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Hidden Gems: Meet Bethany Lynam of Golden Wild

Today we’d like to introduce you to Bethany Lynam. 

Hi Bethany, please kick things off for us with an introduction to yourself and your story.
I have always felt comfortable in the “gaps” as one of my favorite authors Annie Dillard once described them. I feel like I have a knack for going in between two worlds and living there. It’s been a theme as long as I can remember. In college, I wanted to study philosophical aesthetics and also work in Christian ministry. Then I wanted to be a full-time artist, but also a teacher & mentor. When I left teaching high school visual art a few years ago to pursue floral design, I felt as if I entered another gap…but as always, I made a home. 

Golden Wild is an event & decor floral studio based out of Lakeland Florida. I began it at the beginning of the pandemic, ironically. I had left teaching a few years before, to work in a reputable florist shop in Tampa to learn the basics while also apprenticing closely with a trending boho wedding florist in Jacksonville…l enjoyed living in between these two floral worlds too. When covid lockdowns happened, I finally had time to throw together a logo, patch together a little website, and the rest is history. At the time I had also come out to the world as a queer Christian, another gap to fill. I knew my time as a visual artist made me a good florist, I knew my love of philosophy made me an intentional business owner, I know my heart for the LGTBQ+ community was going to make me a bold voice, & my time in ministry & teaching urged me to prioritize people & their hearts over all the rest. 2020 was hard for the floral industry, but it was perfect time for me to figure how what I wanted Golden Wild to be and what I didn’t want it to be. Most simply, Golden Wild is a floral design studio. More deeply, Golden Wild is a culmination of what it looks like to fill the gaps between art, nature, activism, ministry, community, & individuality. I approach my business as I do my designs, as I do my art, and as I did my 16-year-old students…with all the care, truth, & genuine love I can. This wholistic standard definitely keeps me accountable in the ways I structure my time, my finances, & the ways I move through my community, & connect with my clients. I want it all to be real, I want in to be a genuine contribution— an adding to a deeper beauty that heals the gaps. My business name, Golden Wild, is inspired with my work with gold leaf, but also by the Japanese art of golden joinery called “Sugi”, sometimes called “kintsukuroi” (“golden repair”). It is the art of repairing broken pottery by mending the areas of breakage with lacquer dusted or mixed with powdered gold. I have found that the gaps can be some of the most important, precious, & beautiful places. They show our history & our hope. 

Alright, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
Gaps are initially terrifying. They appear to be giant pits of death when you first come to them and filling them takes time. My parents will tell you they never expected me to be a business owner. I’ve always been a romantic idealist who enjoys staring at the sun through leaves more than staring at lists, budgets, and schedules. ADHD has also been an old friend for a long time, and it hasn’t made this process easier…at all. But…here I am. Though it has been a huge learning curve, I have had great mentors who have offered encouragement & advice that has served me so well. 

Putting myself out there creatively has been super intimidating. Putting any art in the world is nerve-wracking, but as someone who was reared to be an academic leader, choosing to work with flowers has felt like a really rebellious and bold move. Sometimes I struggle with the feeling of needing to validate my intelligence & skill to people. Most people view my job to be one any fairy princess with songbirds could do. Any florist will tell you people just don’t get how much physical work and skill it takes. It’s been a hit for my ego, but maybe not such a bad one. 

Choosing to identify my business with civil rights groups like BLM & the LGBTQ+ community felt super nature to me when I began, but living in a more rural section of central Floral has, I must admit, made me a bit nervous for my livelihood at times. However, after every catch in my breath comes a sigh of relief as I experience affirmation from communities who feel seen and deeply encouraged by my willingness to celebrate them. 

Alright, so let’s switch gears a bit and talk business. What should we know?
GOLDEN WILD is a floral studio located in Lakeland, FL, specializing in floral arrangements, sculptures, & installations for events, commercial spaces, and home decor. 

ARTFUL 

Golden Wild is artist-operated. Designers apply their artistic knowledge of color, texture, proportion, depth, shape, attention to detail, & so much more to make spaces magical, memorable, and a true representation of clients and their vision. 

PERSONAL 

Golden Wild believes that where there is love, there is beauty. We strive to bring authentic connection, honesty, & care to our work as well as to all relationships with clients, vendors, venues, & our larger community. 

BEAUTIFUL 

Golden Wild is queer-owned. We are committed to diversity and to equal opportunity love, joy, peace, truth, & happiness. We do not discriminate on the basis of race, color, ethnicity, national origin, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, age, height, weight, physical or mental ability. Golden Wild exists to bring more beauty & unity into our world and believes each individual and all their unique qualities makes that possible. People are much like flowers, there’s not one bloom the same… and the world is all the more beautiful because of it. 

What matters most to you? Why?
It is our highest hope that every engagement with Golden Wild is an encouragement. We want people to feel seen & supported as individuals and inspired by the beauty they find. It is vital to us that we show beauty to be more than the flowers we use and the art we make. Love brings the beauty. 

Contact Info:

Image Credits
Celeste Burns Photographer
WNDEr Co.

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