Stories of Small Business New Zealand

The Story of Jess and Wildly Wilted

The Story of Jess and Wildly Wilted

Let’s start with who you are?  Tell us a bit about yourself.

I'm Jess, but sometimes telemarketers call me Jeff (face palm).
I'm a creative at heart and many years ago worked as a designer within the Advertising industry. After leaving my 9-5 job to start our family, I found myself raiding friends gardens to create floral pieces in my down time (whats that I hear all mums say!?). I love working with my hands and find tactile design really inspiring. I am currently a stay at home mum, so I create in the evenings once our daughter is in bed. I find this really relaxing and I absolutely love it.

And what is your business? Tell us more!

I create raw luxury dried floral arrangements such as botanical art for your walls, vase arrangements, wreaths and we also have a Botanical Bar where you can purchase dried and preserved stems for to to style in your own vases. 

What encouraged you to start your business?

I had always wanted to start my own business, but fear of the unknown held me back. After having our daughter 10 weeks early and spending the first few months of her life in NICU, I realised life really is too short not to follow your dreams. So here I am living mine. I always arranged my own florals at home and used to press flowers back in the day. I love working for myself, managing my own time and having the flexibility to spend time with my little family is great. I feel lucky everyday.

What did you do before creating your business?  Tell us your journey from there to here.

I've done a few different things actually. Many years ago I worked as a designer within the advertising industry. I then went in a completely different direction and managed a portfolio of rental properties (My family comes from this industry). I have also renovated a couple of my houses along the way, at one point quitting my full time job to solely renovate for 8 weeks solid, which I loved! This particular project bought together my creative side and homes, two things I'm passionate about. Now I create beautiful pieces for your special space and feel like I have found my niche. 


Knowing what you know now. What would be one piece of advice would you give your 21 year old self?

Don't let the fear of failure or judgement from others hold you back, if you want to do something, just go for it, there's no time like the present!

What are some of the highs and lows of running your business?

Social media. I have met so many incredible people through social media, both business owners and customers reaching out to offer support, tips, and sending encouraging messages. I wasn't much of a social media person prior to starting Wildly Wilted, so its definitely been a learning process, which Lisa has helped me through massively. I underestimated the time involved with social media, but equally I underestimated to the power of social media! Through social media I have developed friendships, have a bunch of loyal customers and am a stockist at Gather + You. 

Whats the biggest lesson you have learnt in your small business?

Its not easy, but the process is fun! I remember getting my first real sale (from a stranger) and doing a dance, I was so excited. That particular person has since ordered 3 more things, she doesn't actually know she was my first customer, maybe I should tell her. 

What’s one piece of advice you would share with someone starting out?

If you have a good idea, give it a go. There is no success without failure. I have made mistakes along my journey, but I haven't let them stop me from keep going.   What do you love most about your business?  Peoples reactions when they receive their florals and creating relationships. There are a lot of good people in the world. 

Share 5 things that bring you joy?

My daughter, Charlie, she is very sassy
Flowers, obviously, haha
Dogs. Our black Labrador, Ted, is such an old soul and so loyal
Nature, I get a lot of my inspiration from nature. 
The beach, I find the sound of water therapeutic 

What do you do for some time out or when you need a break from your biz?  What resets that light inside you?

Hanging out with friends. I'm lucky to have an awesome group of friends who make my face hurt from laughing when we catch up. Or a late night trip to Kmart haha. 

Coffee or Tea?

Fun fact, I don't drink coffee at all, I hate the taste. Tea is my go to. 

How do you balance business life + motherhood?

This is still a work in process. My daughter doesn't have day naps, but does sleep through the night. So during the day I'm with her, and at night I create. I do try and do some work during the day when I have little windows of time, but, its currently 10am and as I write this my daughter is emptying the book shelf and ripping up paper... sooooo yeah. 

Whats one quote are you always drawn to?

Years ago when I was going through the roller coaster they call life, my mum sent me a card in the mail and it read

"What if I fall, oh but darling, what if you fly"

and it has stuck with me ever since.   

What can we expect from your biz in the future?

I've recently released our Botanic Bar, which is where you can purchase dried and preserved stems to style in your own vases. I hadn't seen it in the NZ online retail market before so that's exciting. I may add vases/pots to the website in the future, but I have a few different and new ideas up my sleeve, so watch this space!   


Here's how to get in touch with Jess on Instagram or  

Sep 23, 2020

Loved this bio! So good to learn more about the face behind such a cool business ❤️

Kim Dixon
Sep 18, 2020

Really enjoyed reading these, awesome initiative!

Coll McKay

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