Cultivating a sense of wonder…

To me, art is more than just creating; it is a way of life. I have always been creative since I was a kid, but it took me many years to own being an artist. But artist I am through and through. One of the endless things I love about art is that it challenges us to look at things differently, inspires us to grow, and reminds us to pause and enjoy beauty in even the simplest of things.

Elk & Vine started as a side hobby back in 2018. I had been sitting on the idea of starting an art business for about 3-4 years, and of course I began by stockpiling and hoarding supplies. In late 2017 I made the decision to move to St. Louis and began looking at all the amazing treasures (junk) I had collected but hadn’t done anything with. I imagined trying to explain to my friends why they would have to carry boxes upon boxes of junk and realized I had two options - I could either continue to collect stuff with the potential “that one day I would make awesome things out of it” or I could start making and actually do the thing. So I did - I used my holiday vacations to build a ton of inventory and start a small Etsy store.

As I moved to St. Louis and got my feet under me, Elk & Vine just simmered on the back burner for a few years. In the summer of 2020 amidst the pandemic as we were all questioning what we were doing with our lives, I realized I wasn’t really happy even with the ideal balance of life I had achieved before the pandemic. I took the extra time I had on my hands and chose to give Elk & Vine the focus and energy it truly deserved. In August I partnered with the incredible STL Rocks, featuring my hanging vases in their new store and in November I started pop-up vending at Soulard Farmers Market. I quit my full-time admin at the end of the year and signed a lease for a permanent booth at Soulard.

I have been immensely flattered and incredibly humbled by the community support I’ve received. Elk & Vine has grown tremendously in its first year of dedicated focus. We have rapidly expanded our product offerings and are continually adding more. Our products are now in two stores (with more coming soon!), available weekly at Soulard Farmers Market, and available at local vendor fairs whenever we are able. We have brought on five amazing part-time production artists to keep up with the demand and are even featuring some of their incredible personal work.

The products you will find here are a reflection of who I am as both a person and an artist. I love dabbling in many different art forms, mixing mediums and art forms across traditional lines. I also have a sincere passion for plants (my house is basically an urban jungle). I particularly enjoy working with reclaimed and salvaged goods because they contribute unique energy into every creation and encourage me to think differently. My aesthetic is a harmony of hard and soft; of industrial and organic; of masculine and feminine; of new and old. It is in these balances where we find the true elegance and wonder of life.

The biggest goal with Elk & Vine is not to just sell art, but to cultivate that sense of wonder in everything we do. From a simple hanging vase that makes you smile every time you look at it, to a custom leather harness that helps remind you to be your fiercest self every time you wear it; we want to empower and encourage you to connect with the wonder of the incredible world around us.

Elk & Vine is proudly Queer owned and operated. We are proud to add visibility to the marginalized communities we are a part of, stand in support of those  around us, and to fight for true equality of all.

~ Vince
Owner & Artist (he/they)