An East Carolina University alumna and local musician Rebekah Todd started an online boutique, Wildwood Hideaway, when she was unable to tour and perform due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Todd, who graduated from ECU in 2012, stopped touring and performing with her band Rebekah Todd and the Odyssey temporarily due to the death of her mother last year and the pandemic, and she wanted to try something new. Todd decided to start her online boutique, which she worked on with her husband.
Opening Wildwood Hideaway has been difficult, Todd said, but it is something new. She said she has days when she doubts herself but is encouraged by her supporters. Todd said she helps various North Carolina makers by carrying their products in her boutique.
“I am very, very grateful to be able to open one (business) and have the support of all of my fans and supporters from music now coming to support this new business,” Todd said. “I am really grateful that I did because here I am and I’ve met a lot of people and now I have a new business all because I pursued music.”
Todd said she recommends starting a business for musicians because music will always be there, but there are times when music does not pay the bills.
When she is able to tour and perform, Todd said she will continue to operate and promote her business. She said she enjoyed playing music and believes music is therapeutic for her and the audience.
“(I) hope for a better and brighter future and I feel that music is incredibly healing, so when I perform, I am performing for the audience but I am also performing because the act of doing music live is like this meditation, it's like a healing thing for me. I just hope that it can heal someone else,” Todd said.
Wildwood Hideaway carries North Carolina-made jewelry, face oils, essential oils and locally-designed T-shirts. Todd got inspiration for Wildwood Hideaway during her time when she traveled around the world and played music, according to the boutique’s website.
Todd decided to create the boutique as a way to support artists and musicians like the ones she met during her travels, Wildwood Hideaway’s website said.
“Wildwood Hideaway was sparked by the idea to not only support the makers she met during her travels, but also to inspire a lifestyle of self-care, slow living and local love,” the boutique’s website said.
After Todd’s music career came to a halt, she and her husband decided to pursue a new kind of lifestyle, which Todd calls “slow-living,” which they hope to inspire with Wildwood Hideaway, the boutique’s website said.
Quincy Jones, local musician and ECU alumnus with a Bachelor’s degree in jazz performance, said he enjoyed making music with Todd in Rebekah Todd and the Odyssey through the years.
“I played in front of some of the biggest crowds for the first time ever with her (Todd) and gained more knowledge and wisdom playing with her band which has helped shape me to be the versatile musician I am today,” Jones said in an email statement.
Jones said he thinks Todd makes great music and said the first thing that caught his attention when he first heard her sing was the soulfulness her voice evokes. He said his favorite song of hers is “Roots Bury Deep” because it was beautifully written.
More information on Wildwood Hideaway can be found on the boutique’s website, and more information on Todd’s music can be found on Todd’s Instagram page.