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 founded a popular app company, A Color Story, which has four best-selling apps as well as desktop actions and presets. We teach online classes based on blogging, social media, and small business. In 2013, we released our first book, A Beautiful Mess Photo Idea Book, followed by our second book, A Beautiful Mess Happy Handmade Home and a cookbook in 2017 titled Weekday Weekend. In 2017 we also expanded our online retail brand, Oui Fresh, focused on women’s clothing, accessories, and natural beauty.

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

Founder & 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 Gummerman

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

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: David Duchovny
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

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: Snowman
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

Keely Rust

Shop Manager/Marketing Director

Keely is THE gal behind the e-commerce side of ABM including our brand Oui Fresh. She is the brains behind so many things including: shop marketing campaigns, product creation, and overseeing brand photo shoots. We love her creative energy!

Spirit Animal: Leslie Knope
Go-to road trip snack: Seasonal Reese’s shape, the ideal chocolate to PB ratio
Favorite movie: That Thing You Do!
Celebrity Crush: Chrissy Teigen (we are BFFs in my mind)
Guilty pleasure: One Direction
Non-blog hobby: Making themed Spotify playlists
Childhood Hero: Harry Potter and Baby Spice, equally

Jeremy Larson

Staff Videographer

Jeremy creates many of the videos you see on ABM. We love the travel videos he’s created for us (see Austin, Nashville, Palm Springs and Costa Rica). His latest Violents album, Awake and Pretty Much Sober launched this year and it’s amazing!

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

Frequently Asked Questions

Why don’t you post more meat recipes on the blog?

Emma develops the majority of the recipes on ABM and she is a “mostly vegetarian.” She prefers a plant based diet for health as well as some moral considerations. But you’ll find an occasional meat or seafood dish from time to time if you’re paying attention. 🙂

I’m coming to Springfield! Do you have a list of fun places should I visit?

Yes, welcome to our hometown! Here’s a list of a few places we love: To eat, we like Aviary Creperie, J.O.B., Gailey’sTaylor’s Drive In and Casper’s. Our favorite coffee shops are The Coffee Ethic + Kingdom. Our favorite bars are Scotch & Soda and The Golden Girl Rum Club. If you have time to shop check out Staxx. Don’t forget to drop by Elle’s for some homemade ice cream!

I want to submit my home for your “At Home With” feature. Who do I email?

You can email us a couple photos at submit AT abeautifulmess DOT com. Please keep in mind that during times that we receive a higher volume of submission we are not always able to write back to everyone. BUT if we do want to feature your home you will hear from us, so there is no need to follow up. Thanks!

Who takes your photos?

Most writers on ABM take their own photos in whole or in part. We also have a few awesome photographers we work with. Who took the photos of any post is listed in the credits at the bottom of the article. We started doing this a few years ago so our very old posts may be missing this info. But our aim is to update as we can. 🙂

Which iPhone apps do you use?

We are bias, but we love A Color Story for filters and other adjustments. Our aim was to make that the very best photo editing app on the market. We also love A Beautiful Mess (how could we not?) for collages and adding text as well as art elements to images.

How do you draw on your photos?

Most handwriting you see on the blog (including the banner) is Elsie’s handwriting. She uses the Wacom Bamboo Tablet. You can read about it here.

I’m new to blogging. Can you give me advice?

We shared some tips here, co-wrote an article for new bloggers with a blogger we mentored here and shared perspectives on our young industry here. We also have an e-course FULL of personal stories and advice for any new blogger looking to grow.

The best piece of advice we can give to a young blogger is to write the blog you want to read. Being good at anything takes time, and blogging is no different. Keep going, be consistent, and make small goals for yourself.

Can I post your DIY project or recipe on my blog?

Yes, but please follow these guidelines: You can post one photo of our finished project or recipe with a link to our original blog post. You also have our permission to pin our photos on Pinterest.

DO NOT post the entire content of any blog post, DIY step-by-step photos, or written instructions without written permission. A Beautiful Mess is protected by copyright laws.

If you are a print publication wanting to use a high res image or have any other questions about usage of a photo of ours, email support AT abeautifulmess DOT com. 

I want to grow my blog. How did you build a readership?

We built a readership over the course of many years. Some things that have worked for me are focusing on quality posts that take time to write and develop, being consistent (I’ve been posting almost every day for several years), and being myself. It’s a slow and steady process, not an overnight thing. We spend a lot of time planning and developing the ideas you see here on the blog. It’s the product of hard work, constant evaluation, and lots of love.

We have (and will continue) to share lots of blogging tips, which you can browse here. We also wrote an entire course on blogging, called Blog Life,  so if you are looking to become a blogger or grow your site you might check that out as well.