletion Disorder. She is passionate about social justice, local art, and karaoke and her flights of fancy include Lifetime movies, storytelling, cakes of many flavors, and amateur tap dancing.
You can follow her personal adventures on Instagram at @ladyconfections.
Jen has been managing this herd of cats since the shop moved to its current location in 2014. As manager, she handles daily operations, vendor relationships, and anything else that needs to get done. She is most proud of working with her sister to develop and teach Wild Cat’s Craftivist Camp--a summer camp about art and feminism inspired by Jen’s overly long education in art history. Her household consists of a doting husband, a sweet dog, a weird cat, and a handsome cat. She spends her time watching She-Ra, replaying Final Fantasy games, learning to skate, and foisting 90s music on her younger coworkers. Being a cool, feminist aunt to her nephew and two nieces is her most important life goal.
She has finally bothered to get a personal Instagram, mostly for her handsome cat. You can find them at @jeneralwildcat.
Amanda began working mainly at Surprise Modern Party, where she became our resident balloon expert, and now acts as the store's first Assistant Manager. Our most ambitious Instagram stories and wordplay-filled captions are also her doing. When she is not injecting gaseous materials into latex, she can be found subjecting others to her terrible puns, visiting all of the thrift stores, researching Disney World history, requesting extra sauce, and generally overthinking things. Though it is currently dormant, she has an Etsy shop she hopes to get back to, Knucklehead Art, where she embroiders rap lyrics on vintage fabric. She lives with her one-eyed cat, Edie, and has a long-distance relationship with her family mini dachshund, Gidget.
To view her snuggly cyclops, follow @abuddy8
on Instagram, and to see if she ever returns to her craft, keep an eye on @knuckleheadart.
Alison has been a Wild Cat since just last year but has been a fan, a customer, and a vendor of the business since year one. Alison is an artist, designer, printmaker, and one half of Columbus-grown apparel company, Alison Rose
. Whether creating or cleaning, she thrives on variety and you may find her humming along to Lizzo, Pinegrove, or Willie Nelson. At home, she’s likely popping in a VHS of The ’Burbs or Jurassic Park. Other interests include glitter mosaic + VHS (aka Sparkletapes!), her favorite Flannel (cat, not clothes), marshmallows, and ranch veggie straws.
Our resident DIYer and craft instructor Nicole spends her time at Wild Cat surrounded by pipe cleaners, googly eyes, and paint. As one of the instructors of Wild Cat's Craftivist Camp, she worked with her sister to do some of her favorite things: indoctrinating kids with feminism and craft. At home she is still surrounded by art supplies, but has the help of three cats and a rambunctious miniature poodle. When not crafting, Nicole spends her time making up complicated magic systems and writing door stopper manuscripts. She is counting the words of this bio right now and is deeming it too short.
Beth H. is an absolute DELIGHT of a human being. She has worked at Wild Cat for over three years and loves every minute of her time with the most creative, inspiring, kick-ass feminists in Columbus. Beth favors punny Halloween costumes (think Edgar Allen Hoe, Moby Dick-in-a-box, etc.), novels about the zombie apocalypse, and Jeni's Savannah Buttermint ice cream. She is currently working on her PhD in Public Health at OSU where she valiantly tries to convince people to eat more fruits and vegetables. She'll be Dr. Beth H. in ~3 more years.
Elise has been with the shop for several glorious years. She is a bonafide cat lady and plant lady as well as a 7th grade science teacher. At Wild Cat she loves helping people find the perfect gift, and is a great personal shopper! When she is not at Wild Cat she is usually out and about in Columbus finding fun things to do and new restaurants to dine in. Chat her up next time you’re in the store -- she would love to show you our latest merchandise and share some ideas for exploring Columbus!
Elizabeth is a sassy Scorpio from right here in Columbus, Ohio. She's a proud fat and queer babe obsessed with all things political, fantastical, and delicious. By day you can find her moonlighting as a clinical children's therapist, and by night you can find her slingin' gifts and party supplies at her Wild Cat. Her biggest secret is that, in fact, she is pro dog and anti cat; her biggest love is her English Bulldog Delilah Jane.
You can learn more about her and her work as a blogger and fat babe @snackincbus
Molly has worked seasonally at Wild Cat since 2014. When she is not helping out on Farmers' Market mornings, she is listening to podcasts, cooking in her Instant Pot, and spending time with her husband, son, and two shitty kitties. Like a true child of the 90s, Molly loves to make zines and creepy pop music. Once a month you can find her hosting Divinercise!--a loosely organized exercise class set to the music of Divine. She'd love to see you there!
Dottie is an undomesticated cat about town who loves getting crafty, building community, and getting into good trouble with her girl gang. She’s outspoken, fiercely loyal, and always up for fun. When she’s not out laying the groundwork for cat world domination, you can spot her prancing around Wild Cat or napping at The Confetti House!
(Mascot head made locally by Open Heart Creatures!)
You never know when Dottie will show up at @wildcat_gift_and_party.