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Meet the Maker: Wildflower and Co.

As part of our giving back focus this month we couldn’t wait to interview Sarah of Wildflower & Co. who we met this year! Her unique business empowers women in need and we are totally obsessed with the apparel designs she creates to pair with the organizations she works with.

Tell us about yourself:

My name is Sarah Connell, I am originally from Alexandria, MN, and currently live in Fargo, ND. I moved to Moorhead in 2013 to study psychology at Minnesota State
University Moorhead. I went on to get my master’s degree in clinical mental health Counseling and have been working as a Licensed Mental Health Counselor ever
since.

I spend most of my free time at local coffee shops, creating for Wildflower & Co., spending time with friends and obsessing over my French Bulldog, Ruby.

Describe what you create under Wildflower & Co.:

We make a variety of handmade goods at Wildflower & Co., including our embroidered tees, sweatshirts and long sleeves. We also carry enamel pins, stickers, engraved necklaces and handpainted signs.

How did you start your creative business?

I started Wildflower & Co. the summer of 2020 out of pure necessity. Through COVID-19 and being a full-time mental health counselor, I needed an outlet and somewhere to focus my creative passions. Starting my own business was something I always wanted to do, so jumping into it wasn’t all that surprising.

Embroidery is something I’ve loved doing, and it didn’t appear to be something already done like this in the area. I knew I wanted a strong presence with my company, having a focus on things that matter to me such as mental health and women empowerment.

Tell us more about the give back aspect of it?

Every purchase at Wildflower & Co. helps to empower women in our community. A portion of each sale goes into a scholarship fund to help women achieve and reach their educational goals. Each month I also pair up with an organization in the community to give back. I create a shirt design-related to the organization, and a portion of the sales for that shirt go directly to supporting their mission. It has been so fun learning about different resources we have right in our area, and sharing that on our Wildflower platform! Some organizations we have worked with so far include The Jeremiah Program, Hope Blooms, The Hopeful Heart Project and Abused Persons Outreach Center.

Your personal favorite product you’ve created so far?

My personal favorite product is ‘A Peony for Your Thoughts’ Crewneck. I love the classic embroidery feel with a modern twist, and who doesn’t love a comfy and soft crewneck?

With your full-time work and also running your business – what advice would you give to someone wanting to try doing both?

My advice to anyone wanting to add a creative business on top of a full-time job is to not be afraid of jumping into it! I thought to myself, I would rather think back and say, “Wow that was crazy, I can’t believe I did that” than think back and have regrets about not trying.

Having a self-care plan is also very important. Burnout can happen to anyone in any profession, and turning your creative passion into a business doesn’t mean it’s going to be fun all the time! Finding new coping skills, and outlets for yourself is just as important.

Have a plan and stick to it when it comes to your own mental health. Make time for
yourself, and the things that make you truly happy. I have to remind myself often that it’s okay to be doing nothing, and that things won’t fall apart if I take a night off to myself. Know yourself, know what you can handle, and absolutely don’t hesitate to ask for help if needed.

What is your favorite thing about having your own business?

My favorite part about owning my own business is the freedom to do and share the things I love. I can share my thoughts, my passions, my creativity and my experiences through my business, and be open about the important things, like mental health and women empowerment.

What is a word that best describes you?

One word that I think best describes me is resilient. Resiliency is important to have in my work and my personal life. Life can be difficult, and downright suck sometimes (thanks 2020!), but having a resilient mind to process your feelings and continue forward is something I strive to do at all times.

What advice would you have given yourself 10 years ago?

Looking back ten years ago, I was 16 and in high school. I remember being confused and stressed about what to go to college for, and deciding the rest of my life. My advice would be that one decision does not define what you will do for the rest of your life. I have changed paths many times to lead me to where I am today. I wouldn’t be the same person if I hadn’t taken a few wrong turns and changed my mind a couple of dozen times. Do what makes you happy, and don’t be afraid if it’s not the easy option.

Where can people find your work?

People can find our work at our website wildflowerandco.org or at Unglued in downtown Fargo! We hope to be at events and popup soon! How can our community support you eespecially in this time?

I would like to ask for the community’s help in finding more organizations to support! Any organizations that are either women-run, support women or are mental health-focused we would love to help! If you know of any organizations you think we should work with, send us an email or reach out to us on social
media!

How can people connect with you? Our website, wildflowerandco.org

Also find us on Facebook, Instagram and TikTok at Wildflowerandco.design

Ashley Morken

Written by Ashley Morken

Ashley Morken is the owner of Unglued, a modern handmade gift shop featuring over 300 local and regional makers in downtown Fargo. She also a founding member of the Creative Mornings Fargo committee.

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