Mid-Missouri Community Guide

My husband, Ryan, and I grew up in Jefferson City but I don't think we truly appreciated the mid-MO community until we spent years away and then moved back. Now, we're raising 2 little girls (and a rescue dog) near our hometown and loving the supportive community. There's a small business heartbeat here unlike one I've ever experienced and there is ALWAYS something to do for the whole family or just the grown ups.

Below you'll find an every growing list of some of my favorite things in the community and, I hope, if your favorites aren't listed you'll share them with me too!

Favorite Lunch Spot: Belly Market

Favorite Playground / Park: Cosmo Bethel

Favorite Cocktail & Apps: Room 38

Favorite Networking: ACA Business Club

Connecting to the Community

Connecting is honestly one of the most important parts of putting roots down in your community. So my first suggestions are ways to Find Your People in CoMo. The following organizations (and some locations) are the micro-networks that weave our city together.

  • Chamber of Commerce | Unlike a lot of communities I've lived in, the CoMo chamber is ACTIVE. Subgroups like the Women's Network and EPIC host monthly events that are more intimate than some of the larger Chamber meetings and will give you a chance to meet a lot of new people. Will walking into that first room be terrifying, you bet, but email me a heads up you're coming and I 100% will look out for you and save you a seat!
  • The Crossing Church | I'm going to be honest here, I'm not a member but I do keep an eye out on the crossing special events. The Sunday services are LARGE, but the crossing does an amazing job of coordinating special interest groups and events to help you find your people within the crowd.
  • ACA Business Club
  • Hexagon Alley
  • Inclusion+

The necessities ... find a plumber, hair stylist, photographer (wink wink).

As you settle in to the community there are a lot of to do items and important people/services in your life to fill - it can be overwhelming. The first few places to check for all your NEEDS in Columbia are MARKETPLACE MAGAZINE and within your CONNECTION EXCHANGE welcome bag (if you haven't gotten this yet request yours HERE).

Get out on the town..

There are a lot of people (friends, family, teachers) who have been a part of your 18 year journey to graduation. Our signature mats and magazines give them a place to wish you well, provide some parting words of advice and send their love with you to the next chapters. All in a stunning piece of art featuring your favorite senior portraits.

We suggest a classic black and white image in your mat and up to 24 favorite images in your magazine. SHOP these and all grad products now.


Banners & Signs

Hey parents... you're proud. Like REALLY REALLY proud right?!?! We know, and banners and signs are how we scream that proud OUT LOUD. Yard signs are a great way to celebrate your grad leading up to graduation (grandparents LOVE to do this too). Plus, a series of yard signs can help direct guests to your party with banners being the perfect bold decoration!

Browse designs HERE, but remember we can custom design for you! Consider including some baby/child images for a 'how it started, how it's going' design. Order signs in sets of 4 or 8 for the best deal.

WHEN: may

Thank you Cards

We know it's good etiquette to send thank you cards, but designing, writing and sending them can often get overlooked in the busy days post-graduation. Let us custom-design a card that can even include your own thank you message to streamline the process and give your friends and family a beautiful heartfelt thank you for their graduation gift and their years of support and love.

Thank you designs are available in your personal Card Suite just like grad cards too (request yours here).

WHEN: may / June

Final Family Portrait

Last, but certainly not least... your family is about to shift a bit. While they'll always be your babies, these kids are about to not be children anymore and we think the best way to commemorate this shift is one last family portrait with what we call the OG family. Up next they'll be additions like husbands and wives and babies, but first it's time to close the chapter together with a beautiful family portrait.

Of course, our senior graduates get this family session 100% free as our gift to you. But you only have through this summer to get that scheduled. IL sessions can be scheduled directly HERE (MO seniors email us to schedule).

WHEN: NOW - August
check out southern living's article for more on graduation ETIQUETTE (INCLUDING grad gift tips)!
And it's never too late to recommend us to a friend (earn $100 per referral) or drop a review!