Magpie MO Designs looks toward future growth

Featured Sliders / HER Profile / Home Essentials / Stories / November 12, 2019

Story by Madeleine Leroux
Photos by Julie Smith

Head to a lumber yard in Mid-Missouri and you may come across Meghan Vossen, scrounging for good pieces of wood to use for her unique hand-painted signs.

She’s been making signs since 2015, when a road trip with her family spurred the need for an activity that could keep her occupied in the car. Vossen took a notebook and pens and pencils and began dabbling in what soon become her own business.

Vossen said this Christmas display is a very popular item that she makes.

Now, she works more with wood. She has to find a good piece, sand the edges, stain the wood then paint one of her custom designs over the top.

Most of what Vossen does is custom work — lately, she’s gotten more into custom wedding work. She said she’s done everything from seating charts to entrance signs, a popular accent in the rustic wedding trend. All of her signs are hand painted, mostly done freehand. Vossen said if she uses a stencil, it’s one she makes herself and she always lets the customer know beforehand.

“I can pretty much do whatever I want on it,” Vossen said of her custom designs. Plus, she said, the work is relaxing.

Vossen said she didn’t do much art in high school, aside from the drafting classes she took (her father teaches drafting at Helias High School). But as she helped in her parent’s former bead store on Jefferson Street, she began experimenting more with an artsy creative outlet. After the store closed, Vossen began to work at Unique Creations, a do-it-yourself art shop where she taught canvas classes.

Vossen uses different pieces of wood as the basis of her handmade signs, always keeping her Missouri roots in the forefront.

Starting her own business, Vossen had a bit of a leg up, thanks to studying marketing and entrepreneurship at the University of Central Missouri. In fact, her senior year, one project involved starting a business, something Vossen had already done at that point. Those studies helped Vossen take her business to where it is, but getting to the next level is a bit more daunting, she said.

“I’d love to have a constant client base. I’d love to keep up with it a little bit more,” Vossen said, adding that in addition to her full-time marketing job at Hawthorn Bank, she serves on several community boards. “I’d love to be able to get into more stores.”

She’s continually looking for ways to move forward with the business. Vossen said she now has an iPad and can make custom prints, which she is hoping to do more of since it can be made smaller and at a cheaper price point for customers.

Lately, Vossen has been on the vendor show circuit, loading up her car and heading to different areas around Mid-Missouri to showcase her signs. Though she’s generally a one woman show, Vossen said her family often helps when they can.

In addition to her custom signs, Vossen said she has begun to make prints.

Vossen said her work has improved so much from that first road trip back in 2015 that it’s “a world of difference.” And, she said, she’s continuing to improve as she takes on more new and different types of work.

“It’s funny to see my work evolve,” Vossen said. “You learn tricks over the years, and I’m constantly still learning things.”

Check out Magpie MO Designs at or find them on Instagram.

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Molly Morris

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