When I was a younger, there was a sign on a building near my high school that said, "Missouri Poster Co." I didn't know what this company actually did, but I took it at face value, and assumed they made posters featuring scenes from Missouri.
What a cool idea, I thought. Maybe I could do something like that some day.
Turns out, the Missouri Poster Co. was a printer and sign maker, not a purveyor of Show Me State memorabilia. Still, the idea of creating Missouri-centric merchandise has stuck with me for years.
I was born in St. Joseph, Missouri—a great place to get a taste for our state's history—and grew up in Kansas City with a couple of years of elementary school in Columbia. We had relatives scattered throughout the state, whom our family would visit in the towns or on farms near Savannah, Maryville, Cross Timbers, Sedalia, Houstonia, Bunceton, Tipton, Sweet Springs, Eldon, and Montgomery City.
Today, our family has expanded to Parkville, Platte City, Independence, Blue Springs, Buffalo, St. Charles, and St. Louis. My wife's family hails from the Perryville area and they now live in historic Ste. Genevieve, Saint Peters, and Festus.
I grew up a Royals, Chiefs and Mizzou fan, but—much to my sister's bewilderment—I am also a Cardinals fan. My father is a Cardinals (and Royals) fan. My grandfather was a Cardinals (and Royals) fan. I assume my great grandfathers were probably Cardinals fans. It's a family thing.
Growing up in Missouri has always been a point of pride for me. Few states can boast two great cities like St. Louis and Kansas City with their skylines and charming neighborhoods, arts and music venues, major league sports and history.
Mid-Missouri—with Columbia, Jefferson City, Boonville, Rocheport, Arrow Rock and others—offers more history, nationally renowned universities and colleges, and easy access to the Missouri River and other outdoor activities.
The Missouri Ozarks has drawn people since 1931 to the Lake of the Ozarks, Bagnell Dam, Ha Ha Tonka Castle, nearby hiking trails, vintage music shows, golf courses, resorts, and so much more. There's even a top-rated Netflix series, "Ozark", set in Osage Beach.
The Springfield/Branson area has become a combination of modern urban living and rustic Missouri tradition that is known nationwide.
With Pure Missouri, I hope to celebrate our state, its regions and towns, its history and its future. I hope you enjoy perusing our items and—if you have an idea or comment you wish to share—please drop me a line.
—Kevin Worley, River Market, Kansas City, Missouri
P.S. -- If you prefer to shop in a traditional Etsy shop, we have an identical store at https://puremissouri.etsy.com