Three St. Louis Artisans on the Rise: Fashion, Cosmetics and Home Goods
Each month, Guided: St. Louis showcases three artisans who bring beautiful, innovative products into the world. Below, creative companies Potion23, Get Leighed Cosmetics and St. Louis Succulents share insights into their creative ventures.
Photo courtesy of Potion23.
Victoria Cates of Potion23
Potion23 is a collection of vintage-inspired clothing and accessories that can’t help but make a statement. Influenced by the femenine silhouettes of the 1930s and 1940s, Victoria Cates brings art deco into the 21st century with the bold prints and playful cuts she chooses for her headbands, dresses, tops, jumpsuits and more.
Guided: What’s inspiring your design process right now?
In my design process, I’m always looking for something old to renew again. My inspiration comes from nature, especially the emergence of spring, when everything begins to wake up. This time of year feels like a metaphor for the creative process. Just like the first crocus breaking the soil, bringing renewed life to designs from the 1930s and 1940s can be so exciting and fresh! During that era, much time and care had to be put into everything that was created, because technology was quite limited. There was no fast fashion, so it was about true artisans building strong silhouettes that were meant to last. When I am creating pieces for Potion23, I am bringing back the art of “slow fashion,” making heirlooms that last for years to come.
Photo courtesy of Get Leighed Cosmetics.
Evelyn Leigh of Get Leighed Cosmetics
Named after its founder, St. Louis-based Get Leighed Cosmetics is a black-owned, inclusive cosmetics brand making natural beauty products that won’t break the bank. A vegan and cruelty-free brand, Get Leighed offers a growing line of products including everything from cleansers and toners to serums and exfoliants.
Guided: What do you want your products to bring into peoples’ lives?
I want my products to bring peace, restore confidence and become a self-care staple in people’s lives. I created my first product, the “Whip It” Whipped Body Butter, to find relief from eczema, something I struggled with my entire life. When I perfected this formula and really saw results from something natural that I made myself, I knew this had to be shared with the world. My entire product line is geared to encourage self-love self-care because it started right here with me needing to show myself a little more TLC.
Something that’s really important in the beauty industry is that we’re all looking for something that makes us feel better. After years of working in this industry prior to launching GLC, I knew exactly what was missing and brought it. Every product in this line has encouraged me and provided relief for everything from eczema to acne to dry scalp. I know firsthand how much better you feel not having to worry about those things, which is why my brand’s motto is “we take the stress out of finding solutions to your skincare woes, giving you more time to cater to yourself and what makes you happy.”
Photo courtesy of Saint Louis Succulents.
Lizzie Geerling and Claire Troll of Saint Louis Succulents
Sisters-in-law Geerling and Troll started their small business as a creative outlet that allows them to unwind from stressful full-time jobs. Crafting hand-screen printed tea towels, needle-felted cacti and etched glassware, the pair bonds over their shared passion for St. Louis and all things floral, and they love contributing to the city’s unique artisan scene by bringing Saint Louis Succulents to pop-up markets and small business events.
Guided: Where does a new design start for you?
When designing new felted cacti, Lizzie says she draws a lot of inspiration from taking trips to the Linnean House at the Missouri Botanical Garden, which houses a wide variety of cacti ranging in colors and shapes. She loves the challenge of figuring out how she can emulate these styles in a felted form.
After designing floral state outlines as one of the top-selling tea towel designs, Claire switched gears and started designing tea towels that boast snarky sayings. When designing new sayings, she says she tries to focus on ideas that will make customers laugh, since she loves seeing the smiles that the towels bring to faces. She also thinks about things that irk her and tries to turn these into humorous tea towel designs, and these typically end up being the most relatable ones.
Featured image courtesy of Saint Louis Succulents.