Last year I came up with the idea to reach out to some of the local creatives in the community that I had become acquainted with through the creation of this space and ask them to share a special holiday themed home decor item. I had zero expectations that this idea would pan out as I was reaching out to very busy people during the most hectic time of year. However, they overwhelmingly proved me wrong as the response was more than I could have hoped for!
I decided to give it a go again this year and I am so happy to report that the turnout was stellar yet again!
This is one of my favorite posts to put together each year because, in addition to showcasing some truly amazing individuals, it is an honest representation of how supportive and community-based Kansas City is. I hope you enjoy the second annual KC Creatives Home For The Holidays as much as I have enjoyed bringing it to you!
To start off our pack of Kansas City Creatives we have Emily Farris. This Brookside based writer is the author of The Boozy Bungalow blog featuring crafts, home decor and, of course, her spectacular cocktail concoctions. Most recently seen as a contributing writer to SPACES Magazine, Emily has expertly doled our advice on entertaining and the home with a dash of Bobby Berk (seriously, her interview with the Queer Eye Star was amazing!). If you follow Emily on Instagram you will be hard pressed not to laugh out loud at her hilarious stories as well as inspired re-do a room in your home or create a festive drink for your next gathering.
“Some families have an Elf on the Shelf. At The Boozy Bungalow, we have a kinda creepy, topless Santa on the bar. He doesn’t do anything or even move around much, but we love him anyway. I picked him up for 50 cents at a thrift store and he’s supposed to go on an air freshener can in the bathroom — but since he was still in the packaging, I didn’t feel weird putting him on a bottle of booze. He’s the perfect manifestation of my secular, oddball holiday cheer, and even my toddler thinks he’s pretty cool.” – Emily Farris
Michaele Moretz Sosinski
Interior Designer, Michaele Sosinski, is one of those people that just “gets” style. With past experience as Director of Marketing of Vogue, Allure and People Style Watch this East Coast transplant certainly has an eye for design. Michaele has translated her experience in fashion into creating current and stunning spaces for the home. Check out her portfolio at Studio Sosinski Interiors to see first-hand why Kansas City is lucky to have her!
“I chose this cloisonné Kansas ornament as my favorite holiday decoration. After living in New York City for 15 years and never having space for a Christmas tree, this was the first ornament given to us that we could actually put on a tree!” – Michaele Moretz Sosinski
Ashley White is a lady that wears many hats. As a content strategist, author of the blog Le Stylo Rouge, social media influencer, modern-day fashion icon and basically all around badass (and I mean that in that absolute best possible way.) She is know for bringing attainable yet chic style, with a little bit of an edge, to her vast audience. Featured in Marie Claire, The Kansas City Star, 435 Magazine and SPACES Magazine and more Ashley’s fashion forward looks paired with a no-nonsense, yet totally relatable approach makes her a fashion fave.
“I scored this set of flocked trees this year and used them to turn my fireplace into a winter wonderland. Tundra vibes, all the way. And I’m probably going to keep ’em up well past Christmas- don’t tell anyone.” – Ashley White
As a mom myself, this lady, Leslie Beck, is kind of an an inspiration. The Brookside native has spun her creative talents, and love for the city that she was raised in, into a hard-earned career. Leslie is mom to 5 kids. Yep, I said 5! Yet she still manages to find the time and inspiration to create the most beautiful and meaningful works of art across a range of mediums, all while keeping a laser focus on “family first.” I can personally attest (and hope she won’t be mad for me sharing this) that she got emotional when writing up her summary for the photos below. Visit Leslie Beck Art to view her work and to bring some amazing locally created art to your own home.
“I would have to say my favorite Christmas decoration is our tree. It is full of hand made and gifted memories that come out every year and tell their stories. Each ornament is hung by the babe that made it, or the gifted ones recall the stories behind them. There are two things on our tree that are my most cherished. The first being the angel that tops our tree. Andrew and I both grew up with trees full of hand made ornaments that all had a story to tell. We knew when we were decorating our very first tree together after we were married, that ours would be no different. We didn’t want just any old star or angel to top our tree, so I gathered some paper, ribbon, wire and a silver paint pen and had fun. I love her crooked halo, a reminder that we all have a little work to do. Looking at her I am reminded of our love for each other no mater the season of life we are in.
Next would be the collection of nativity ornaments each of our babes made and gave to us their kindergarten year. Each one has the personality of its maker. I love carefully opening the tissue to reveal each manger scene, announcing the maker, handing it over with a smile and maybe a little tear to each one to hang in its perfect spot on the tree.
Even now as our kids are getting older – one beginning to think college, the decorating of our tree is a night that is special to each of us and with all that is going on in our lives, we put it all aside and pause for this special family time together.” – Leslie Beck
Katie Sellers is, quite honestly, a breath of fresh air. I met Katie while taking part in a fashion show for Brookside boutiques Coco and Lady Bye and she disarmed me with her genuine kindness, down to earth personality and humor. Later I discovered that Katie also works as an attorney and Executive Editor of Kansas City Fashion Week in addition to authoring her blog The Katie Chronicles! This accomplished woman brings a fun dose of fashion and lifestyle to her audience and we are all the better for it. Give her a follow on Instagram and visit her blog to learn more.
“It’s our third Christmas with this tree, and our first tree as a family. Every ornament has a story, and each year we all pick out a new “special ornament” to add to our tree. We set it up the day after Thanksgiving, and it’s so fun reminiscing on what each ornament means or the story behind it. Our tree warms my heart and it is my favorite holiday decor item in our home.” – Katie Sellers
You have to love a lady whose sole occupation is aiding in making people feel their best! And that is exactly what Tammy Sciara does as co-founder of Brow Bar. Tammy brings her top-notch expertise and care to work with her every day and creates an experience of comfort and confidence boosting to all of her clientele. This busy mom of two youngsters gets it that life is hectic and it’s sometimes hard to put ourselves first. But if you are looking to do something special for yourself, (to all the ladies out there) Brow Bar has you covered. Check out Brow Bar to learn more about their services.
“Christmas traditions are my favorite part about the holiday season. We have so many! Some are new, and some are old, passed down from our parents and grandparents. When my sisters and I were young, we would go to a tree farm and pick out a beautiful tree, then help my father set it up in our living room. We didn’t decorate it though, Santa would do that! We would wake on Christmas morning to this magical, meticulously decorated tree, complete with a train track and snow covered town around it. We would gaze at it in awe every year! Now that my husband and I have started our own family, I was excited to share this with our children. However, Santa is a little older and isn’t able to decorate our entire tree. Either that or he just has so many more houses than when I was little! Instead, he adds a special ornament for each of our boys to find on Christmas morning. They are always so happy to see all of their ornaments on display. One day when they are starting their own families, we will give them these to help decorate those first Christmas trees, and carry on the tradition, either in the same way, or some version of it that makes it their own!“ – Tammy Sciara
Sierra Winter’s Kansas prairie inspired jewelry line has put this KC based designer on the fashion map. Growing up in the Flint Hills of Kansas, Sierra has interpreted her love of the untouched Midwest vistas into her wearable works of art. Gaining the attention of celebrity clientele, Sierra’s designs have graced the pages of publications nationwide. As approachable as they come, this hard working mom creates pieces paired with a story to be enjoyed for generations. To view Sierra’s creations and the retailers where you can find her products visit Sierra Winter Jewelry.
“Our tiny tree. It’s a little bit like the Christmas Tree from Charlie Brown but its simple, easy, and fits in our tiny brookside living room! – Our rainbow ornament wreath from Coveted Home. I LOVE decorating my house with bright colors. – This obnoxious Christmas carousel. I had one similar when I was little and loved watching it and listening to it play Christmas songs. My mom bought it for our family last year so my little girl could have the same experience as I did when I was her age. – My cow skull from my husband’s aunt’s ranch in Wyoming. When we got this, there was still a live wasps nest inside of it but I cleaned it up, painted it, and added some turquoise. I love decorating the skull appropriately for the season!” – Sierra Winter
Sarah Jabbour, owner of Scoobie boutiques, is one of the pioneers breaking the “fast fashion chain” mode by offering her carefully curated, affordable selection of chic women’s clothing to the KC marketplace. Sarah started Scoobie (named after her high school nickname) as a side hustle to her former first time job. Well… hard work, diligence and her keen eye for fashion allowed her to move from the 9 to 5 job into a full time pursuit of her passion. With 3 retail locations in Kansas City and a strong online presence, Sarah has established Scoobie and a fashion go-to for women in Kansas City and beyond.
“One of my favorite holiday decorations in our home is our stockings. While simple and traditional – they are a constant reminder of how blessed we are every time I walk in our door and see our mantle. For years we struggled with infertility and when the holidays would come around and we still weren’t able to conceive, it made the joyful times not so joyful. We are now blessed with three year old twin girls and a 3 month old baby boy after going through 4 years of infertility and loss. We are very blessed and have a lot to be thankful for this holiday season!” – Sarah Jabbour
Sean Moran is a true pioneer in men’s fashion based in Kansas City. In a society where “dressing down” has become a norm, Sean is bringing a much appreciated dose of dapper to the men of Kansas City and beyond. (Guys- hint, we ladies like it when you put in the effort on your style). Gaining inspiration from style in eras past, Sean is reinterpreting this past fashion in a sleek and stylish manner for the modern day. To elevate your everyday style, view Sean’s wares at PineApple Pocket Squares.
“Running a fashion company over the holidays is like running a marathon two times over with Santa’s sleigh attached to you like a backback in the middle of the Arctic. But come December 24 it’s all fun and games!! It’s not Christmas until the Irish open up a few bottles of whiskey and sit around gabbin about stocking stuffers and who heard reindeer on the roof last night. Ya see my family hails from west Ireland in Galway and Mayo and we believe Santa is 100% Irish dressed in green (possibly the Grinch with the big heart) and leaves the finest whiskeys around the tree or in stockings every year. I can thank my wife’s father, a fellow girl dad, for all of the shenanigans because years ago he started disappearing at Christmas with all the women in the family only to find them sipping on whiskey at Kelly’s bar in Westport all day. Needless to say he is the family favorite. So dress to the nines, fold up those pocket squares like a Christmas tree and slow the day down with a drink. From my family to yours Slainte!” – Sean Moran
As Owner of KES Studio, lifestyle blogger, social media influencer and new mom to an adorable little boy, one could wonder how Kathryn Snellen manages to get it all done! And, how she does so with such grace and composure. Kathryn’s down to earth demeanor and honest and open approach has made her a favorite with her audience. Kathryn has funneled her talents of connecting with people into KES Studio where she uses her creative talents in marketing and content creation for businesses and brands. Follow Kathryn on Instagram and visit KES Studio to learn more about Kathryn’s business offerings.
“My favorite holiday decor is my growing Christmas tree collection. I started collecting them a few years ago at Holiday Mart KC and seem to seek out a new set each season. They all look different and are from various local shops…some are glass, others flocked and I love the vintage-inspired bottle brush trees! They remind me of special times in our life and how much can change in a year.
With a toddler this year, the ones I picked from Restoration Emporium were made of a soft cotton and are definitely safe for little hands to play with! I keep the rest scattered on our mantle or in the center of our dining table. I love the simplicity of the trees and how they add a soft touch to my more traditional holiday decor. Plus, they make decorating our very neutral minimalist house feel festive & fun.” – Kathryn Snellen
Owners of RE Brands, husband and wife team, Chrysalyn and Jeff Huff have made an indelible mark on the home decor scene of Kansas City. The proprietors of two RE locations, one in the Crossroads and one on the Country Club Plaza, they have consistently offered quality, unique and lovely items for the home to a devoted and ever-growing client base. This past year they have taken on another endeavor with KC Furnishing Co. building custom furniture with reclaimed wood in an open workshop space at their Crossroads RE location. They also happen to be two of the absolute nicest people that you would have the pleasure to meet and work with. Visit their RE locations yourself to see first-hand why they are one of Kansas City’s most popular home decor destinations.
“We are currently living in a condo downtown after selling our home of 25 years. So I took just a few things with me for the holidays that would help me not be homesick. These Starbucks ornaments are something my hubby puts in my stocking every year. I have been getting them for 20+ years! The one pictures with the green circle is stored in a velvet box and is all Swarovski Chrystals. Each one is so special to me. Some are from milestones years and others are from fun trips we’ve taken. I love them all and the thought he puts into them each year means so very much. The Holidays are just magical for my heart,so hoping we will be in our new home next holiday!” – Chrysalyn Huff
Ashley Rodden, founder of LOVER Cosmetics LLC, has traveled a fascinating road to land this entrepreneur where she is today. With a background in fashion, Ashley decided to pursue her love of beauty and cosmetics by attending the prestigious L’Ecole du Maquillage Artistique, Christian Chauveau to learn everything she could about makeup. Ashley then brought her vast knowledge set to the launch of her own full cosmetics line LOVER Cosmetics LLC. With the desire to address busy women everywhere in their frustrations on finding the time to do their makeup or their lack of confidence in their own ability in applying makeup, Ashley created a simple, straightforward line of products designed to meet these needs. She’s essentially every busy gals “fairy godmother” of makeup! Locally, Ashley is available for tutorials or to book a makeup session. Visit LOVER Cosmetics LLC to learn more and to view her line of cosmetics.
“Here is my crèche/ manager. I was given one box of this each year when i was in high school and college from my nana and mom and dad. Not such a fun present when you’re that age but I love it now!” – Ashley Rodden
As Co-Founder of Porter Teleo, Bridgett Turner has elevated wall coverings to works of art for the home putting her KC based company on the map for high-end interior designers and homeowners around the world. At Porter Teleo, Bridgett utilizes her background in interior design in the creation of their hand printed and hand painted wall coverings and fabrics. Her creations have graced the pages of countless home decor and interior design publications and are beloved for the custom design element that they bring to a space. It’s all just very cool. Visit Porter Teleo to learn more and to view their collections.
“Every year the Christmas decorations at my house find themselves in different places. This year this colorful little wreath ended up on the chalkboard in the kitchen and I thought it looked so cute! But, it became my favorite thing this Christmas when my 10 year old daughter added the super simple tree underneath. I love the balance of the shiny rainbow wreath and the most basic representation of a tree.” – Bridgett Turner
Banksia and Duck & Roll
After relocating to Kansas City from their native Australia, Rob and Kate Joseph were faced with the unique opportunity to switch gears professionally. After retiring from his previous employ, Rob bought Sasha’s Baking Company in downtown Kansas City and rebranded as Banksia, an Australian Bakehouse and Cafe. As co-founders of Banksia, the couple, along with partner Erika Vikor, have parlayed their love of food, travel and their home country into their casual and delicious fare. Recently featured on Food Network’s Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives, the laid back Aussies have made their mark of the Kansas City food scene. Visit Banksia downtown to sample their amazing dishes and baked goods and be on the lookout for a new South Plaza Banksia location opening soon. However, the Joseph’s aren’t quite done expanding KC’s culinary market, they will also soon open a new concept, Duck & Roll, featuring Hong Kong style Cantonese food right next door to their South Plaza Bansia.
“These beautiful glass figurines have a very special meaning especially around Christmas time. These belonged to my maternal grandparents. Purchased in Germany in 1950 and have traveled the world with their postings (Grand father was part of ASIO) to Australia and now to Kansas City! Passed down to my mother and now me…
PS, ASIO is the Australian Secret Service. My grandfather was posted in Germany during the Cold War!!“ – Kate Joseph
Becca Spears is a bit of a renaissance woman. A talented photographer, savvy decorator, mom, and totally genuine and kind person, she has recently begun a new path with her Sip The Good Stuff profile on Instagram where she shares her life along with the line of curated, clean-crafted wines from around the world in which she represents. Do you love wine but sometimes feel like it doesn’t love you back? Hello, next day headache! Well, Becca may have the answer for you. Give Becca a follow on Instagram to view her selections of wine, and you won’t want to miss one of her fabulous tasting parties!
“My favorite Christmas object is our 1950’s fiberglass Christmas tree. I found it at an antique market the same year that we bought our 1958 mid-century modern home. The white tree is so luminous that I’m not sure I’ll ever be able to do anything other than white!
Our three kids delight in helping unpack and hang the ornaments every year. Many of the ornaments are homemade, and we also have a handful of 1950s and 1960s ornaments from my grandparents. This tree is definitely a sentimental object to all of us!“ – Becca Spears
Gina Canino is a straight up cookie artist! What she can create in cookie form is truly astounding. The Brookside mom of three began her confectionary business by word of mouth and has since grown into one of the most popular bakers in the metro. Extensively detailed and made to order, Gina’s cookies are a hit for any occasion. I can personally attest that they are as delicious as they are beautiful. To view Gina’s edible creations visit her on Facebook or Instagram.
“I had been on the hunt for a wreath like the McAllister’s in Home Alone for a couple of years, searching with no luck. I finally decided to make one myself. I found a Santa in my husband’s grandmother’s basement that was the perfectly un-jolly (just like Kevin’s) and attached him to a ready-made cranberry wreath from Lowe’s. Viloa: a homemade McAllister wreath that our family loves.” – Gina Canino
Andrea Larson has created a wildly popular space with her Instagram account and lifestyle blog Life Love Larson. The mother of two has quickly climbed to one of the area’s busiest social media influencers with her real-life, relatable approach. Andrea is a wealth of knowledge in areas such as home decor tips, fashion finds, travel reps, recipes and more, all featured in her blog. Follow Andrea on Instagram and check out Life Love Larson to see why Andrea is such a hit with her audience.
“Growing up, my family always got a real tree at Christmastime. It was all I knew and I loved that moment and that month when it was put up in our home. It turns out my husband also grew up with real trees, so naturally we carried on this tradition with our own kids! There is nothing quite like the smell, uniqueness, and color of a real Christmas tree! Yes, there are needles to clean, and yes there is watering to do, but it’s all worth it to us! This year, we even got two!” – Andrea Larson
I am so grateful to every one of the individuals who participated in this post! Your willingness to share a glimpse of your home and to tell such sweet, honest, funny, and real stories about yourself is truly a gift. Thank you to you all.
As this is my last post of 2019 I wish a very happy holiday and joyful new year to you! Cheers to an amazing 2020!