Basket Finds is a series in which I chat to wonderful women who know a thing or two about ‘hunting down’ the perfect basket for their home or their personal style.
This week, we are in Berlin (virtually, obviously) with Maggie Coker to talk about living in the German capital and FlowerTalk Official, the platform she has created supporting mental wellness.
Hi Maggie, I’m very happy to have you as a guest on ‘Basket Finds’. Can you tell us a bit more about yourself?
I’m a holistic mental wellness coach, floral stylist & aromatherapist who uses flowers and herbs to start a conversation on holistic naturopathic approaches to mental health healing. As well as holding space for people to express vulnerability.
I also do creativity mentoring, which is pretty much like having a supporting voice in your ear when doubt or confusion sets in and plays with your self-esteem, and stops you pursuing your dreams.
I moved from Paris to London over 10 years ago and people always ask me why I left. Why did you pick Berlin? And as someone who’s never been, is it as cool as we've heard?
I moved to Berlin because I loved the slower pace of life; riding a bike, instead of driving a car, spending more time outdoors; Berlin is an extremely green city. I feel with places you choose each other, and despite the racist interrogation at the airport the moment I stepped into the city, it felt homey, cozy if you like!
"I admired the strong spirit of creativity coming from women with businesses"
I loved all the things people complain about, so then I knew it was for [me] to stay and set up my business. I admired the strong spirit of creativity coming from women with businesses. I was able to quickly build a community and support system.
Is Berlin cool? It’s definitely something special I would say that much. Although as cliche as it sounds, it’s being ruined by greedy capitalist and boring startups.
Basket-weaving is part of my everyday life and really helps me to be more present - there’s something very meditative in crafting. Do you have any rituals/practices you use every day?
Much like you, I find my craft/work - mine being flowers - offers me an abundance of flower therapy. I’m also working in aromatherapy so I’m able to benefit from the magical healing powers of flowers on your mind, body, and soul!
"Find one minute a day where you can be thankful for something in your life, even if it’s life itself"
One key ritual I would absolutely advise is to live your days in gratitude. Find one minute a day where you can be thankful for something in your life, even if it’s life itself. That positive thought will have an amazingly uplifting effect on your inner being whether you are aware of it or not. And you can build this up to longer mindful meditation practices. It's just about giving myself, intentional love.
Also, finding time to work on something for purely fun. I also give myself permission to be unbothered and moody, meaning no rush to answer emails or phone calls, doing the paperwork, or even seeing people. Pure downtime without any guilt.
I love that! Back to basket business if you don’t mind! I'd love to hear about your best basket find...
I have two [pictured below]. The basket bag, which to me is such a delicate and beautiful piece. I use it for purely aesthetic purposes, interior/floral styling, etc.
[And] the vintage laundry basket I use for storing linen and also as props for photoshoots.
The bag I found on a flea market in Berlin several years ago, and the basket in a vintage furniture shop on the posh end of town in Berlin. Both items I stumbled across.
"I like the excitement of being surprised by a gem"
With vintage, I seldom go looking for a specific item. I like the excitement of being surprised by a gem. I love shopping vintage alone, it’s my calm time to explore cities and learn a little more about the history through the items I collect.
Both beautiful pieces! Thank you for sharing them with us. Can you tell us a little more about what you're up to right now?
My core belief is that mental health support should be available to everyone, regardless of race, background, sexual orientation, identity or economic status.
So I am fundraising through FlowerTalk Official to produce a series of Mental Wellness City Guides that I aim to provide for free to those that need them.
€20,000 euros will cover cost for 5,000 free copies to go to those in need of information for holistic mental health support, a licensed therapist, holistic practitioners and healers, plus expert advice on naturopathic remedies. As well a free copy for each of our donors.
We hope to get enough support to bring this mental health project to as many cities as possible!
Thank you so much Maggie, best of luck with your inspiring project!