We had the good fortune of connecting with Amanda Verbeck and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Amanda, where are your from? We’d love to hear about how your background has played a role in who you are today?
I was born and raised in Saint Louis, Missouri, so it made sense to build upon those roots when I opened Pele Prints in 2006. I grew up with a single mom who started her own business when I was a little girl. I was at work with her as much as I was at home. She taught me almost everything I know about business. Having her as a role model, it just seemed natural to start my own business as well. And now today, she helps me at work!
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
It is always a challenge to make a living in any capacity as an artist. I have so much respect for anyone who takes the leap. A big part of making things work here at Pele Prints has been staying flexible. There are definitely road bumps and difficulties along the way, like economic recessions and pandemics. I’ve learned that you have to be willing to take risks and trust your gut. Easier said than done, I know. But having wonderful family, friends, and artists to share ideas with and get support from makes a huge difference. Pele Prints really is a labor of love and an extended family.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
Saint Louis has so much to offer! So many of our museums and attractions are free, so I would definitely take folks to Forest Park to enjoy the Saint Louis Art Museum, Saint Louis Zoo, and The Muny outdoor theater. We would also have to visit the farmer’s market in Tower Grove Park, and the Missouri Botanical Gardens. Neighborhoods are big deal here. Each one has its own flavor. We would have to eat and drink at Adriana’s (Italian) on The Hill, King & I (Thai) on South Grand, Olympia (Greek) in Dogtown, Crown Candy (soda fountain) in North City, and Urban Chestnut (German) in The Grove. Honestly, a week isn’t enough time to share all of my favorite places.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
Maryanne Ellison Simmons at Wildwood Press has been my mentor in the fine art print publishing world. She is an incredible teacher and friend.