It’s the buzz of the current decade, as more and more one hears tales of the “side hustle.”
As a stay-at-home mother of two, Emily Bakken is dedicated to making her business, Wylde Willow Woodworks, not only successful but a lucrative business for her family.

Photo contributed
Custom crafting pieces such as this dog food and water bowl holder keeps local entrepreneur Emily Bakken busy, working in her home garage/shop.

“Right now, I’m on the grind. I want to be successful at this,” the Oakdale High School alum said. “I want to help my family and help my husband. Being able to take some pressure off his shoulders is my biggest goal. He works very, very hard every single day.”
Bakken and her husband Joel are parents to two young children, Willow, age four and Wylde, who’s just five months old. Hence the business name, which was suggested by her husband.
“Wylde Willow Woodworks, I started right after he was born,” Bakken said of her business, noting that she had begun preparing for the business prior to her son’s birth.
Wylde Willow Woodworks is a marriage of Bakken’s artful eye with functional custom-made wood pieces. From bathroom shelving, hat racks, key hangers and even bottle openers, the 20-something isn’t afraid to give anything a shot, if it’s made from wood.
“I would describe it as a custom woodworking business. I’m not stuck to one thing,” she said. “Pretty much anything someone throws at me, I can let them know if I can do it.”
With a workspace set up in her home garage, Bakken said her current focus is working on efficiency. A goal which her husband is helping her achieve by setting up a permanent work space, making the juggle between mom life and craftsman a bit more achievable.
“It’s hard, because I have to be busy in order to get where I want to be and then I know it will slow down,” she said of the transition, admitting to a bit of mom guilt. “It’s hard as a mom.”
Yet she stays committed to bringing quality work to her customers, as well as earning an income to help her family.
“Now with the way the economy is, I need things that can make money a little quicker,” she shared of future endeavors.
Bakken finds most of her clients via Instagram and a bit of Facebook Marketplace, and she also has aspirations to venture on to Etsy.
Her passion, however, remains with quality workmanship for clients who appreciate her woodworking skills.
“The laser engraving is really what everyone wants. They want something custom made for themselves,” she said of the signs, racks, charcuterie boards and other personal items she’s produced.
The majority of her woodwork is made using cedar and redwood; however, she’s open to using other woods as well at the customer’s request.
“My favorite part is probably finishing it and taking pictures or making the video out of it,” Bakken said of the highlights of her start up business.
“Honestly the money to help my family, that’s probably the biggest thing,” she continued of the pride the business brings her. “That I can make something and I can still be a mom and be at home.”
As the young entrepreneur speaks, it’s more than apparent that her love of her young family is the driving force behind her work ethic.
“I hope that my kids will remember,” she said, noting the role model she hopes to be, especially for her daughter, Willow. “I really hope she takes after me and wants to work hard.”
There’s also the pride of workmanship and doing something well.
“Honestly, I like to impress my husband. It makes me happy to hear he’s proud of me,” she concluded. “There’s a lot of reasons I like doing what I do.”
Wylde Willow Woodworks can be found on Instagram and Facebook. Bakken may be reached via messenger for orders and specific information on custom work.