Michael Thomas


As an accomplished photojournalist, Michael Thomas often finds himself engaged in some of the area’s most important and polarizing stories. His work has appeared in both national and international publications, on television shows and with various big-name companies. What drives Michael is having the unique opportunity to connect with many different people as he documents their stories, especially those that often are overlooked. Favorite spot in St. Louis: University City Loop. Learn more at miketphotog.com.

Michael Thomas


New Stages

In just three years, the St. Louis region has gained three world-class music festivals, bringing national and local artists to…

Seeds of Change

Founded in Argentina, agtech startup Seed Matriz is developing seed encapsulation technology so farmers can save and plant more seeds…

Words on the Street

With PSA, Shannon Levin and Marina Peng elevate and amplify St. Louis artists with unexpected and accessible art installations around…

Fit for Everyone

Team Saint Louis, an inclusive sports league, welcomes all for fitness, friendship, and fun.

In Perfect Harmony

For nearly three decades, BandTogether has united LGBTQ+ musicians of all ages and skill levels to share beautiful music and…

A Different Ball Game

At True Success Basketball & Fitness Academy in St. Charles, Thurlester Robinson, Jr. uses basketball as a vehicle to teach…

Feeding the Need

The Little Angels Foundation serves hot, home-cooked meals to refugees, immigrants, and the unhoused community in St. Louis.

Community Fabric

At Profield Reserve on Cherokee Street, Christopher Loss designs vintage sportswear-inspired clothing — and offers a community hub for all.

Prep Work

With Top Tutors For Us, founder Angelica Harris is helping Black high school students build academic skills and improve college…

2023 Year In Review: 25+ Inspiring
St. Louis Stories

From community transformers and restaurateurs to inspiring artists and innovative startup founders, take a look back at this year’s STLMade…

Photo of St. Louis looking toward the Arch around sunset

Mother of Invention

With Bask & Bloom Essentials, Candera Thompson has created hair-care products that empower women and help with postpartum hair health.

Friendship, Faith and Futures

Pastors Ken and Beverly Jenkins opened community development hub R&R Marketplace in Dellwood with the aim to change lives.


Through her nonprofit workforce development organization, Gateway Global, Zekita Armstrong Asuquo is training under-resourced high school students for entry-level jobs…

Harnessing Talent

Entrepreneur and talent recruiter Anjie Sanford has launched a new program through BioSTL that offers minority college students internships at…

Anjie Sanford, talent recruitment & inclusive entrepreneur development lead at BioSTL

Making Moves

Danielle Deavens and Doug Spencer, Bold Xchange founders, and Craig and Mowgli Rivard, owners of Little Fox, share why they…

Manufacturing the Future

Southwestern Illinois College leads the way in educating the next generation of manufacturing workers, helping to realize the vision of…

Creating Space

At Heydays HQ, Keisha Mabry Haymore provides the space and support for women and founders of color to create, collaborate…

The Path Forward

Doug and Bill Mitchell’s startup ScholarPath helps graduating high school students figure out what’s next.

A Promising

Educator-turned-entrepreneur Marcus Howard is raising the standard of pharmacy care with the launch of GreaterHealth Pharmacy & Wellness in the…

Bold Moves

Through Bold Xchange, co-founders Danielle Deavens and Doug Spencer aim to improve equity in entrepreneurship by helping large companies support…

Stitching Vibes

Abbey Eilermann and her team at the Daily Disco bring fresh eyes and unique designs to the vintage art of…

A Reading

For more than 25 years, Ready Readers has helped advance social and racial equity in St. Louis by bolstering literacy…

2022 Year In Review

Take a look back at this year's STLMade stories.

Tastes of Home

Nearly 30 years ago, Shayn Prapaisilp’s parents introduced Thai food to St. Louis. Now Prapaisilp is leading the family business…

Open Arms

Moji Sidiqi leads the International Institute of St. Louis’ Afghan Support Program in helping refugees adjust to their new home.

More Than A Market

Lacy Cagle leads City Greens Market in the Grove to be a hub for community, education and local produce.

Cooking Up

Propel Kitchens is building health and wealth within the historically under-resourced community of the St. Louis Promise Zone by providing…

Sew Crafty

First through a youth academy and now with a new online portal, Olivia Rae Davis wants to get more people…

Notes of Community

Soul artist turned community facilitator Brian Owens helps lift up young creatives in St. Louis.

Life-Saving Science

Dr. Sarah George and other researchers at Saint Louis University School of Medicine’s Center for Vaccine Development are leading national…

The Future of Farming

Creve Coeur-based Climate LLC is helping transform the possibilities, profits and precision of farming in the digital age.

Hive Mind – Part Two

A team of local scientists work together on how to improve produce yields in urban orchards and community gardens.

Hive Mind – Part One

With the goal of helping community gardens produce more fresh food, scientists from six different St. Louis institutions are collaborating…

Space for STEM

With Black Girls Do STEM, chemist Cynthia Chapple and her team are carving out an inclusive space for young Black…

Raising the Bar

With ethically sourced cacao and local raw honey, Cam and Haley Loyet’s Honeymoon Chocolates makes bean-to-bar craft chocolate in its…

Rewriting the Narrative

At EyeSeeMe Bookstore in University City, Jeffrey and Pamela Blair are fulfilling their calling to provide people with positive stories…

Drawing Outside the Lines

Steenz Stewart has blazed their own trail in the comics industry to become one of the few Black cartoonists at…

A Wider Net

St. Louis’ storied soccer tradition will take a leap forward in 2023 with an MLS team of its own, St.…

2021 Year In Review

Take a look back at this year's STLMade stories.

Off to the Races

St. Louis welcomes the NASCAR Cup Series to the region at World Wide Technology Raceway in Madison, Illinois, thanks to…

Giving Lessons

With the support of her local Buy Nothing group, Briana Morales guides her students in East St. Louis through social-emotional…

Flavor Full

Charlene Lopez Young and Darren Young are bringing Filipino flavors to the region with their barbecue and smoked meats business,…

Natural Wonders

St. Louisans find peace and purpose in parks and on trails throughout the region.

Flipping the Script

Akeem Shannon is on a gravity-defying entrepreneurial rise with his creation, Flipstik.

Building Bridges

Natissia Small, Ed.D., reduces barriers for St. Louis youth to pursue and succeed in higher education.

Tap Into Talent

Led by Chief Operating Officer Sarah Bernard, Inclusively connects employees with disabilities with compatible jobs, and helps companies adapt to…

Exploring the Final Frontiers

At Impossible Sensing in St. Louis, Pablo Sobron leads a team of scientists and engineers in building sensors to explore…

Making Art at the MAC

Brandace Cloud's art collective is bringing people together in Staunton, Illinois.

Ready, Set, Launch

Je'Nell McCrary transitioned from radio to tech thanks to skills she gained through LaunchCode's CoderGirl program.

Preserving the Past, Shaping the Future

Michael Allen pushes back against the traditional view of preservation, and wants St. Louisans to embrace and appreciate all parts…


The Navigate STL Schools dashboard and programs are helping parents make informed decisions for their children's education.

Mapping Out The Future

St. Louis is positioned to become an international hub for the geospatial industry.

Mapping Inequities

Kemba Noel-London used geospatial data in her doctoral research to discover disparities in access to youth sports throughout the St.…

Flying High

Entrepreneur Bronwyn Morgan brings drones and geospatial tech together with her company, XEO Air.


Leaders in the region explain geospatial technology and the many ways it's being used in St. Louis.

Bridging the Gap

The Foodshed.io app links small family farms to grocery stores so consumers can buy more local produce and farmers can…

Brewing Community

St. Louis brewers find new ways to connect with beer lovers and continue their businesses during the pandemic.

Changing the Conversation

Local start-up We Stories is teaching the next generation to be anti-racist.

Opening Doors

Dwayne Smith's first job was with the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency, and now, through education, he seeks to build up the…

Traduciendo el Apoyo

Lourdes Bailón y Gabriela Ramírez-Arellano crearon STLJuntos, una paginaweb y de Facebook que se ha convertido en un recurso esencial…

Translating Support

Lourdes Bailón and Gabriela Ramírez-Arellano created STLJuntos, a Facebook page and website that has become an essential resource for Spanish-speaking…

Friends in Knead

At Knead Bakehouse + Provisions, AJ and Kirsten Brown Rise to Meet Changing Needs During the Pandemic.

Personal Growth

Home gardens flourish in quarantine, providing floral beauty, nutritious food and positive mental health benefits.

Serving Families in Need

When what's "normal" changes overnight, faith leaders come together to support children facing food insecurity.

African American man stands near grocery bags

Data for the Greater Good

Saint Louis University professor Enbal Shacham, Ph.D., uses geospatial techniques to track the spread of the coronavirus.

woman wearing a blue blazer smiling

Streaming With Faith

Places of worship use technology to connect with those looking for guidance in a time of uncertainty. 

Caucasian man standing in front of home

Download, Dine, Donate

Washington University graduate Andrew Glantz is giving back to the St. Louis community with his app, GiftAMeal.

dark-haired man looks at phone

Hope and Heart

Valeda Keys turns strength into action as she helps St. Louis women recover from breast cancer.


Home(Town) Brew

Here in one of the nation's top beer cities, St. Louis brewers are shaping the industry's future.

A man pulls a beer tap in a brewery

Pump Up the Volume

Through their Tunespeak platform, St. Louis musicians Tom and Rick Pernikoff are connecting international performers with ardent fans.

Tom Pernikoff with his brother Rick

Funny Business

St. Louis is nurturing comedy careers, thanks to new talent and major events like Zach Gzehoviak’s Flyover Comedy Festival.

Zach Gzehoviak of Flyover Comedy Festival

Feeding St. Louis

Local food assistance organizations are gaining national recognition for their commitment to education and action.

St. Louis Area Foodbank

A Global Community

As the St. Louis region recruits top international talent to its companies, Susan Gobbo is building a support system for…

Susan Gobbo of the International Spouses Meetup Group

Road Trip

Brothers Nick and Irfan Sinanovic are innovating the trucking industry through their rapidly growing, St. Louis-based company Vega Transport.

Nick Sinanovic in a Vega Transport Truck

Call of the Wild

For Kari Musgrave, honing her veterinary skills at the world-class Saint Louis Zoo is a dream come true.

portrait of st. louis veterinarian

Rising Stars

Women business owners in St. Louis are drawing more funding and attention than ever before while giving other women a…

Urban Oasis

Theo Smith thought he’d become an urban planner, but Kennedy Forest in Forest Park beckoned.

Home Run

St. Louis scores again and again as one of the nation’s best baseball cities.

Busch Stadium

All That Jazz

Lauren Parks and Jas Gary Pearson have turned the childhood home of music legend Miles Davis into a community catalyst.

Lauren Parks and Jas Gary Pearson outside the childhood home of Miles Davis

Innovation Destination

OPO Startups founder Randy Schilling boosts Main Street St. Charles by connecting local tech, retail and service communities.

Randy Schilling

Appetite for Action

De Nichols and the FoodSpark team bring social change to the potluck table.

De Nichols

Finding the Spirit

SLU professors Pauline Lee and Rachel Lindsey are exploring what religion in unexpected places means to St. Louis’s future.

Slu Religion Masthead

Niche of Time

John Clark and Masterclock keep the world in sync.

Masterclock CEO John Clark examines a time-keeping device.

Keys to the Community

Kayia Baker and Pianos for People are changing lives one note at a time.

Family Matters

Angie Smart is an accomplished violinist with the St. Louis Symphony – a career her son Theo Bockhorst might want,…

Angie Smart and Theo Bockhorst rehearse in the green room at Powell Hall.

Bass-ic Instinct

Tonina’s passion for the low notes is creating a hum in St. Louis.

Cooking with Love

Through food, ‘MamaCat’ Cathy Daniels nurtures and respects St. Louis’s unhoused residents.