Made in 417-Land

DISCLAIMER: The information in this article was fact checked and accurate at press time, but 417 Magazine cannot guarantee its accuracy indefinitely.

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Bodacious Cases
based in Ozark

Arianna Russell knows the value of a good idea. At 25 years old, she’s the founder and owner of Bodacious Cases—a durable and water resistant case for iPhones. The idea came to Russell when she was lounging in the hot tub. Like most cautious smart phone owners who can’t be away from their phones, Russell had her phone tucked safely in a Ziplock baggy next to the hot tub. But when she got out, her phone was gone. She panicked then found her phone. That’s how the idea for Bodacious Cases came about—panic and ingenuity. Two years later, she launched Bodacious Cases. 

Headquartered in Ozark, Russell works with a team of five. Both her mom and dad work with her and helped design the case's bright colors, slot for credit cards and hidden compartment for emergency cash. The entire manufacturing, packaging and assembly is done in Missouri, as the cases make their way from St. Louis to Ozark to Springfield. Already shipping the cases across the United States, Russell has even shipped to New Zealand and Canada and is planning on releasing cases compatible with the iPhone 5 soon. Just a year in, and Russell is already looking at increasing her product list. “We get lots of e-mails and phone calls asking about iPod and iPad cases. It’s a good problem to have,” she says. As word gets out about Bodacious Cases and its credit card slot and fun colors, those phone calls and emails are increasing. In December 2012, ABC World News with Diana Sawyer and David Muir invited Russell to talk about her product and entrepreneurial spirit. The next thing she knew, the interview aired on Good Morning America.  

Buy It Cases range from $45–64 and color bands start at $8. Visit the Bodacious Cases website to order a case. 


Carousel Candles
based in Ozark

Besides offering candles in an array of enticing aromas, Carousel Candles, headquartered in Ozark, is licensed to produce and distribute Hershey’s-scented candles and candle melts. Your favorite candy bars—Reese’s, York Peppermint Pattie and Hershey’s bars—are captured in candle form. There’s even a Hershey’s s’mores candle with three scented wax layers: chocolate, graham cracker and marshmallow wax. It has a wooden wick that crackles as it burns to create that campfire atmosphere. “It’s neat to think that we’re producing candles that are tied to such a powerful taste like Hershey’s,” says David Aguirre, general manager of Carousel Candles. Turns out that the romance tied to Hershey’s sweets extends well out of the United States, as Carousel Candles ships its deliciously aromatic meltables to Japan, South Korea, Singapore and Dubai.

Buy It Candles and melts range from $3–24 and can be found at Lilly’s Floral at Price Cutter, Harter House and Hy-Vee.


The Artist Studio LLC.
based in Springfield

Mother-daughter duo Jennifer and Velma Wolken have been making leather-bound handmade books for the last few years. It started when Jennifer, who has degrees in graphic design and painting, decided to try selling her leather books at art festivals five years ago. Now two or three days a week, Velma, or Boog as she’s often called, heads to Jennifer’s home studio to build their inventory. Although the two work under the same business name, their styles are distinct. Both are leather-bound, but Jennifer’s books are brighter in color with a more modern, eclectic look, while Boog’s typically have a hard, leather cover, muted color schemes and an identifiable detail like her caterpillar stitch. The first gallery to pick up their journals was Bluestem Missouri Crafts in Columbia. Today, the duo sends their books, in a variety of sizes, styles and colors, to galleries in Chicago and Arizona. 

Buy ItBooks range in price from $15–200. You can find The Artist Studio on Facebook and Etsy and at most local art shows. 


J. Rae Pottery
based in Marshfield

Jennifer Farr, the founder, owner and artist behind J. Rae Pottery, threw her first piece of pottery when she was 12. Those first few clay whistles and pinch pots Farr added to her repertoire are now the same items she’s teaching young kids to make at her pottery classes. Before opening her own studio in Marshfield in 2009, Farr spent eight months throwing pottery at Silver Dollar City. “That was basically an apprenticeship for me,” she says. Moving on from Silver Dollar City, Farr is now booked weeks out making custom orders. With good word of mouth, Farr has sent items as far as New York, where she shipped a custom platter, and North Carolina where she sent a collection of soup mugs.  

Buy It Taking on plenty of custom orders, Farr’s pieces vary in price. Smaller items including mugs and flour canisters range from $15–45, while larger items can cost up to $100. Visit Farr’s studio in Marshfield to browse her inventory of pie plates, mugs, bowls and casserole dishes. 


Emily Million
based in Fordland

Having spent her whole life painting, sculpting or drawing, artist Emily Million jokes she was born with pencils and crayons in her hand. “My mom says I would fall asleep drawing or making things,” she says. Million, a 2009 Missouri State graduate, works out of her home studio on her parents’ farm—Terrell Creek Farm. When looking for inspiration, Million has to just look out her window to see goats wandering the property or the beauty of the Ozarks against the skyline. Most of her oil paintings move toward the feminine, with a silhouette of female figure against a contrasting landscape. First showing her work at Fresh Art Gallery in Springfield, Million then moved her paintings to galleries in Michigan. Now she sells them at Obelisk Home in Springfield. She’s slowly spreading her reach out of the 417-area, and has sent pieces to California, Colorado, Michigan and Florida, and in 2011 she received a grant from the Elizabeth Greenshield Foundation in Montreal, Canada to help fund her artistic talents. With plenty more room to grow and a passion for her art, Million is one local artist to keep tabs on. 

Buy It Emily Million’s work can be found at Obelisk Home with prices ranging from $200–1,400.


Jordan Essentials
1106 Eagle Crest, Nixa

What started as a one-woman operation has ballooned into a national beauty line with more than 11,000 consultants carrying Jordan Essentials around the United States, Guam and the Virgin Islands. Owner and founder of Jordan Essentials, Nancy Bogart, started the business in her kitchen while working as a stay-at-home mom taking care of her three little boys. “I really don’t like working for other people,” she says, “So I started making soaps and selling them at craft fairs.” After a doing a little research and plenty of experimenting, Bogart decided to make something with a little more pizazz than the sudsy soaps—a lotion bar. After her first month, Bogart had made $7,000. Within a year of officially launching her business, she had 500 consultants carrying her bath and body products. As the business has grown, so has the beauty line. It now includes essential oils, soaps, shower gels, Dead Sea salts, sun care, candles, massage oils and more, all blended at the Nixa headquarters. Still, Jordan Essentials’ most popular item is the lotion bar, and Bogart has sold more than 2 million of the $8 bars. 

Buy It Products range from $6–55. Shop online at or stop by their showroom in Nixa to snag samples. 

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