Rebecca Koop has always been a creator. A trip to the Plaza Art Fair while she was growing up turned her on to pottery; now she offers classes in her Back Door Pottery studio in Kansas City’s Northeast neighborhood.
Matt Reetz wants people to call him when they cannot figure out how to get that built-in, bookshelf or cabinet to work right. After 15 years of working as a homebuilder, Reetz has streamlined his business and change its name to highlight the custom home work he delivers.
Matt Bramlette hopes customers walk into his Mid-Coast Modern shop in Westport and find something unexpected. The Kansas City native who formerly worked in advertising was looking for a different career when he decided to open a retail store; it features home and personal items from makers, artists and other indie business owners.
Kelly Cook is the designer. Steven Cline is the builder. Their firm, Cook+Cline Design & Build Co., has grown in three years from an idea run out of a garage, to a business with a showroom featuring hundreds of unique home improvement products. The couple promotes a style that is modern and old fashioned at the same time.
Angie’s List recently ran a Sleep Sanctuary contest. Kansas City fan favorite and HGTV “Design Star” winner Jennifer Bertrand was pitted against two other celebrity designers and received the most online votes. As the winner, she was given $15,000 to spend on a makeover for Maggie Sweeden of Weston.
Jennifer Wood’s special event decoration rental business is about stories. She wants people to be able to create stories and have the right decor to tell their own story when they are planning for a wedding or other celebration. Wood explains why she started Brossie Bell and gives advice for people trying to help tell their own story with decorations.
When Nicole Emanuel moved from the Crossroads to the suburbs, she couldn’t find a community of artists, so she built one herself: InterUrban ArtHouse, in Overland Park. The nonprofit operates public art programs, as well as grants artists the space and support they need to be part of the economy.
A pair of Kansas State graduates, Ben Jackson and Harrison Proffitt, have launched a truck-sharing site called Bungii. Vetted and trained drivers with their own pickup trucks will help customers move large pieces of furniture.
By day, Stephanie Nowotarski, who works at the Stowers Institute, plunges into the microscopic world of worms. Evenings and weekends, she creates art inspired by the unusual shapes, mass and space she sees during her work week.