Beth Synder, 4-H Alumni
Beth Synder

As kids we often respond to the question, "What do you want to be when you grow up?" with answers like a princess, an astronaut, or superhero. The reality 20 years later is almost never the same. However, for Beth Snyder, that is not the case. She turned her childhood dreams of becoming an artist into a thriving business, with her creative designs in stores all over the world.

Snyder grew up with a love for arts and crafts that began at age 8 when she joined the Auxvasse Achiever 4-H Club. Those experiences stimulated her future as the business owner of One Canoe Two Paperie (1canoe2), an illustration, gifts and stationery company based in Fulton, Missouri.

"All the things I needed to learn, I learned in 4-H," said Snyder, who grew up in Auxvasse, Missouri. While taking projects like sewing, cake decorating, photography and flower arranging, her desire to craft and create only grew.

Snyder majored in graphic design at the University of Missouri. After graduation, she worked in Nashville, Tennessee as a news designer for a TV station. Later, she worked as the art director at Farm Journal.

In 2012, she launched 1canoe2, a business centered on creating beautiful art, stemming from the experiences Beth had as a young child. Her popular line of gifts, jewelry and home and paper goods is sold at independent boutiques all around the world.
Snyder recalls that her experience in 4-H did more than just fuel her passion for art: "4-H encourages kids to have responsibility and teaches so many good life skills," she said.

From serving as treasurer of her 4-H club to participating in public speaking contests, Snyder developed important life skills that she uses every day. She credits 4-H for playing an instrumental role in shaping her success, and she makes it her mission to repay that debt as a supporter of 4-H members all over the state.

Snyder recently organized a workshop for 4-H members as part of MU’s Art on the Move outreach program, showcasing 1canoe2’s paintings and products that are inspired by nature. Their unique collections bring out the beauty in life’s simple moments. Sharing the creative process, the designs and the thinking behind them motivated the 4-H’ers to create their own unique products.

"Kids need to know that you can be an artist, and that is a totally viable option for a job," said Snyder.

As an artist, the No. 1 skill Snyder uses is creative problem solving. "It’s having the grit to keep going even when it seems like something isn’t possible," said Snyder, who advises 4-H’ers to take as many classes as possible, because "4-H classes encourage you to solve your own problems and figure out how to do things yourself."

Snyder turned her love for art and her willingness to learn into a career that all began with her childhood experiences in Missouri 4-H.