Three St. Louis Artisans on the Rise: Jewelry, Photography and Graphic Design

 In Guide, Style

Each month, Guided: St. Louis showcases three artisans who bring beautiful, innovative products into the world. Below, the women behind Soulshine Jewels, Cara Lara Photography and The Mod Company give us a peek into their creative minds.

Image courtesy of Rebecca Sheehan.

Rebecca Sheehan of Soulshine Jewels
 Yogi and Soulshine designer Rebecca Sheehan creates keepsake bracelets and necklaces designed to carry your meditative practice with you when you leave the yoga mat. Handcrafted by women in St. Louis, Soulshine’s gemstones and charms each hold unique significance. Whether you want to balance your chakras or maintain a positive outlook, you can wear one or stack several of Sheehan’s versatile bracelets to keep a visual reminder of your goals as you move through your day.

Guided: How did Soulshine get its start?
Sheehan: Soulshine grew out of two passions of mine. I’ve always loved accessorizing with sentimental jewelry and practicing yoga. At the beginning of each yoga class, you have the option to set an intention. For example, you can focus on loving yourself no matter what or on maintaining positive vibes and keeping detrimental thoughts at bay.

I always loved setting intentions but was lacking a way to keep these positive thoughts in mind once yoga class was over. Around the same time, I was on the hunt for locally made, meaningful, stackable bracelets—something special I could wear every day—but had no luck finding any. Soulshine was the answer: beautiful, wearable keepsakes that remind us of our goals and revelations, regardless of whether you practice yoga.

Image courtesy of Carol Lara.

Carol Lara Photography
St. Louis-raised photographer Carol Lara specializes in surreal, spectacular portraiture. An all-around creative mind, Lara brings glamor and high-fashion artistry to her award-winning photographs, and, as a visual artisan, she also applies her eye for color and pattern to her own jewelry line of statement earrings and necklaces.

Guided: What art, writing or media inspire your work?  
Photography and clay jewelry are my main focuses right now. In my art, I find that I’m really drawn to contrast. Not only in color, but in thought. With my jewelry, bold and soft colors are my favorite combination. Mixing what one considers gritty with what one considers graceful is my favorite thing to do with photography.  Artists like Yayoi Kusama’s art inspires me with color and fashion magazines have fascinated me since I was a child. It’s the drama, the things you would never do in real life. I guess you can say my art is an escape from the mundane.  

Image courtesy of Meghan Ostermueller.

Meghan Ostermueller of The Mod Company
Woman-of-many-talents Meghan Ostermueller is the creative force behind design business The Mod Company. A graphic designer and lettering artist with a passion for paper goods and modern calligraphy, Ostermueller brings playfulness and punch to designs for clients and her own goods. Check out her online shop for too-cute “STL Babe” mugs and pins, snarky “Sorry I’m Late. I Didn’t Want to Come” totes and more.

Guided: How do you know when a design is done and ready for the world?
In full disclosure, it’s difficult to truly know when a design you’ve put your heart and soul into is complete. I am constantly working to hone my craft, but as a creative, it is in my nature to second guess my work. Each design is deeply personal and is a reflection of what is most important to me. Putting it out into the world can be wildly intimidating.

In some instances, I am able to create a piece that I am proud of with minimal edits; other times it could take a number of rounds to get to a place where I feel comfortable sharing. I would say that as a designer, you are never 100 percent sure that you are ready for the world to view your work, but eventually taking that leap will more often than not be entirely worth the initial hesitation.

Featured image courtesy of Meghan Ostermueller.

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