St. Louis Mom Designs an International Business

Some people think of a bedroom as nothing more than a place to sleep. Kim Gellman sees a place where children can express their creativity and let their imaginations run wild.

Through her online store,, kids – and their parents – can discover designer décor to dress up the bedroom of their dreams.

A mom of two boys and a former marketing manager for a restaurant chain, Gellman launched Artistic Sensations in 1996 after struggling to find the perfect touches for her own kids’ nurseries.

“When I was pregnant with my first child, I felt there were limited choices in St. Louis,” she explained. “I wanted a nursery that was a combination of funky and traditional, and I could not find items. It inspired me to start looking in other cities for these items, and I found there were many more choices in New York, Chicago and LA.”

Gellman decided to take design into her own hands. She began selling 25 different nursery décor items out of her house and at hospitals, craft shows and gift fairs throughout St. Louis.

After a year, a friend offered to build her a website at the time the Internet was first taking off. “I thought, why not sell across the country, even the world? I sold a stepstool to London my first 90 days and then a set of bedding to LA. I was hooked and caught the ‘entrepreneurial spirit.’”

Today, Artistic Sensations features designer bedding, furniture and room décor from 50 different artists and companies, offering the hottest trends for girls and boys of all ages. In fact, according to Gellman, some of the most popular looks right now include peace signs, polka dots and stripes as well as animal prints in browns and crèmes. In terms of color, pinks, chocolates and purples are popular with girls while boys favor denims, greens, oranges and browns.

By mastering the art of customer service and creating a strong network via social media, Gellman has solidified her business by building long-lasting relationships with vendors and customers, all while raising two active boys, ages 12 and 14.

To any parent wanting to start a business, the duties of running a successful company like Gellman’s may seem overwhelming, but she insists strategic planning and networking can turn a creative spark into a full-blown business.

“If you have the passion for your ideas, you can make it happen,” she said. “Set realistic goals. Create a business plan. Meet with other business owners. Listen and learn from everyone you come in contact with, and surround yourself with motivated, intelligent people. Just go for it!” 

By Nicole Plegge, lifestyle blogger for SmartParenting and feature writer for St. Louis Kids Magazine

This story also appears in the Spring/Summer issue of St. Louis Kids Magazine. Pick it up at your favorite location today or read it online in our new digital edition

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