Over the past two days, the three sisters of The Wild Mother filled our Instagram with gorgeous images paired with enchanting stories collected over time, rich in family history and their unique perspective on nature & floral design. Not only are they brilliant designers, but they have such a way with words that their stories & theories transport you to another place & time. If you haven’t seen it yet, you’re in for a treat!
Now, let’s get to know the ladies behind The Wild Mother a bit better…
Tell us a little bit about how The Wild Mother came to be!
We are from an agricultural family. As generations progressed, what was large scale farming, became gardening to feed our extended family, and the skills required to do so now influence our small beds. While shadowing our elders in rows of okra and fields of wildflowers, we learned to appreciate every part of a plant—whether to feed our bellies or grace a table top.
On a micro level, what is now known as TWM has always been a dream of ours. In college, as diligent Anthropology and English students, we daily discussed our goal to own our own business and fully dive into our creative talents. This grand idea eventually narrowed to become a collaborative creative studio that would house the artistic disciplines we’ve learned classically. (Fun fact: floral design is the only artistic discipline neither of us have had classical training in.)
Thus, the combination of familial tradition and a pretty dream collided and became The Wild Mother Creative Studio.
What is it like working so closely together as sisters? I have two sisters as well and am so curious what the dynamic is between you three, and how you separate business from personal?
It’s fun, challenging, fulfilling, and feels so natural. We have always been very close, but being familiar with each other as business partners is something we had to work on. Although, we often share the same vision when we design and create.
As you can imagine, it’s easy to cross pollinate work with family, and in that mix, professionalism can fly out of the window and emotions can take over. After discovering this in our first month of business, we had many frank conversations about setting healthy boundaries, which has helped us a lot. We firmly believe that establishing and defining each role helps everyone run fully in their own lane.
Ultimately, we know we want to build something worth passing on to our children (and theirs, and theirs, and so on). And, who better to do this with than your sisters?
It seems as though you are all very inspired by nature and your natural surroundings. And bees! I love that Leah is a beekeeper! Can you expand a little bit on that, and where you draw inspiration from day to day?
A host of things inspire us! Most obviously, we are inspired by nature, not only as we design for TWM but also in our personal lives. We are moved that creatures, flora, and fauna are so dependent on each other. And, membership in this natural world is not optional.
Then there’s music, enjoyed alone and in community spaces, our hearts swoon with melodies that deliver truth and context for the world we live in. We’re also drawn to well informed and expressive writing from our favorite authors, poets, and essayists, including children’s literature!
Inspiration also finds us during the preparation and consumption of a well planned meal.
And, a dreamy conversation, across a dinner table, with a friend or even a stranger, can reframe, reenergize, and reinform our worldview.
Finally, the yieldings of other artists all over the world, and spanning all eras, catalyzes our own creativity—as musicians, cooks, storytellers, beekeepers, photographers, and gardeners.
How would you describe the aesthetic of TWM?
We love using the words: romantic, charming, gritty, natural, and daring. We keep these adjectives at the forefront of our minds when we design, and they become a must-have checklist for our work.
Tell me about your boutonniere style project! It’s so great to see designers focusing on the masculine side of flowers, and showing that they are not just for girls, men appreciate their beauty as well.
Yes! You’re so right. The idea that floral design is not “girly” or just for women is what propelled our boutonniere project.
Growing more familiar with the wedding, floral, and fashion industries, we noticed that men are often an afterthought, or an accessory at best. What a shame! We figure there are missed opportunities to honor men’s unique style and voice during their wedding day or special event. To do our part to acknowledge this as floral designers, we created several boutonniere styles to help inform our clients and community.
This floral story is packed with the research we conducted to discover creative boutonniere styles and trends across several eras. We think the project is perfectly wonderful. The best part? We’ve had an abundance of feedback from men who appreciate our thought and care.
Let’s talk tools – favorite florist tool, and favorite app you use in your business, be it social media or business organization?
We absolutely love our large-handled bonsai shears. They come in handy when we are foraging for wild flowers and fruit on our Mema and Papa’s land.
In terms of social media, we have to say Instagram is our favorite marketing tool. It’s free. It’s instant. It’s organized. It promotes community. And, there are several ways to be creative with posts. Surprisingly, most of our business engagement comes from this platform. Big thumbs up!
Do you have a favorite event or shoot you’ve done?
One of the things our studio loves to do together is tell “floral stories.” As a rejection of thoughtless floral design that simply accents a space or event, we aim for our design to translate our clients’ narratives. After all, these pieces are often central to a celebration, a romantic gesture, an apology, or a season of mourning—all of which are key moments in a person’s story. We get to imagine and direct some floral stories through styled photoshoots. Most recently, we told two floral stories that we’re so jazzed about: check out Boutonniere Styles and Kings and Queens!
We must note that these styled shoots would be literally nothing without our dear friend and photographer, Allie Jeffers. Her work complements our designs, brand, and identity so beautifully.
What is one piece of advice you would all tell yourselves when you first started The Wild Mother?
Our advice to The (baby) Wild Mother is: keep it simple. Early on, we had so many ideas brewing and wanted to execute them all at once. Now, we’re learning to allow our concepts to grow into mature possibilities, and we must be well acquainted with these ideas before introducing them to others.
Check out their Instagram for your daily dose of floral inspiration!