Meet Kansas City’s Mompreneurs: Ampersand Design Studio

Ampersand Design Studio – “a place where inspiration meets happy,
where color and pattern come to play.”

This vibrant motto encompasses such a fresh promise of cheerful liveliness – everything I quickly learned the creators behind it simply are. From the moment we met, their joyful unity spoke volumes.

Starting off as college friends, they had navigated the ups and downs of their first days in the corporate world and then early motherhood. Finishing each other’s sentences, they joked about full days of working together followed by combined family dinners in the evening. And yet, as we toured their studio, explored their neighborhood, it was clear they search to find the balance in what we all do as mothers. One, who just happens to be eight months pregnant, paused conversation to accept a call from grandma about her son’s tummy ache, and as she hung up, the other picked her phone up to take a call regarding nap time questions. In fact, just after our afternoon together, one child’s quiet murmurs of a tummy ache turned into projectile vomiting … but this is all just part of their life as mompreneurs. Through this, as they described the reach of their unique designs in businesses, blogs, stationery, fabrics and more, it was evident that their focused drive is not only paving the way for immense success, but bringing their goals to fruition now, years before they ever hoped.

Meet Morgan Georgie & Carrie Kiefer of Ampersand Design Studio

Ampersand Design Studio is a small design firm specializing in graphic design & pattern design. We also have a shop where we sell a small range of products we’ve designed including iPhone cases, melamine platters and limited edition screen prints. In addition to the design studio and shop, we also have a lifestyle blog where we share anything and everything that inspires us from a great color palette, to beautiful interior design, to DIY kids projects.



Is there a story or an encounter that you can share to give us some background on the development of your business?

We always laugh when we think about this moment. First we started out working from our homes while our baby boys were very little. We found time to work on our business during the kids’ nap times … so sometimes things like laundry and showering got the backseat. It was tough, and when nap time was a struggle, it was even more frustrating because we knew we were losing our precious hours to work, as well. Plus, we just weren’t quite as productive when we worked separately. When we felt the time was right, we both got help with the kids and started meeting up at coffee shops to work together. Pretty much any place with good wifi got to know us well. Some days we would spend 8 straight hours there.

One day, while we were working at Coffee Girls in Waldo, we had to take a conference call with our fabric company but the coffee grinder was so loud that we both just ditched our little table and ran into the bathroom, shut the door, and apologized for the background clatter. As we are trying to have a professional conversation on speaker phone, we’re sure our client could hear the neighboring toilet flushing and then most definitely could hear when people started knocking on the door to get into the bathroom! One of us would be peeking our head out saying, “we’ll be right out!” while the other is trying to stay composed on the phone. It was that day that we finally admitted to ourselves that it was time to find a space of our own!


What are you most proud of as a mompreneur?

It sometimes seems like we find ourselves too immersed in pushing toward our next deadline or goal to feel proud of our accomplishments. There are weeks where just trying to keep up with the day-to-day of running a business is all that occupies our thoughts and we can be pretty hard on ourselves. As often as we can, though, one of us will just put things in perspective by noticing how lucky we really are. Then, we stop and recognize that many of the big dreams we’ve had are actually coming true. We’ve attained goals of working with certain companies we’ve always wanted to partner with which feels gratifying. We’re proud to have done work with companies changing the world through charity and we’ve given back through donations of our time and products.

Most of all, though, we’re proud that we’ve put our hearts into this business and have kept going when it’s been really tough. There have been long hours, seemingly-impossible deadlines and just straight-up missteps along the way, but we’ve kept at it, all the while maintaining our friendship. We feel proud that we’re showing our kids a good work ethic combined with putting family and friendship first.


What encouragement can you give to other women and mothers?

Hang in there. That sounds so obvious, but some days it is really all you can do. Just like that cat hanging by its claws from a screen door, hold on. We’ve found that the only way we can continue to work as hard as we do is because we are truly doing what we love. We can’t imagine doing anything else. Our advice would be to find that thing that you can’t imagine NOT doing. Plus, it helps to have a strong support system in place. We are incredibly fortunate to have each other and that goes a long way when there are downs OR ups in business. We try to take turns being the one to pick up the slack and be positive. We also have our amazing husbands who have put up with years of our laptops coming out the minute our kids are in bed.

Find people in your life that cheer you on, whether it’s your parents, your friends or other women running businesses or doing something similar to you. We’ve found great strength in talking through business with women doing similar things and moms going through similar challenges with their kids. We’ve learned so much that way.

We’ve also found that if you’re doing what you’re meant to do and you take the leap of faith into the unknown of following your own path, that things have a way of falling into place. There is really something to the idea that taking a step in the direction of your dreams can sometimes be all that it takes for a domino effect of good things to happen.

See more of this dynamic duo, their secret to success and the balance of motherhood as well as links to their featured work over on the Allison Corrin Photography blog post here.

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See more of Ampersand Design Studio and shop their products on their website here. See more of their studio and photo session with Allison Corrin Photography here.

Allison French
Allison French is the mother of Ellie, Tristan, Judah and Lucy, living in south Kansas City with her hubby of eight years, Chris. After teaching elementary school in Blue Valley for six years, she established her photography business, Allison Corrin Photography and specializes in newborn and lifestyle photography. Passionate about soaking up the sweetness in the simple, she muses over the dirty diapers, noisy time-outs, piled-up dishes, read alouds, never-ending pile of laundry, and other everyday lessons of motherhood in her personal blog here. A good day for Allison would include getting up while it’s still dark (and quiet), a good cup (or two…or three…) of creamed-up coffee, reading one of the (at least three) books she’s always in the middle of, a little blogging, followed by a long run or dancing at her Jazzercise class and concluded with baking something sweet with her own sweetums … and then promptly chowing down.


  1. What gorgeous work these ladies are doing! Thanks so much for sharing their story – great encouragement to me. 🙂

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