Three St. Louis Artisans on the Rise: Letterpress, Baking and Children’s Clothing
Each month, Guided: St. Louis showcases three artisans who bring beautiful, innovative products into the world. Below, the makers behind West Park Creative, Hello Pride and The Tipsy Goat reveal what inspires and motivates them.
Image courtesy of West Park Creative.
Bill Bubenik of West Park Creative
Have you ever fallen into a pit of indecision in a drug store greeting card aisle, overwhelmed by generic and not-quite-right options? West Park Creative offers the perfect solution: wryly funny greeting cards that infuse your message with personality rather than sentimentality. Writer and letterpress designer Bill Bubenik keeps it real with messages such as “Obligatory Birthday Card,” “It’s Gross How Much I Love You” and “I’m Sorry You Feel Like I Need to Say Sorry.”
Guided: How and when did you discover letterpress was the perfect outlet for your sense of humor?
There used to be a version of West Park Creative that was super cutesy—full of color, illustrations and kind, thoughtful messages. But that was the version of me that was too worried about making everyone happy. And let’s be real, that’s not the best way to live life. So after analyzing my best sellers at the time, I recognized that there was a trend toward snarky and what I’ve coined as “sweetly offensive.” So I did one of the craziest things a business owner can do—I started over. From scratch. All inventory went in a box. And I started listening to my own conversations. Some of my best sellers are things I’ve actually said to my wife or one of my friends or family. And that’s when I realized I can make people laugh by saying things that most people are thinking but unwilling to voice.
Image Courtesy of The Tipsy Goat.
Mallory Stewart and Emily Lamb of The Tipsy Goat
Fans of baking competition shows will recognize the French macaron as a cookie that sends many aspiring pastry chefs packing. Not only have The Tipsy Goat’s co-owners mastered this delicate, edible art, they seem capable of innovating infinite new flavor combinations. Whether you’re in the mood for a treat that speaks to your inner kid or something to go alongside your afternoon tea, The Tispy Goat has your sweet tooth covered with flavors ranging from funfetti to honey-almond.
Guided: Why macarons? What is it about them that inspired you both to launch The Tipsy Goat?
We were originally drawn to macarons for their originality and the fact that since they are a more difficult dessert to master, not a lot of bakeries offered them, especially in unique and custom flavors. Once we acquired the skills to make them, we started experimenting with different flavors, everything from classics like honey-lavender and salted caramel to original flavors like our tipsy goat signature with red wine and chocolate, even collaborating with local favorites like Billy Goat Chip Company and Strange Donuts to make some really cool combinations! As we’ve grown, we have prided ourselves on staying loyal to local and keeping our customers coming back with new creations like our jumbo cookie dough macarons and an ever-rotating menu of flavors. We love what we do and that our customers are continuously supportive!
Image courtesy of Hello Pride.
Megan Hines and Meagan Barfield of Hello Pride
Hines and Barfield, the designers and collaborating couple behind Hello Pride, are putting LGBTQ love and family on proud display. They combine fashion and advocacy work, filling a gap in the baby retail market with adorable baby onesies printed with messages such as “My Guncle Thinks I’m Fabulous,” “Gendernorms Bite” and “I Have Two Mama Bears.”
Guided: What do you hope your products will bring into the world?
Our company began when we realized that, as a young couple, there weren’t many options for gay couples and families in stores. So we combined our love for crafting and designing and created Hello Pride so that all families can celebrate their love. We hope our products bring joy, happiness, inclusivity, representation and acceptance to families that are both similar and different than our own.
When you have a baby, it is the most exciting time of your life. You want to be able to put clothing on your kids that says, “I love Mama and Mommy” or “I love Daddy and Dada,” clothing that represents your family. We also do what we do so that we can bring acceptance to LGBTQ families, to show that we have the same hopes and dreams as heterosexual relationships: having a family. We hope our products show kids who may be struggling with coming out to see that there are LGBTQ people who are starting families represented in our society. We want to show them that it does get better.
Featured image courtesy of The Tipsy Goat.