About the Artists
Ted Nienow started his business Wood ’n’ Things in the mid 80s. He made cattails out of wood and sold Pampas grass and other small wood decor items at local craft shows.
Ted had the idea to start making wood flowers because he heard friends, neighbors, and customers at craft shows talk about the beloved Pink and White Lady Slipper (the Minnesota state flower) and how they wanted it in their homes. Since it’s illegal to pick these state flowers, Ted created a wood version of this beautiful perennial so that people could enjoy them in their homes. The initial interest and success of this wood flower led to creation of 10 other flower designs in different shapes and colors.
As a boy, Nathaniel, Ted’s son, would accompany Ted at summer art shows. This is where Nathaniel learned the art of talking with people and listening to what others loved about the wood flowers and enjoying nature’s special beauty in their homes. At age 11, Nathaniel created his own mini-flower arrangements that he sold at craft shows for $2.
After graduating with a graphic design degree from Minnesota State University Moorhead and working at a design firm in California for a couple of years, Nathaniel realized how much he missed the outdoors and hands-on experience that working in the woods and wood shop provided. In 2005, he moved back to Minnesota to rejoin his father in the wood shop and rebranded the business to Wood Wildflowers. The new name better captures their passion and soon followed Nathaniel’s creation of the large premium flower designs such as the sunflower, lily, lotus flower, and poinsettia.
Today, the father and son team work together to create beautiful, long lasting flowers that are even more sustainable. Ted and Nathaniel harvest and mill ash, oak, and birch trees that are used for flowers and vases from their property in Minnesota.
New flower designs continue to be researched and engineered at their shop, inspired by the large flower garden in the front yard and the natural beauty of the outdoors.