We are excited to announce our partnership with:
via the creation of Maker City KC, a place that highlights the city’s many makers and entrepreneurs, creating an audience for maker spaces and the spirit of innovation in our city. We depict and discuss the many dimensions of the 4th Industrial Revolution, and the opportunities it creates for Kansas City. As part of increasing civic engagement, we want to give voice to the many forms of innovation & place-making that are making our city a smarter city from the ground-up. Give us a LIKE or FOLLOW and Make sure you’re signed up for the weekly Maker City KC newsletter HERE. Read Curator Katie’s bi-weekly articles below and get to know KC’s Maker Community a little bit better:
“Live in the sunshine, swim in the seas, drink the wild air”- Ralph Waldo Emerson. EJ Wood didn’t plan on being a candle maker when she was growing up. But her love for the great outdoors, hiking, mountain biking, fishing, kayaking, climbing, and camping served as the inspiration and precipice to starting her small business, Untamed Supply.
Carol and Eddy Sagebin are the duo behind Sage Tribe Art. Originally from Brazil, then Salt Lake City, the couple moved to Kansas City in 2014 for employment in a family-owned business and fell in love with it. Sage Tribe Art leapt into the local maker scene in 2014. With dreams of what their brand could become, they started off by offering custom portraits, drawn in ink and filled with water color. As life took over and full time jobs demanded their attention, their maker business was left on the back-burner. Fast forward to 2019 and they are now full-time artists, concentrating on Sage Tribe Art’s many mediums.
Kate Schroeder is one of Kansas City’s foremost ceramicists. She became interested in clay when she was a little girl, spending hours of her childhood making every possible household item for her dollhouse out of polymer clays. She made miniature VCRs, tapes, tubs of Gack, mini lunchables, scrunchies, hair brushes, plungers and more. “My dolls lived a very rich and cultured early 90s lifestyle,” Kate says. She discovered water based clay/ceramics while in high school and hasn’t looked back since. She currently owns two businesses, Neat! Artist Studio (naughty and nice word Braille jewelry) and Kate Schroeder Ceramics (intricate and functional ceramic sculptures featuring succulents and other botanicals).
Bryan Fyffe was born and raised in Fairborn, Ohio in the shadow of Wright Patterson Air Force Base. The base was purported to contain UFO technology and the remnants of the Roswell, New Mexico spaceship crash. It’s almost as if he was born into the sci-fi world which he is now well regarded in. Fyffe is famous for his “digital collage” work which is a combination of traditional ink drawings, texture photography and digital software. He is inspired by Halloween, old ghost stories, the natural world, science, and decrepit buildings, and his son’s 3rd grade ocean project.
Lashon Mack has been making jewelry for 23 years. Growing up in Kansas City at Van Horn High School, she wanted to stand out; she was eccentric, a trendsetter. “When I was younger, I couldn’t find any accessories I liked at the mall, so I just started making my own,” Lashon says. Her first creation was a black and gold necklace with tiger eye chips and a black onyx stone, wire wrapped in sterling silver with matching earrings. She wasn’t intending on starting a career in jewelry-making, but the more pieces she created, the more people started asking, “Where did you get that? Can you make me one?”
Rena Krouse has never had a boss. She has been self-employed as long as she can remember. Growing up in rural Kansas, she never imagined she would one day be employing friends and family in her thriving handmade tea towel business, Green Bee KC Tee Towels. The best part about being her own boss? No commute and her office comes complete with her dogs, Mia and Walter Matthau, plus her mom and friend, Emmi, who work full-time with her. When she’s finished working, all she has to do is walk up a set of stairs and she can sink into her cozy couch and relax. Her basement studio has a constant whir of a drying machine mixed with the occasional bark of Rena’s best friends, her pups.
Sarah and Colin Walsh are Makers. While separately, they both create art for a living, Sarah being represented by Lilla Rogers Studio and Colin working as a full-time illustrator at Kansas City’s own Hallmark, together they have created a brand called Tigersheep Friends. As Tigersheep, the two design prints, enamel pins, pillows, hats, t-shirts, and other handmade items inspired by bright color, old-school movies/characters, pop culture, synth-pop, hip-hop and rap, anything 80s, Bruce Lee, mythical creatures, powerful women, animals, good food, whiskey, each other, and tacos.
Rachael and Erik Messner didn’t dream of becoming beekeepers when they were growing up in Lee’s Summit. But in a few short years, they have grown a backyard hobby into a thriving small business. Erik is a professional engineer and Rachael attended Kansas City Art Institute with an emphasis on photography and design. These backgrounds led the way to a perfect pairing for Messner Bee Farm and these two Beeks (Bee + Geek), as they lovingly refer to themselves. They can now add professional beekeepers to their resumes.