Studios merge to support businesses, mothers during May

EDWARDSVILLE – While local restaurants are a vital part of the business community, other area businesses want residents to know they are struggling as well and have not been able to conduct any business since March 20, when the governor’s stay-at-home order went into effect.

Jennifer Range owns We Rock the Spectrum, an autism-focused kids’ sensory indoor playground and gym in town. She said photographer Heather Mohr approached her on April 30 about a May promotion. Mohr and another photographer, Nichole Kolb, merged their photography studios to form Willow and Mohr Photography.

Kolb currently runs her studio, Willow & Moss, out of a small space at 103 East Vandalia Street, across from the Stagger Inn. She and Danielle Thomas were photography partners for a little more than three years before life changes happened and Thomas chose to separate from the business.

“Danielle left Willow & Moss at the end of 2019 on good terms,” Kolb said. “Her career led her in another direction.”

The boutique full-service photography studio offers a personalized experience and customized products for our clients. In addition, the studio provides a variety of beautiful wardrobe options for our clients. All maternity, newborn and baby sessions include the use of our hand-selected maternity gowns, newborn outfits, bonnets, props and accessories.

She cited the city’s growth patterns, even during a pandemic, as a positive in steering her relocation decision.

“I knew I wanted to grow but I didn’t know how I wanted to go about it,” Kolb said. She said she has definitely outgrown her current space and it has other limitations, such as parking.

“I fell in love with Trace on the Parkway and we found a space just before the pandemic hit,” she said. While the relocation effort is not at a standstill, it, like most everything else in the past two months, has been delayed.

She said laborers are still working at the new location, but she hopes she and Mohr can open in early July. The new space, located at 6120 Shoger Drive, Suite D, is more than double the size of her current studio and she said parking is not an issue at Trace on the Parkway.

They announced the merger, Willow & Mohr Photography, Monday on Facebook. The women formed a strategic partnership that will enable them to better serve the Edwardsville and greater St. Louis region. Willow & Mohr Photography specializes in maternity, birth, newborn, baby, children and family photography. The goal of the new studio is to capture personalities, relationships and connections between people.

“Many times, photography is considered just a hobby,” Kolb said. “We are striving to be a local business specializing in newborn photography but we also want to branch out to serve other needs.”

According to its Facebook feed – “Time travel may be impossible, but photography grants the ability to freeze moments in time to remind us of details that have started to fade from memory. Whether it is pregnancy, the birth of a baby or a typical year in the life of a family, life is worth capturing through photos.”

“Heather and Nichole would like to promote some of the amazing small businesses in Edwardsville by having a giveaway for moms,” Range said. Mothers are typically the rock or the anchor in many families and many women are pulling double- triple- or more duties during the pandemic – wife, mother, employee, teacher, disciplinarian, etc.

The pair is sponsoring weekly giveaways for the month, with the goal of being able to spoil some special moms this year. Winners are announced on social media every Friday.

Company sponsors include:

• Trends’ter Boutique
• Teaspoons Cafe
• Vive Yoga Studio
• Goshen Coffee Company
• Restore Decor
• EXO Nail Bar
• A WildFlower Shop
• Doc’s Smokehouse and Catering
• We Rock the Spectrum – Edwardsville
• Water Sweets Soap Company
• SS Market

Kolb and Mohr will post information, photos and stories daily on the Willow & Mohr Facebook page to show the vendors and gifts offered that are worth more than $2,600. This week, there are two winners chosen from those who are nominated for the giveaway.

The first winner will receive a $20 gift card to Teaspoons Cafe and Willow and a Mohr Photography Motherhood session with hair and makeup as well as a $600 print credit ($900 value). The second winner will receive Trend’ster Boutique earrings ($48 value) as well as a We Rock the Spectrum a dozen cookies ($25 value).

To enter this giveaway, go to Willow and Mohr Photography Facebook, or Instagram pages, and follow the instructions on the original post.

For more details, visit Willow & Moss’ website,

Reach reporter Charles Bolinger at (618) 659-5735