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Life and Work with Anika Wilson

Today we’d like to introduce you to Anika Wilson.

Anika, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
I grew up on an organic garlic farm in upstate NY and went to college for fine art in Vermont. After traveling the world for nearly 10 years, living and exploring, working along the way, often with my husband, I decided to try something a little more traditional and bought a house in Maine. Because I had spent so much of my life on the move I loved having a place to call my own and found myself rarely wanting to leave the new property. When I thought about what I could do with the land I had bought my background in art and farming sort of came together and I became a farmer florist! From there, things sort of took off, I work closely with a group of amazing wedding professionals throughout the New England area and have thrived on the creative wonder that occurs when a bunch of awesomely artistic women (and some great gents as well) put their heads together! I strive to create new, interesting and artistic floral pieces that really fit the couples I work with and create an amazing wedding atmosphere! So far the results have been well received and I am enjoying every minute of it!

Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
As far as my floral business goes, I have been particularly lucky both in time and place as well as in being surrounded by so many other talented people; photographers, bakers, designers, etc. I think the biggest challenges I have encountered as a woman sort of pre-date my entrepreneurial days but have also shaped who I am as a business owner and made me better at standing my ground. I have been a pretty confident and outspoken person all my life, but for me, I found that I was often not taken seriously simply on the basis of my being young and female. The best advice I can offer is simple: Stick to your guns! Its easy to let other peoples’ doubt and criticism lead to a self-questioning down spiral but you can’t let those kinds of things get in the way of being who you are and making that work for you!

Please tell us about Bad Rabbit Flowers.
So, I am something of a micro farmer florist, I farm about a quarter acre and only really grow for my own wedding and design work. I do not use my flowers exclusively however, there are some things one simply cannot get/grow in Maine and I also love to forage for interesting stems in the woods! I mainly design for weddings (though editorial work is also loads of fun) and specialize in large, wild, airy bouquets and moody, unusual arrangements. My work tends to be on the large side, full of texture and color and, I hope, a personality of its own. I love to get to know my brides and grooms and create something that is unique to them and their special day!

There’s a wealth of academic research that suggests that lack of mentors and networking opportunities for women has materially affected the number of women in leadership roles. Smart organizations and industry leaders are working to change this, but in the meantime, do you have any advice for finding a mentor and building a network?
Networking is the single best thing you can do as a small business owner. I personally have never really had a mentor per se, I learn best from a hands on approach, but meeting other people in my field, spending time with them and developing relationships that are mutually beneficial is what has gotten me to where I am today. You can learn so much from others, even if their business has little relevance to yours and the more people you meet from different walks of life the more informed, savvy and empathetic you become both as a business owner and just as a person!

Contact Info:

Image Credit:

Katelyn Mallett Photography, Cait Bourgault Photography

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