Courtesy of Poverty Barn
By Jonas Weir
“Don’t Mess With Texas” and “I ♥ NY” have become iconic brands, recognized around the world. Missouri currently has no such equivalent. However, that’s not for lack of state pride. Missourians are some of the proudest of their home state. And a handful of designers and artisans across the state are taking a stand, creating everything from bow ties that use the Missouri Flag as textile pattern to T-shirts that simply read “Missouri is Awesome.”
All of the following wares make great gifts for all Missourians who want to show off their native pride, and who knows? One of these might be the next “Virginia is for Lovers.”
Courtesy of Poverty Barn
When her husband cracked a joke about the home decor giant Pottery Barn, Valerie Perkins knew she had a great name for a business. About a year later, she and her daughter, Jess, officially founded The Poverty Barn. With a shared love of crafting, this St. Louis-based mother-daughter team makes home decor that has a down-home feel. Most of Valerie and Jess’s products are painted wood signs with folksy quotes and sayings in whimsical lettering, and one of their best-sellers has become their home-state series, which features a variety of different states. For Missouri, they also offer Kansas City and St. Louis-specific home-state signs. Visit povertybarn.net for more information. Poverty Barn products are available at Elderberry Place in O’Fallon, 5 Pound Apparel in Springfield, Bella Home Accessories in Chesterfield, or Made on Mass in Lawrence, Kansas.
Courtesy of Stadium Graph
On the opening day of the 2015 baseball season, Stadium Graph opened its doors at 2236 Bay Tree Drive in St. Peters. As a personal project, Jacob Heberlie started out making art prints of Busch Stadium. After running a successful Kickstarter campaign, he has expanded to making small wooden relief sculptures of many different ballparks, though he credits Royals fans with helping him make the Kickstarter so successful. Now, Missouri baseball fans can make their home feel more like home field with his ballpark sculptures of both Kaufmann and Busch Stadiums. Although an art print is not available for Kaufmann yet, Jacob says he’d like to do one in the future. Visit stadiumgraph.com for more information.
Courtesy of Ooh Look It's A Rabbit!
Ooh Look It’s a Rabbit!
Wentzville resident Susan Burkhart has been making crafts her entire life. Her grandmother taught her to crochet at a young age; she took home economics throughout her school career; and over the years, she has learned to sew, embroider, knit, quilt, scroll saw, and more. So in 2010, she decided to take the skills she’s learned and turn them into an economic opportunity by selling her projects on Etsy. Now, she has created a way to sport Missouri pride with Missouri- and St. Louis-themed key chains. All of the wood is sourced from The Wood n Shop in Eolia or St. Charles Hardwoods in St. Peters. Find more of Susan’s wares at etsy.com/shop/OohLookItsARabbit or on Facebook.
Courtesy of Fetching Etchings
Missouri pride is important to Rita Cooper. The Cedar Hill resident has lived her whole life in the Show-Me State and says she can’t imagine living anywhere else. Today, she shares her home-state pride with a series of Missouri-themed glassware. Although the glass etching started out as a primitive hobby for Rita, she has since perfected the craft by incorporating digital designs and a mechanical stencil cutter that helped her launch her own Etsy shop in January 2014. Rita sources all of her glass—except for the Christmas ornaments she etches—from either Libbey or Anchor Hocking, both US companies. Look for Rita’s booth at various craft fairs across the state, and visit fetchingetching.com for more information.
Courtesy of Sami Maurer
Sami Maurer Designs
Born and raised in St. Louis, Sami Maurer actually started her design company in Mobile, Alabama. At the time, she was a sophomore at Spring Hill College studying graphic design. She made a shirt for herself to show off her Missouri pride but soon realized there was a demand for her designs. Now, as a college graduate with degrees in both graphic de- sign and marketing management, Sami is back in the Gateway City and taking the company seriously, constantly coming up with new, clever designs. She is currently teaming up with the Children’s Hospital and the St. Louis Blues to create a shirt for a new fundraising campaign. Visit samimaurer.com for more information, or find her products on Etsy.
Courtesy of Bear On A Log
Bear On A Log
St. Louis company Bear On A Log launched last year with one goal in mind: to create comfortable clothing that could be worn at anytime, during any season. So incorporating minimalist design aesthetics, American-made wares, and clever, pun-centric graphics, the company did just that. And being a Missouri company, Bear on a Log offers many ways to sport your Show-Me State pride, from “I ♥ KC” sweatshirts to tank tops that feature a silhouette of the Arch. Find Bear On A Log on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and at bearonalog.com.
Courtesy of Hahn Harbour
Using reclaimed wood and a wood burner, Blue Springs resident Hannah Harrison started creating signs for friends as housewarming and birthday presents. When she realized she had something special on her hands, she launched Hahn Harbour with her fiance, Cody Hahn. Hannah has since diversified her product line, but her wood signs are still the biggest hit. She now offers custom work, too. Although the company is a booming success, the couple is truly focused and excited for their wedding in August. To learn more, find Hahn Harbour on Facebook and Etsy.
Courtesy of The Crafty Engineer
The Crafty Engineer
Columbia resident Tia Berg is not just clever; she’s crafty, too. In 2012, Tia started The Crafty Engineer as a part-time project, and the one-time project has now grown into a full-time job. She designs all of the products, sources all of the materials from vendors across the United States, and puts everything together by hand at her office in Columbia. Although all of her designs are fun, her Show-Me State products are definitely the cutest. See more at thecraftyengineer.com.
Courtesy of Huckababy
Jefferson City resident Cassandra Huckabay’s first job is not making crafts. She’s a full-time nurse at Women and Children’s Hospital in Columbia, and she’s the mother of one, with another on the way. Yet, she still finds time to put together adorable crafts for adults and children alike. She started out making baby accessories with her friend and business partner Darlene Oliver when Cassandra’s son Henry was born nearly three years ago and since expanded to making crafts like her popular Missouri heart pillow. You can find her products at Southbank Gifts in Jefferson City or at her Huckababy store on Etsy.
Courtesy of Great Knots
Des Peres resident Nancy Staley is classing up Missouri pride by making Missouri-themed bow ties by hand. She started her bow tie business, Great Knots, two years ago when she made American flag bow ties for her son and his friends who were attending a high school dance. Now, she has expanded the idea to include the St. Louis flag, the Missouri flag, and Tiger stripes, among other designs. Great Knots bow ties can be found at the St. Louis Zoo, the Chess Club and Scholastic Center of Saint Louis, the Missouri History Museum, and other St. Louis area gift shops, or online at greatknots.com.
Courtesy of Landlocked KC
In the fall of 2014, both the Royals and the Chiefs were doing well nearing the post-season—a near anomaly for Kansas City sports fans. To get into the spirit of hometown pride, Christie Davis and Andrew Morgans launched Landlocked KC—an apparel design company specifically focused on Missouri pride. The first shirt was a pennant shirt that included both Royals and Chiefs colors, but the company has since expanded to include more items, including Made in Missouri shirts and Missouri coasters. Find out more at landlockedco.com, and connect with Landlocked KC on Facebook and Instagram.
Courtesy of 5 Pound Apparel
5 Pound Apparel
“You might be thinking Missouri is boring or full of hillbillies or lacking in culture; you must be thinking of Arkansas because Missouri is awesome.”
That was the opening line in Springfield clothing shop 5 Pound Apparel’s successful Kickstarter campaign for a Missouri is Awesome clothing line. The campaign exceeded its $5,000 goal by more than $28,000, and for good reason. These Missouri-pride T-Shirts are hilarious, just like the Kickstarter’s video. Find out more at 5poundapparel.com.
Courtesy of The Spare Garage
The Spare Garage
Washington, Missouri, resident Kyle Zick thinks about his craft like he thinks about cooking. He takes a little inspiration from everywhere and gives it his own flavor. Using reclaimed wood and pallets from his family farm, rough cut lumber from lumber yards, and refined pieces from St. Charles Hardwoods, each piece that Kyle makes is unique, even if he does the same design twice, like his popular Missouri silhouette wall decoration. Find more of his work at his Etsy shop, appropriately called The Spare Garage.