What-a-Woman: Madison Karsenty

Madison Karsenty {Valorie Darling - The Little Market}Photo by Valorie Darling

Based out of Los Angeles, California, Madison Karsenty is a lawyer, a florist, and a mom. She has a two-year-old son, Diego, and is pregnant with her daughter, Birdie. As a lawyer, she primarily works with start-ups, and she also works with a nonprofit titled The Environmental Media Association. This group connects the entertainment industry, including television and film personalities, and the environmental community to raise awareness about the environment. This year, Madison started The Flower Firm, a floral company that creates floral arrangements and installations for occasions such as weddings as well as for private clients. You can follow along with her beautiful flowers on Instagram at @flowerfirmla.

How do you know Hannah?

I met Hannah through our husbands. They grew up together and both love to surf and get outdoors. Hannah and I bonded pretty instantly and found ourselves hiking and spinning together.

Which items from The Little Market are in your home?

We have a lot of baskets — my husband says I am a basket hoarder, so that’s what I tend to gravitate toward. I also have a couple of candles, and my son has been generously gifted several of the sweet stuffed animals.

Lavender Soy Blend Candle {Megan Welker - The Little Market}Photo by Megan Welker

What is your favorite product from The Little Market?

The market baskets! They instantly spruce up a room and double as a nice way to hide toys. I also love the Little Market baskets — I have one in the back seat of my car where my son stores a bunch of toy cars.

What has your son taught you?  

My son has taught me to slow down and enjoy the little moments. We live in such a fast-paced world — having a child is a constant reminder to live in the present.

How has being a mom made you more compassionate toward women around the world?

Being a mother is an amazing gift — you get to watch this tiny human grow and change and mature right before your eyes. Being a mother is also rife with worries and fears — I used to be a very laid-back person, but having a child catapults you into a new role, a protector. My imagination can run wild and my anxiety high when my son has a fever — I cannot fathom the notion that mothers out there have to grapple with how to provide access to food and clean water for their children, or find them a safe place to sleep. The extreme disparity between the rich and the poor in this world, particularly in developing countries, is staggering. I have immense compassion for not only the mothers, but all of the people living in extreme poverty, and my sensitivity is further heightened now that I am a mother and can truly understand the innate responsibility you feel to your children.

Tell us more about Flower Firm!

Flower Firm was born out of a desire to balance the technical intellectual side of me with this burning desire to be creative. After spending so many years buried in books, I thought that my artistic side would manifest only in my ability to craft a persuasive argument. When I got pregnant and felt this overwhelming pull to “nest,” as they say, I discovered my love of flowers. After all, with all of the volatility in the world, it’s important to appreciate the simple beauty of a flower now and again.

Which accomplishment in your life so far are you the most proud of and why?

Earning my law degree — as a young woman, I feel incredibly fortunate to not only have access to high education, but to be well-versed in the language of the law — a privilege that affords me the opportunity to protect my own rights as well as act as an advocate for others who are not so fortunate.  

Do you have a favorite book?

It is difficult for me to choose as I love to read, but the two most formative books that have shaped my outlook on the human race and our ability to affect change are “Half the Sky” by Nicholas D. Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn and “The End of Poverty” by Jeffrey Sachs, a true visionary in the field of economics and a brilliant humanitarian in his own right.

Do you have a favorite documentary?

I love all true crime documentaries because I enjoy seeing how the legal teams devised their strategies behind the scenes.

What is your favorite place to travel to?

Belgium — my husband’s family is from there, and it is such a beautiful, lush country with incredible history.

What do you always travel with?

An eye mask and lots of chapstick.

Where do you get your inspiration from?

I am inspired by my peers — Los Angeles has such a palpable energy of moving and shaking. I am constantly reminded to step up and take action by taking an inventory of the women in my life and what they are doing, Hannah and Lauren being excellent examples.

What advice would you give your 18-year-old self?

You look great … now go do something!

What is the best advice you have ever received?

Say yes to every opportunity to step outside of your comfort zone. Actually the worst professor I had in law school said that to me. He could not teach Commercial Law to save his life, but he gave life-changing advice!

Do you have a favorite women-led brand?

The Row — it is a beautiful brand with well-crafted clothes run by two kickass businesswomen.

What matters most to you when you shop?

I consider country of origin a lot when I shop. I am not a big fan of fast fashion for two main reasons. First, I feel that products made to fit a fleeting niche typically end up in the landfill and increase our carbon footprint. And second, fast fashion generally means cheap fashion, which translates to unfair wages and, more often than not, unethical and inhumane working conditions.

What does “fair trade” mean to you?

Fair trade goods should reflect a trade culture of transparency, accountability, and good ethical labor practices on the part of the producer.

Which causes are you most passionate about and why?

On a domestic level, I am a huge animal advocate and support a number of local and national nonprofits dedicated to rescuing and rehabbing dogs and other animals. On a global level, I like to support organizations that help pull individuals and families out of the throngs of poverty by providing opportunity and resources. I am a long-time supporter of Kiva, a micro-lending organization, and have invested in small businesses all over the world over the past 10 years.

How can our readers get involved?

Get involved by visiting Kiva.org.  You can fund as much or as little of a loan as you want! I love giving credits on Kiva as gifts.

Do you have a favorite blog?

The Chalkboard Mag!

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