How Miley Cyrus helped make Wildflower’s phone cases a Hollywood hit
When you’re sharing your mirror selfies with an audience of millions, it’s not enough just to have a great outfit — your smartphone’s got to look stylish, too.
And for many celebrities, from Bella Hadid to Dua Lipa, that means a Wildflower case. The brainchild of Los Angeles sisters Devon and Sydney Carlson, the tech accessories brand was born in 2012, when the duo had a life-changing encounter with Miley Cyrus at the local mall.
“We went out to dinner with our parents, and my sister and I got up to use the bathroom. While we were waiting in line, Miley Cyrus walked out of the bathroom stall,” Devon, now 25, told Page Six Style. “Back then, being 17, I was absolutely obsessed with Miley; I thought that meeting her would make my life complete.”
The elder Carlson sister quickly mustered up the courage to ask her idol for a picture. “Sydney took a photo of us, and Miley asked where she got her phone case. My mom had handmade them for us for Easter, using fabric and studs,” she continued. “She said she’d never seen anything like it.”
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Our favorite #tbt ❤️ Literally the day Wildflower began! (A year and 1/2 ago). Thanks to some kind words and encouragement from @mileycyrus, this fun hobby turned into our family business overnight! (She said she loved these cases, would love to get more, and suggested we make a website!) So we DID!! Thankful for having this passion and a family that now works together. Thank you Miley and @leesaamaree too!! Much love! ❤️❤️❤️ #iphonecases #wildflowerlove
When Cyrus learned who was behind the unique design, she immediately asked to meet their mother Michelle, who just so happened to have a few more of her custom cases stashed in her bag.
“Miley came over to our table, tapped our mom on the shoulder and told her she had to start a company,” Devon said. “She ended up taking a couple of cases, and asked me what my Twitter handle was. Then, she tweeted a picture of the case, and tagged me!”
With the “Wrecking Ball” singer having turned the spotlight on their family, the Carlsons wasted no time in moving forward with their business plan. “We came up with the name Wildflower on the drive home, set up all the social media pages — Instagram, Tumblr, Twitter, everything — and made a website,” Devon told us. “My dad’s background is in marketing and graphic design, so he was kind of the perfect guy to orchestrate.”
At the beginning, the family made each and every case by hand, often wrangling friends to help. And while they now outsource their production, they’re still directly involved in creating each and every style.
“Every design is original,” Devon said. “With most cases, we‘ll sit around my dad’s computer (he’s our in-house designer) on Photoshop and create our own prints: plaid, leopard, cow, etc. It’s fun having so much creative freedom.”
Over the past few years, the brand’s $35 phone cases have become a hot commodity in Hollywood. Lana Del Rey and Irina Shayk both love the heavenly “Angels” style, while Halsey’s strawberry-print case makes frequent appearances on her feed. Bella Hadid’s carried styles adorned with everything from spiderwebs to tie-dye swirls, and Dua Lipa even matched her cow-print case to her outfit.
And although the founders’ LA social circle and sizeable online followings have certainly helped in spreading the word about Wildflower — Sydney currently has 576,000 followers on Instagram, while Devon boasts 887,000 — the latter stresses that “our approach has always been organic” when it comes to gifting.
“Sydney and I are friends with these people who are in the spotlight, [but] never force our product on them,” Devon said. “People started using our cases and we had no idea how they got them. I remember Seventeen magazine posted about Bella Thorne using our case, and we were like, ‘Nobody that we know knows Bella Thorne!’”
Wildflower’s collaborations with influencers ranging from YouTuber Emma Chamberlain to singer Jesse Jo Stark have also boosted the brand’s visibility.
Their latest, which dropped Thursday, is extra-personal: The Carlsons teamed with streetwear brand PizzaSlime on three different case designs, one of which features a close-up photo of Sydney’s rolling eyes, another of Devon’s smile.
“We were very involved in the design,” 23-year-old Sydney joked.
Next, the pair are hoping their creations conquer the world of reality TV. “If Trixie Mattel or RuPaul had our cases? I would die,” Devon gushed of her favorite drag queens. “Or any of the ‘Real Housewives.’ But I don’t want to force anything; it has to happen naturally.”
Just like it did with Cyrus, the superstar who helped give the sisters their start. “I still to this day always wonder if Miley really knows what she did for us, what she created,” Sydney said.
“We haven’t seen or talked to Miley since that day,” Devon added, “but she’s done so much for us. We’re so grateful.”
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