Joan Mead-Matsui

Local women aim to revolutionize the way we think about fashion

From left, Sammi Shea, Justene Bartkowski, and Nina Konz are shown in front of their new store, Wild Reign. Together, they aim to overcome societal pressures to dress a certain way.

Clarks Summit’s newest store opens at 116 Depot Street

By Elyse Notarianni

Saturday, July 9 marked the opening of Wild Reign, Clark’s Summit’s newest clothing store for women. Wild Reign’s founders, Sammi Shea, Nina Konz, and Justene Bartkowski, aim to overcome societal pressures to dress a certain way.

“Our slogan is: We’re freed to be wild. We’re worthy to reign,” says Nina Konz. “We are free to be ourselves as individuals, and we are worthy to be royal, glamorous, and captivating. We want to empower women to be themselves, not what the world says they should be and not what their insecurities make them afraid to try.”

These women spend a lot of time and through searching for their inventory, or “treasure pieces” as they call them. The difference between Wild Reign and a second-hand store is they take the time to find quality products. This means customers spent less time rooting through old, damaged items to find something worthy buying. They restore or repurpose items by repairing damages or altering the design through sewing and embellishing. Each piece is practically new but sold at a second-hand price. And the best part? No used clothing smell. 

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Wild Reign inspires a new way for women to shop

Throughout this process, each founder has honed in on her own personal brand, which they display on their Instagram account, WildReign. In her jean shorts and t-shirts, Sammi is the American Sweetheart, while Nina prefers lace, long dresses, and the title “Revival Princess.” Justene dons flowing, floral pieces as the “Messy Flower Child.” Each woman who interacts with the business is encouraged to find their own style whether on their own or with the help of the store’s employees.

Sammi, Nina, and Justene want to create a personalized shopping experience. To help a woman find her style, they take the time to get to know her. Together, they talk and create a Pinterest board of things she loves to wear and the look she aspires to achieve. That way the founders can determine her style and find clothes that fit her personality. If they don’t already have exactly what they are looking for in the store, they go out into the field to find it.

“We go above and beyond for our customers,” says Bartkowski. “We often search for clothing with a specific person in mind because we want it to feel as if we are giving them a gift. Taking the time to get to know the women in our stores and doing everything we can to serve them is our mission. We take that very seriously.”

Giving back to the community

By pursuing their passion for clothing and personal style, the women of Wild Reign hope to send a bigger message to teenagers in the area. So many people who grew up in a small town dream of leaving for something more, but these women prove that bringing their ideas into the community can promote change by creating something new.

“We want to give back to the community,” says Sammi Shea. “We don’t want to be a surface level business. At Wild Reign, we want people to feel like they are a part of something.”

Are you interested in finding your style? Visit the girls in their store on 116 depot street, suite 1,  or order clothes through their Instagram account, WildReign.

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