About ABM


Welcome to A Beautiful Mess! We’re Elsie Larson and Emma Chapman. We’re sisters. Together we own A Beautiful Mess, a women’s lifestyle company focused on creating happiness every day through a homemade lifestyle. On this blog we share home decor projects, recipes, and crafts, as well as bits of our life here in the Midwest.

In addition to writing A Beautiful Mess, we’ve created three bestselling photo apps (A Beautiful Mess, Party Party, and A Color Story) and we teach online classes at Shop A Beautiful Mess. In 2013, we released our first book, A Beautiful Mess Photo Idea Book and in 2014 we released our second book, A Beautiful Mess Happy Handmade Home and our own product line.

Cheers to doin’-it-yourself, always learning, trying, failing, dreaming big, enjoying the small stuff, and above all else … embracing imperfection. Life is better when it’s a little bit messy.


meet the team!

Elsie Larson

Founder & Creative Director

I started A Beautiful Mess in 2007, but didn’t truly find my groove until I teamed up with my sister and business soul mate, Emma, in 2010. Today I mainly focus my energy on the creative side of the business. I oversee the look and feel of A Beautiful Mess’s online content as well as products and side projects (like our apps, books, and products). I would say I have just enough free time to keep redecorating my home but never enough to get bored. 😉

Spirit Animal: An old pug.
Go-to road trip snack: McDonalds french fries.
Favorite movie: Rosemary’s Baby.
Celebrity crush: Steven Colbert
Guilty pleasure: Shania Twain
Non-blog hobby: Eating my way through Nashville.
Childhood hero: Michelle Pfeiffer as Catwoman.

Emma Chapman

Co-Owner and CEO

Emma is my sister and the co-owner of A Beautiful Mess. She oversees the business side of what we do and made it possible for us to be where we are today! Recently Emma has also taken on an editorial role for both the blog and our online education program. Most people know Emma for recipes, which she is amazing at (see here for proof), but what people don’t often know is that she has a talent for business. She’s a forward thinker and pushed to create our first app despite family and friends discouraging the risk. She’s also a real big sucker for photos of baby pigs.

Spirit Animal: Pug, especially my pug, Love Love
Go-to road trip snack: Heath bar
Favorite movie: Stranger than Fiction
Celebrity crush: Hugh Jackman
Guilty pleasure: Hot fudge sundaes, for no reason
Non-blog hobby: Sewing, reading, and Les Mills Body Pump 🙂
Childhood hero: Donald Duck

Laura Gumemrman

Staff Writer

Laura is a staff writer for the blog and produces weekly posts that include home and fashion DIYs, healthy recipes, lifestyle articles, and purrrrfect cat-related projects. She also helps out around the office as a project assistant for other writers as well.

Spirit animal: Snow Leopard
Road snacks: Latte and Cheez-Its
Favorite movie: Charade or The Way We Were
Celebrity crush: Old School—Robert Redford, New School—Christian Bale, Young Buck—Liam Hemsworth
Non-blog hobby: Singing karaoke by making my husband play Amy Winehouse and The Cardigans songs so I can sing along. 
Childhood hero: Audrey Hepburn, always and forever

Jeremy Larson

Staff Videographer

Jeremy has been creating videos for ABM since last summer. At first it was just for fun, then freelance, then we offered him a part-time position because we loved working with him! We love the travel videos he’s created for us (see Austin, Nashville, Palm Springs and Costa Rica), and currently we’re creating a series of cooking videos together, so stay tuned!

Spirit animal: Llama
Road snacks: Coke Zero
Favorite movie: The Deer Hunter
Celebrity crush: Brad Pitt
Guilty Pleasure: Bar Rescue
Non-blog hobby: Cooking
Childhood hero: Dinosaurs

Jacki Moseley

Community Engagement Manager

Jacki manages and coordinates our social media and keeps things running smoothly around the office. She also assists with all sorts of tasks within our sponsorship program and digital publishing program. She’s the best and helps us keep some order amongst all the chaos.

Spirit Animal: Boston Terrier
Go-to road trip snack: Sonic (tots forever)
Favorite movie: Rosemary’s Baby
Celebrity Crush: Aaron Paul and Matthew McConaughey
Guilty pleasure: listening to 90’s R&B and dance music like it’s nobody’s business
Non-blog hobby: Yoga, cycling, and running an Etsy shop.
Childhood Hero: Ramona Quimby

Sarah Sandidge

Copy Editor

Sarah checks all of the copy you see on the blog as well as within our digital publishing program. We are so thankful for all her hard work as she elevates and polishes our writing.

Spirit Animal: Unicorns
Go-to road trip snack: Decaf soy lattes (maybe half caf if I’m feeling adventurous)
Favorite movie: Rocky IV and Crazy, Stupid Love
Celebrity crush: Ryan Gosling and Adam Levine
Guilty pleasure: The Twilight saga (books or movies…doesn’t matter) + mint chip ice cream = my happy place
Non-blog hobby: Reading and writing
Childhood hero: Amy Grant

Janae Hardy

Photographer + Writer

Janae takes many of the beautiful photos you see on the blog and our shop site. Janae also shares her photography knowledge and experience through e-courses and occasional blog posts.

Spirit Animal: Koala bear
Go-to road trip snack: Sunflower seeds
Favorite movie: Marie Antoinette and Life is Beautiful
Celebrity crush: Jude Law
Guilty pleasure: Roaming thrift stores
Non-blog hobby: Sewing
Childhood hero: Laura Ingalls

Mandi Johnson

Contributing Writer

Mandi creates incredible projects for us (from big to small!). She has an eye for interior style and great ideas for budget living. See Mandi’s full archive here. She also writes her own site Making Nice in the Midwest.

Spirit Animal: Hawk
Go-to road trip snack: Peanut butter filled pretzels
Favorite movie: Vertigo
Celebrity crush: Jimmy Stewart (You didn’t say he had to be living!)
Guilty pleasure: Eating endless amounts of goldfish crackers during Netflix marathons of Grey’s Anatomy
Non-blog hobby: Volleyball
Childhood hero: Zorro (I scrawled Zs across everything!)

Katie Shelton

Contributing Writer

Katie writes beautiful hair tutorials and kiddo projects for the blog. See Katie’s full archive here. She also writes her own site, Skunkboy Blog.

Spirit Animal: Tacos
Go-to road trip snack: Twizzlers and BBQ Fritos (and heartburn)
Favorite movie: This is an impossible question to answer
Celebrity crush: Jena Malone
Guilty pleasure: Bryan Adams, forever
Non-blog hobby: Music and kids, man
Childhood hero: Definitely Debbie Gibson

Rachel Denbow

Contributing Writer + Product Design

Rachel has been writing for A Beautiful Mess and teaching e-courses with us for the past five years. She released 52 Weeks of Art Journaling the very same week her third child was born last year (super woman, no?) A few of our favorite projects Rachel has created are her woven rug, starburst mirror and her painted bike. Rachel also has a hand in designing some of the ABM shop products.

Spirit Animal: Miniature horse
Go-to road trip snack: Peanut Butter Crackers
Favorite movie: Fried Green Tomatoes
Celebrity crush: Jude Law
Guilty pleasure: Licking the spoon, bowl, & beaters when I bake
Non-blog hobby: De-cluttering the house
Childhood hero: DJ Tanner

Claire Shaffer

Business Development Manager

Claire manages our advertising and sponsorships program. Her roles covers all sorts of responsibilities including pitching and managing our sponsored content program not only on the A Beautiful Mess site but across all our social channels as well.

Spirit Animal: Brown bear cub
Go-to road trip snack: Twizzlers and Turtle Chex Mix
Favorite movie: If it’s Disney or Audrey Hepburn I’m good!
Celebrity crush: Chris Evans
Guilty pleasure:  Fixer Upper and Bones reruns
Non-blog hobby: Reading and running
Childhood hero: Lois Lane or Wonder Woman

Savannah Wallace

Contributing Writer

Savannah writes and photographers amazing makeup and beauty related content for ABM in addition to running her own site Maiedae.

Spirit Animal: Koko the gorilla. Also I cry at every gorilla related movie. So weird I know. 😉
Go-to road trip snack: Cheez-Its
Favorite Movie: The Green Mile & Shawshank for being incredible and Kubo and the Two Strings for the feels.
Celebrity Crush: Ryan Reynolds
Guilty Pleasure: Fun dip, singing really loud in my car and The Bachelor. (trash TV in general)
Non-blog hobby: I run a candle business with my husband!
Childhood hero: The Olsen Twins. I prayed nightly that I would magically wake up and be their triplet.

Mara Dockery


Mara is a freelance designer who creates many, many things for A Beautiful Mess including newsletters and other fun projects. She also designs icons and other needed items for Emma and Elsie’s app company, A Color Story.

Spirit Animal: deer
Go-to road trip snack: M&Ms
Favorite movie: Dirty Dancing
Celebrity crush: Ryan Gosling + Lena Dunham
Guilty pleasure: carpool karaoke with James Corden
Non-blog hobby: reading + running + baking
Childhood hero: Daria

Rebecca Stice

Contributing Writer

Rebecca writes and photographs amazing hair tutorials and other beauty related content for ABM in addition to running her own site A Clothes Horse.

Spirit Animal: fennec fox!
Go-to road trip snack: Cheezits
Favorite movie: Charade
Celebrity crush: Ryan Gosling
Guilty pleasure: eating peanut butter straight from the jar
Non-blog hobby: Pokemon Go!
Childhood hero: Maureen O’Hara

Amber Ulmer


Amber is a photographer based in Nashville, TN and takes many of the beautiful photos you see on the A Beautiful Mess site and newsletters.

Spirit Animal: If a plant can count as an animal, I’d be a Bird of Paradise.I love that plant so much!


Kara Whitten

Contributing Writer

Kara writes and photographs beautiful tutorials for ABM in addition to running her own site A Kailo Chic Life.

Spirit Animal: lion
Go-to road trip snack: Gummy candy and beef jerky
Favorite movie: 13 going on 30
Celebrity crush: Zac Efron
Guilty pleasure: pastries
Non-blog hobby: gardening
Childhood hero: Martha Stewart

Britta & Carli Garsow

Contributing Writer

Britta and Carli Garsow write and photograph beautiful tutorials for ABM as well as running their own site Twinspiration.

Carli Garsow
Spirit Animal: Giant Panda
Go-to road trip snack: Sour Cream & Onion Pringles
Favorite movie: It’s a Wonderful Life
Celebrity crush: Grant Gustin
Guilty pleasure: Taco Bell
Non-blog hobby: Trying out new makeup products!
Childhood hero: Mary-Kate & Ashley Olsen

Britta Garsow
Spirit Animal: Mini Horse
Go-to road trip snack: Cheez-It Snack Mix
Favorite movie: You’ve Got Mail
Celebrity crush: Ashton Kutcher
Guilty pleasure:
Online Shopping
Non-blog hobby: Trying out new makeup products!
Childhood hero: Mary-Kate & Ashley Olsen

Kayleigh Kosmas

Contributing Writer

Kayleigh writes and photographs beautiful tutorials for ABM in addition to running her own site Crafts and a Cat.

Spirit Animal: my cat Bisou
Go-to road trip snack: Trader Joe’s (faux) bacon popcorn
Favorite movie: Funny Face
Celebrity crush: Tina Fey
Guilty pleasure: Staying in my pj pants all day
Non-blog hobby: Growing fruits and veggies
Childhood hero: Hermione Granger

Natalie Jacob

Contributing Writer

Natalie writes and photographs delicious food and cocktail recipes for ABM in addition to running her own site Arsenic Lace.

Spirit Animal: Flamingo

Go-to road trip snack: Coffee and donuts

Favorite movie: Breakfast at Tiffany’s or Rear Window

Celebrity crush: Bruce Springsteen forever and ever

Guilty pleasure: Binge watching ID Discovery

Non-blog hobby: Thrift stores and flea markets

Childhood hero: Audrey Hepburn

Mary Helen Leonard

Contributing Writer

Mary Helen writes and photographs beautiful tutorials for ABM in addition to running her own site Mary Makes Good.

Spirit Animal: Cookie Monster

Go-to road trip snack: Cool Ranch Doritos

Favorite movie: Anything Rodgers & Hammerstein

Celebrity Crush: It’s a tie between Benedict Cumberbatch and Justin Trudeau

Guilty pleasure: Trashy romance novels

Non-blog hobby: Song-writing, gardening, and freestyle quilting

Childhood Hero: Captain Jean-Luc Picard

Mallory Muddiman

Contributing Writer

Mallory writes and photographs beautiful tutorials for ABM in addition to running her own fashion and accessories label, Mallory.

Spirit Animal: Dolphin

Go-to road trip snack: Pizza Goldfish & Reese Cups
Favorite movie: You’ve Got Mail
Celebrity Crush: Joseph Gordon-Levitt
Guilty pleasure: Watching Marvel movies & tv shows
Non-blog hobby: Running my ladies fashion line Mallory

Childhood Hero: Martha Stewart