My name is MissySue, and I’m the photographer, designer and illustrator behind Belles & Ghosts – a shop for emotionally-driven home and living products. I live in a small town in the rural Midwest woodlands of Saint Clair, Missouri, where everyone knows each other and life is always hopeful. I’m the mother of a football-playing son and the fiance of a bearded man, and they support me in ways I could never repay.
My shop is dedicated to memories, feelings and nostalgia; my inspiration comes from vintage-style camp, woodland and forest imagery, moody photography, and powerful words. I’ve spent much of my life camping near the river, immersed in the allure of literature and adventure, so it makes sense that these things are the underpinnings of my work.
I’ve been a photographer since I was 15, but it wasn’t until a tragic event in my life that I realized it was now or never to pursue my small business dreams. So, I quit my full-time job at a local automotive factory and started Belles & Ghosts in my home studio.
Right now, I’m working on re-branding my shop and taking a new direction for the production of some of my products. I recently debuted my Camp & Cabin pillow line, which is a collection of original illustrations that are locally printed using eco-friendly inks. I’m also in the process of setting up a new studio in what used to be a shoe factory in the early 1900s, located on Main Street in the heart of my small town. Outgrowing my small home studio space was an exciting realization that I’m on the road to fulfilling my dreams.
None of my success would have been possible without Etsy and Etsy Wholesale. Etsy has given me opportunities I never could have dreamed possible, like participating in west elm pop-ups and meeting so many supportive people. The Etsy Teams I’m on have been a constant source of support and networking opportunities. It’s amazing to work together and help each other, spreading the love and connecting in a dream-affirming environment. I’m looking forward to what the future brings; no matter what direction my business takes, it’s going to be an amazing adventure.
All photographs by Belles & Ghosts.