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texts & textiles

12 Questions with Fersk Floral Artistry

Mikelle Larson of Fersk Floral Artistry was the first person I met in Eau Claire, so it makes sense that she’s the first person to be featured on my site. When I came out from Portland, OR for the Eaux Claires festival in 2016, Mikelle hosted me in her amazing apartment, and was gracious enough to share all her favorite local spots in the city. If anyone deserves credit for getting me to move here, it’s Mikelle and her husband Gabe.

When Mikelle started Fersk Floral Artistry a year ago, it made me want to host a big bash just so I’d have an excuse to order her floral arrangements. It’s been awe-inspiring to watch her build a business from scratch, and she leads with such kindness, grace, and positivity. Her commitment to continued learning and growth—personally and professionally—makes her a great person to have around, and I walk away from our conversations feeling uplifted and motivated. Plus, her home studio always smells amaaaazing.

'Fersk' is the Norwegian word for 'fresh,' pulling on Mikelle's Scandinavian heritage. It also influences her design, as she's inspired by "clean, natural, and simple style" that's associated with Nordic countries. "It's hard to beat fresh," she writes. "There is nothing like getting a fresh start, thinking up a fresh new idea, taking in a breath of fresh air, or receiving a bouquet of fresh flowers."

All year, but especially in the dead of winter, I find myself gravitating toward her Instagram (@ferskfloralartistry), with its pictures of fresh cut flowers.

Mikelle is wearing a custom Emery Tee in cotton ikat—a decorative technique where the threads are dyed before weaving, so the pattern takes on a one-of-a-kind, pixelated look.

Photographs by the talented Jessica Brooke Photography.

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What role does clothing play in your life? When it comes to clothes, I am all about finding the blend between comfy and cute. As a practical person I love finding clothes that are easy to style and care for. But as a creative person, I love finding clothes that are also expressive and unique.

Favorite piece of clothing you own / owned? There's nothing like a good pair of jeans.

Style icon or inspiration for you (a person, a time period, etc.)? I can't think of a specific person or time period. I like having pieces for each season that simple and timeless, mixed with a few pieces that are more fun and quirky.

One thing you almost always wear or carry with you? Melaleuca Mountain Mint Chapstick

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If you didn’t have to sleep, what would you do with the extra time? I would spend time experimenting with other mediums of art again - drawing, sculpture, ceramics, photography, textiles.

One thing you really want (practical or impractical) but can’t afford? A studio space for my floral business with lots of space, natural light, and Eau Claire charm. Maybe someday! ;)

When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up? A teacher, dentist, or hairstylist.

Best part about starting and owning your own business? I have loved the ways owning a business has helped me grow on a personal level - I have experienced more purpose, passion and confidence since starting Fersk last fall.

Biggest learning lesson or obstacle that came with starting your own business? Right now the biggest lesson I'm learning is that I'm not for everyone, and don't want to be. The more my business grows, the more I learn what my yeses and nos are.

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Words of advice to someone starting a business? Just start. I think we can get stuck in the planning, dreaming, strategizing, wondering, researching - but we really don't know what we're doing until we start doing it. Take it one step at a time, ask for help along the way, and be willing to make changes as needed, but you gotta start!

Favorite quote or words to live by? "There's power in looking silly and not caring that you do." -Amy Poehler

Question you wish people would ask you? What are you thankful for? I have so many things to be thankful for, but they aren't always at the front of my mind. I love people who help me remember those things.

Find Mikelle and Fersk Floral Artistry online at http://ferskfloralartistry.com/.