R.J. Hartbeck


R.J. Hartbeck is a commercial photographer based in St. Louis. His brand of storytelling is informed by his love for street photography and the belief that photos should be used as a way to connect with one another. His work has been featured both online and in print for various brands around the country. A passionate advocate for entrepreneurship, he enjoys helping people bring their new projects and ideas to life. Favorite neighborhood: Tower Grove East. Learn more at rjhartbeck.com.

R.J. Hartbeck


Chain Reaction

Rick Shang -Vulpes Corp.

Designed for Dialogue

Rooted in social responsibility found in Cuban-inspired posters, creative firm CARTEL uses design to drive conversations around inclusivity and urban…

The Heart of Things

SentiAR's hands-free headset enables surgeons and physicians to see 3D, mixed-reality, real-time images of patients’ hearts.

A Visionary Idea

Saint Louis University scientist Jenna Gorlewicz’s team is building Inclusio, a groundbreaking digital tool to translate graphic information into accessible…

Arrive and Thrive

At the International Institute of St. Louis, a new federal program, Welcome Corps, invites American citizens to sponsor refugees as…


By supporting first-time entrepreneurs from underrepresented communities, Cortex’s Square One programs, led by Ben Molina and Gabriela Ramirez-Arellano, is bringing…

A World of Possibilities

Founded at Vashon High School, Show Me the World Project provides transformative education in entrepreneurship, leadership, and STEM to students…

Edible Education

Serving seasonal eats, Fresh Gatherings Cafe + Farm is a unique culinary teaching lab on the Saint Louis University campus…

Getting a Close Up

An upcoming movie about St. Louis native John O’Leary, a burn survivor turned motivational speaker and author, is the first…

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

Shared Language

Based in the Bevo neighborhood, Immigrant Home English Learning Program connects foreign-born residents with volunteer tutors to learn English —…

Second Nature

From her studio in the Marine Villa neighborhood, acclaimed artist Lauren Marx draws inspiration from the native flora and fauna…

Sunflower Power

At Edison Agrosciences, sunflowers could hold the key to producing the first sustainable natural rubber made in the U.S.

A New Leaf

From her home office in Wildwood, TeaVoila founder Souzan Gerami is revolutionizing an industry with plant-based, compostable to-go tea cups.


Arkadin Cinema & Bar opens up worlds in the Bevo neighborhood, where owners Sarah Baraba and Keith Watson share a…

Feeding the Future

At St. Louis startup MARSfarm, co-founders Peter Webb and Drew Thomas create portable greenhouses to upgrade how classrooms study agriculture.

A Welcoming

MaTovu celebrates five years of fellowship and inclusive programming for the Jewish community in the City of St. Louis.

Highly Rated

With Rated Test Kitchen, chef Juwan Rice is bringing a new kind of fine-dining restaurant to Downtown St. Louis.

A Healing Helpline

St. Louis Queer+ Support Helpline offers identity-affirming resources for the region’s LGBTQIA+ community.

A Coffee Culture

At Brew Tulum, Laura McNamara and Alberto Juarez bring a deep-dive into Mexican coffee culture to the Delmar Maker District.

A New View

As president and CEO of the Missouri Historical Society, Jody Sowell focuses on telling stories about St. Louis’ past that…


With Ope Outdoors, Juno Musonda is spreading love for the Midwest’s parks and natural attractions through merchandise, park cleanups and…

Trading Up

As part of the Missouri Works Initiative, the Building Union Diversity program is expanding access to careers in construction.

Free Spirits

St. Louis’ Switchgrass Spirits is carving its own path with its grain-to-glass whiskey and brandy.

2022 Year In Review

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

A Broad Canvas

At Onyx Dagger in Lafayette Square, Valencia Miller combines fine art with tattoo art, supporting local painters in St. Louis…

Sustaining Style

With May’s Place, Katie May highlights the merits of shopping vintage – both for you and for the planet.

Float On

From the Boathouse to the Mississippi, Big Muddy Adventures offers St. Louisans a chance to connect with the region's waterways.

Up, Up and Away

The Great Forest Park Balloon Race, one of the country’s longest-running balloon races, celebrates 50 years of making St. Louisans…

Raised on Glazed

Syeeda Aziz-Morris is carrying on the family tradition of donut-making at Pharaoh's Donuts in Downtown and the Central West End.

Nerds with Heart

In St. Peters, PokéNerds store owners Brian and Valeria Trull have built a community for Pokémon fans, who are in…

Freedom Through Food

Urban farmer Tyrean “Heru” Lewis brings fresh produce to underserved communities and advocates for more equitable growing practices across St.…

Beyond the Bag

Through her luxury handbag line Lux & Nyx, Lisa Hu seeks to empower women through functional, sustainable bags that marry…

A Powerful Lift

As the executive director of Paralympic operations at Logan University, Kelley Humphries-Mascoll is advancing the Paralympic movement in St. Louis…

Wicked ‘Wiches

Sugarwitch’s Martha Bass and Sophie Mendelson craft wickedly good ice cream sandwiches and frozen treats in Botanical Heights and Carondelet.

Climbing High

With So iLL, the Chancellor family has created an aesthetically pleasing, environmentally conscious experience for the modern urban rock climber,…


With unique bus and walking tours throughout the metro area, Amanda Clark helps people see St. Louis differently.

Snacking for Change

With Airly crackers, a team from Brentwood-based Post Holdings has created a tasty way for people to combat climate change.

Nothing Little About It

From rural China to Fox Park, Lona Luo has come a long way in her journey to become one of…

2021 Year In Review

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

A Home for Art

In Gravois Park, St. Louis Art Place Initiative has completed the first of 20 units of single family housing at…

Tastes of St. Louis

Bringing together more than a dozen kitchens with varied cuisines, City Foundry STL’s Food Hall draws St. Louisans to Midtown.

Advocating for Inclusion

With the Starkloff Disability Institute, Colleen Starkloff works to make the world a place where people of all abilities feel…


Local farmers and entrepreneurs build their businesses and a strong community through the support of St. Louisans at the Tower…

Small Park, Big Impact

Through Pocketparks, Samantha Lee Smugala is bringing art, activation and opportunity to transform vacant lots into community gathering spaces.

Building Space to Grow

Jason Deem opened St. Louis’ first coworking space, Nebula, more than 10 years ago, and continues to restore and develop…

Be(er) Well

With WellBeing Brewing's craft nonalcoholic beers and waters, Jeff Stevens is helping reframe the stigma around sobriety.

White man holding a beverage standing on a rooftop.

Security Solution

Led by CEO Ron Indeck, Olivette-based Q-Net Security is protecting government organizations and businesses across the nation from online threats…

Natural Wonders

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

Organic Growth

In Wright City, Maria Marshall leads certified organic Marshall Family Farms in practicing regenerative agriculture, raising heritage poultry and producing…

Time for a Revolution

Saint Louis Story Stitchers brings young people together to express themselves through art and create social change.

Transforming Tea

Lisa Govro, through her company Big Heart Tea Co., is not only revolutionizing how tea tastes, but ensuring it’s ethically…

The Power of Plants

Mónica Carlsen, a Venezuelan immigrant and plant biologist with the Missouri Botanical Garden, is inspiring the next generation of budding…

Health and Healing

Naturopathic physician Jamila Owens-Todd extends her mission of healing further into the community through her ownership of the Golden Grocer…

A Conscious Cup of Joe

Inspired by the coffee they grew up drinking in their native Honduras, Patrick and Spencer Clapp are elevating the St.…

Solving Challenges

Biotech startup PercayAI and Washington University are collaborating to find treatments for COVID-19, through the work of people like computational…

Bringing Love to the Table

Shana Alicia Poole-Jones started her Grab and Go Table to give food and supplies to folks in need, and keeps…

A Hearty Dish

Welcome Neighbor STL's drive-thru supper clubs are a lifeline for refugees.

Community Game Changer

Entrepreneur Julian Keaton aims to foster community engagement and move St. Louis forward through “Dimensions,” a new interactive geolocation mobile…

Smooth Moves

Angela Zeng didn’t listen to critics who told her to start her line of superfood drinks, Karviva Beverages, elsewhere; after…

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.

St. Louis, Together

How #314Together transformed from a pandemic relief Facebook group to an inspiring movement supporting local small businesses.

Period Positive

Even during a pandemic, the St. Louis Alliance for Period Supplies is getting essential period products to people in need.

Power Drive

28 communities around the region joined together to donate nearly 15,000 pounds of food and personal care items to the…

Personal Growth

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

Growing Together

EarthDance Organic Farm School Hosts Pay-What-You-Can Drive-Thru Farm Stand in Ferguson.

Coffee for a Cause

How Sump Coffee is Fueling Health Care Providers on the Front Lines.

Superhero Delivery

Martin Casas of Apotheosis Comics is making sure that St. Louis residents have plenty of comic books and drinks to…

Puppies in a Pandemic

What happens to unadopted pets during a crisis? St. Louis stepped up to foster them - including one family taking…

woman holds two puppies

4 Hands For Hands

4 Hands Brewery adds a new product to its beer and spirit offerings – hand sanitizer.

4 hands van delivering hand sanitizer on market st

Creating Through Crisis

Mee Jey, an immigrant artist from India, tells community stories through her art in St. Louis and abroad.


‘Round and ‘Round

For 50 years, Mathew and Niah Foggy have built community while circling the roller rink at Skate King.

Man and woman standing at skate rental counter

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

That’s a Ringer

Home to the National Horseshoe Pitchers Hall of Fame, St. Charles County has become one of the country’s top regions…

Quail Ridge Horseshoe Club

Spilling the Beans

Estie Cruz-Curoe’s Cuban-style black beans at del Carmen Foods are filling a delicious niche in the St. Louis food scene.

del Carmen beans header

Autumn Action

The St. Louis economy gets a yearly boost from an array of spectacular fall sights and cool-weather activities, including Oktoberfest.

Couple walks one of the paved trails of Cliff Cave Park, in South St. Louis County.

Shifting Gears

Mike Weiss believes that St. Louis could become one of the hottest cycling destinations in the country -- and the…

Mike Weiss of Big Shark

Fresh From the Vine

Tony White’s locally grown tomatoes are the not-so-secret ingredients in many St. Louis chefs’ acclaimed dishes.

tony white holding box of fruit

Puppy Power

Fitness trainer Kim Gray built her wellness business for St. Louisans who love spending time with their pets.

Kim Gray and her poodle Oscar

Night Moves

Ranked No. 1 in nightlife, St. Louis is drawing attention for its fun, affordable ways to hit the town.

Nightlife - We Love St. Louis sign

Career Center

New industries in St. Louis are helping to fuel Missouri’s rise in employment opportunities.

The Business of Basketball

Khalia Collier has transformed the St. Louis Surge into both a competitive team and an economic driver.


Through Human Spaces, Lisa Rokusek is exploring how people can learn from each other with empathy and purpose.


Sweet Dreams

La Patisserie Chouquette co-owner and executive pastry chef Simone Faure has become the maven of macarons in St. Louis.


Masters of Light

Just as their great-great grandfather did, Aaron Frei and his siblings are coloring St. Louis with hand-crafted stained glass.

Emil Frei

Midwest Millennials

Post-grads are learning that St. Louis’s low cost of living means more money for business and leisure.

T-rex building

Moving Forward

Historic St. Louis gems are earning new appreciation for marrying the past with the future.

Education for All

Through EdHub STL, Sherita Love helps educators shake up their classrooms and eliminate barriers for students.

Sherita Love Stands

Planting Seeds

Angi Taylor found meaningful work in St. Louis’s growing agriculture industry.

Game On

With dozens of studios, courses and events, St. Louis is becoming the nation’s next video game development hot spot.

Graphite Lab employees