Mary Engelbriet’s artistic abilities surfaced early. By age 11 she was already producing works of art. 

Her high school guidance counselor at Visitation Academy encouraged her to attend college and become a teacher, but Englebreit had other plans. She skipped both college and design school and soon had what the Wall Street Journal dubbed “her vast empire of cuteness.”  

That art empire became highly recognizable and profitable.

Englebreit lived in Webster Groves for many years and was honored with that city’s 2019 Lifetime Achievement in the Arts Award. She’s currently a resident of Ladue.

This post was contributed by Ross Malone. A historian and a retired school teacher, Ross has authored many books about Missouri’s history, weird facts, and folk tales. He has also written children’s historical fiction. Visit his website, and buy his books in the Missouri Life store.

Photo credit: Daria Tumanova, Unsplash