Three St. Louis Artisans on the Rise: Ceramics, Apothecary Goods and Illustrations
Each month, Guided: St. Louis showcases three artisans whose ingenuity wows us. Below, the women behind Scavenge + Bloom, BLK MGK WOMAN and Rebecca Lynn Illustrations give us a peek into their creative minds.
Chelsea Wilkins of Scavenge + Bloom
Chelsea Wilkins, the creative mind behind Scavenge + Bloom, has the ability to make you smile no matter your mood. From her tiny, monocle-wearing animal planters to the brilliant speckles of her jewelry dishes, all her ceramic creations are brimming with imagination and joy.
Guided: How do you balance business and creativity?
Wilkins: That’s something I’m constantly trying to figure out. I’ll just go ahead and say that I wasn’t born a savvy business woman—that part of me is still very much a work in progress.
It’s funny, sometimes my most creative pieces are the ones that never sell! So I try to come up with pieces that I can replicate with relative ease, at a variety of price points, while hoping that they’ll also appeal to my people and have that quality to them that looks like “me.”
I’m always considering the amount of time something takes to make and trying to balance efficiency with uniqueness and a special, handmade quality that can’t be found easily among mass-produced items. Sometimes (most of the time), it’s just a guessing game. I’m learning to enjoy the process of frequent failure and discomfort, because that’s what tells me I’m growing.
Adria Nicole of BLK MGK WOMAN
The healing hands behind this line of apothecary goods, Adria Nicole, believes small self-care rituals lead to big self-love. Her bath salts and bath and body oils contain natural ingredients with healing properties; “Refresh Thyself,” a combination of peppermint and rosemary, is a favorite.
Guided: How did your business start, and where do you want it to go?
Nicole: I’ve had a healing arts business for a while, but I wanted to start offering products as well as services. I began making my own herbal skincare products many years ago, as I have eczema and very sensitive skin. It seemed like a natural progression to add skincare to my offerings, especially since people were always asking me for product recommendations and wanting to buy mine after they found out I make my own. Working with herbs, oils and other natural ingredients is also part of my personal spiritual practice; through BLK MGK WOMAN I am able to share a bit of the magick with others.
Outside of my current product line, I also make custom herbal products for some of my clients and I’d like to add that service to BLK MGK WOMAN in the future. Beyond that, the sky’s the limit as they say, so stay tuned!
Rebecca McConnell of Rebecca Lynn Illustrations
The cards, stickers and prints in Rebecca McConnell’s shop strike the perfect balance of beauty and edge. McConnell reveals a love for animals and flowers in sweet bird and state flower prints, and her stickers with slogans such as “666 Unread Messages,” “Girl Gang” and “Not Your Babe” bring humor, sass and feminist spirit to her designs.
Guided: What motivates you to create?
McConnell: In truth, it’s not one single thing that keeps me motivated. I wish it were that easy, but I have a lot that keeps me going: the need to create, the satisfaction of making, the magic of owning a business, other talented entrepreneurs and, of course, the push to make a lasting impact on the viewers of my artwork. I have so much fun making new products that my customers and supporters relate to and love! I mean, I am lucky enough to have my dream job; I have a lot to motivate me and keep me on my toes.
Featured image courtesy of Chelsea Wilkins.