In 2022, we talked to entrepreneurs, farmers, outdoor enthusiasts and small business owners throughout the St. Louis metro. Watch the video above to hear their unique stories, and check out any that you might have missed, below.
Artists & Makers
Turning the Tables: David Stine crafts one-of-a-kind wood furniture for restaurants and homes around the country, all made from fallen trees on his fourth-generation family farm in Dow, Illinois.
Drawing Outside the Lines: Steenz Stewart has blazed their own trail in the comics industry to become one of the few Black cartoonists at the helm of a nationally syndicated strip.
Notes of Community: Soul artist turned community facilitator Brian Owens helps lift up young creatives in St. Louis.
Sew Crafty: First through a youth academy and now with a new online portal, Olivia Rae Davis wants to get more people into sewing.
Making Art History: Newly at the helm of the St. Louis Art Museum, Min Jung Kim brings a fresh perspective to the institution’s role in the metro.
A Broad Canvas: At Onyx Dagger in Lafayette Square, Valencia Miller combines fine art with tattoo art, supporting local painters in St. Louis by displaying their work while blazing her own trail as the first Black woman in Missouri to own and operate a custom tattoo shop.
Entrepreneurs & Innovators
Climbing High: With So iLL, Dan and Hannah Chancellor have created an aesthetically pleasing, environmentally conscious experience for the modern urban rock climber, all while cultivating the next generation of climbing enthusiasts.
More Than Skin Deep: Tiffany Wesley creates health and wellness products with the greater aim of cultivating community through her worker-owned co-op, Pure Vibes.
Pumped Up: Babyation founders Samantha Rudolph and Jared Miller have redesigned the breast pump to meet the needs of parents today.
Hair Care: Rebundle’s CEO Ciara Imani May is revolutionizing the hair extension industry with the first U.S.-made, plant-based hair braiding brand.
Snacking for Change: With Airly crackers, a team from Brentwood-based Post Holdings has created a tasty way for people to combat climate change.
Springboard for Success: A collaborative workspace and incubator founded by Betsy Blancett Nacrelli, MPWR is expanding to support even more women-owned businesses.
The Future of Farming: Creve Coeur-based Climate LLC is helping transform the possibilities, profits and precision of farming in the digital age.
Beyond the Bag: Through her luxury handbag line Lux & Nyx, Lisa Hu seeks to empower women through functional, sustainable bags that marry style and substance.
314 Day: Terrell Evans, known as “Young Dip,” created 314 Day as a celebration of all things St. Louis.
Nothing Little About It: From rural China to Fox Park, Lona Luo has come a long way in her journey to become one of St. Louis’ most beloved and recognized chefs.
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.
Tastes of Home: Nearly 30 years ago, Shayn Prapaisilp’s parents introduced Thai food to St. Louis. Now Prapaisilp is leading the family business into a new era, bringing Thai cuisine and other international flavors to younger generations of St. Louisans.
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 new Clayton factory, shop and cafe.
Wicked ‘Wiches: Sugarwitch’s Martha Bass and Sophie Mendelson craft wickedly good ice cream sandwiches and frozen treats in Botanical Heights and Carondelet.
Planting Roots: Noboleis Vineyards and Root Food + Wine draw St. Louisans to the natural beauty of Augusta.
Teachers & Knowledge Seekers
Hive Mind: With the goal of helping community gardens produce more fresh food, scientists like Gerardo Camilo, Ph.D., are collaborating to research pollination in urban orchards.
Space for STEM: With Black Girls Do STEM, chemist Cynthia Chapple and her team are carving out an inclusive space for young Black girls to engage with science, technology, engineering and math.
Life-Saving Science: Dr. Sarah George and other researchers at Saint Louis University School of Medicine’s Center for Vaccine Development are leading national efforts to find treatments for a wide range of infectious diseases that pose an ever-growing threat.
Rewriting the Narrative: At EyeSeeMe Bookstore in University City, Jeffrey and Pamela Blair are fulfilling their calling to provide people with positive stories of African Americans.
Historical Perspective: With unique bus and walking tours throughout the metro area, Amanda Clark helps people see St. Louis differently.
A Mindful Movement: With Generation Mindful, Suzanne Tucker is striving to create a more emotionally healthy world.
Growers & Small Business Owners
Princess Dreams: At Racine and Rafael Martir’s boutique, Bidi Bidi Bom Bom, teenage Latinas can find the dress of their dreams to make quinceañera memories that will last a lifetime.
Nerds with Heart: In St. Peters, PokéNerds store owners Brian and Valeria Trull have built a community for Pokémon fans, who are in turn helping the Trulls support Ukrainians.
Sustaining Style: With May’s Place, Katie May highlights the merits of shopping vintage – both for you and for the planet.
Freedom through Food: Urban farmer Tyrean “Heru” Lewis brings fresh produce to underserved communities and advocates for more equitable growing practices across St. Louis and the nation.
Cream of the Crop: Amy and Beth Marcoot are innovating and expanding their seventh generation dairy farming business in Greenville, Illinois.
Helpers & Doers
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: Led by Kisha Lee, Propel Kitchens is building health and wealth within the historically under-resourced community of the St. Louis Promise Zone by providing its members with hands-on training in food preparation and service and then setting them up with careers in the industry.
Fine Print: At Central Print, Marie Oberkirsch passes on the art of traditional letterpress printmaking to future generations, while using the craft to build community with her neighbors in Old North St. Louis and beyond.
A Powerful Lift: As the executive director of Paralympic operations at Logan University, Kelley Humphries-Mascoll is advancing the Paralympic movement in St. Louis and beyond.
Branching Out: Forest ReLeaf’s Rebecca Hankins is leading the way in getting trees to the communities that need them.
Float On: From the Boathouse to the Mississippi, Big Muddy Adventures offers St. Louisans a chance to connect with the region’s waterways.
A Wider Net: St. Louis’ storied soccer tradition will take a leap forward in 2023 with an MLS team of its own, St. Louis CITY SC, whose goal is to include the metro community every step of the way.
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 smile.
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