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Meet The Maker: kasta

We can’t wait to introduce you to kasta here in Fargo-Moorhead! We loved their clean, minimalist beautiful jewelry and the creative duo behind it – Kelly & Jessie.

Tell us a bit about yourself:

Kelly: I was born and raised in Minnesota but now live across the river in Fargo with my husband, two young daughters and our ragdoll named Princess Fluffy Marshmallow.

I have worked in the senior care field for over 15 years in senior housing, hospice and homecare all while making and selling my artistic creations online, in coffee shops and boutiques. I love color and how it shifts a moment or a mood. Visitors to my home are welcomed by a bright yellow door and lots of bold tones.

I joke that artwork is my therapy. My friends and family will tell you that I’m most happy when I’m creating something, and my hands are full of paint. People have always asked me how I got to be so creative, and I like to tell them that I ate glue as a kid.

Jessie: I live in Moorhead, Minn., with my husband, our high school-aged son and a variety of pets. We also have a daughter in college. I work full-time running the histology lab for NDSU’s Veterinary Diagnostic Lab.

I am passionate about home design, DIY everything, woodworking, blogging, painting and refinishing, home remodeling and basically anything that involves building and creativity.

Over the last 10 years my wood and furniture designs through my business, de-uglied designs, have been featured in local boutiques and publications and even won the 2015 General Finishes national design contest in the category of Best Staging.

For me, having a creative outlet is about as important as air and food, and I tend to tackle my endeavors with an obsessive degree of gusto, some might use the word “obsession”.

Describe what you create under kasta?

We create modern, minimalist handmade concrete jewelry that blurs the lines of architecture and fashion. Each creation is surprisingly lightweight, weighing only
a fraction of an ounce and is completely unique from one piece to the next. At kasta, we celebrate the beauty in our individuality, and that’s what makes concrete such a remarkable medium to work with.

Tell us where your name came from?

The word “kasta” is old Norse meaning “to throw in” or “cast”. That’s what we do – we create molds, take raw concrete and then cast it into a shape. We take that shape and turn it into something beautiful.

Because we like to do things a little off- center at kasta, we use a lowercase “k” in our business name to keep people on their toes, and if you look closely, you’ll see “JK” in our logo as well.

Your personal favorite piece you’ve created?

Kelly: My favorite piece is the first pair of earrings I ever created. I still wear them all of the time; I’m wearing them today. They’re circular drop earrings with no added color. Just plain concrete that shows unique texture and tiny imperfections that look beautifully unique – like a wearable work of art.

Jessie: That’s a hard one! The color-blocked concrete jewelry is fun and playful, and the raw concrete and metallic gilded jewelry are modern and chic. If I had to pick one to represent our brand, I suppose I would pick the mica pendant necklaces, they are unique and classic. But you’ll see me most in our earrings, I love them all!

What is your favorite thing about having your own business?

Being creative breathes life into both of us. Working with a best friend on a medium that we love is one of the better decisions we’ve made in a long time.

What is the most challenging thing?

Kelly: Trying not to let outside voices impact our vision. As creative perfectionists, we have so many ideas. It’s hard to hold back, pace ourselves and focus on one thing at a time.

Jessie: Being seen! What people don’t realize when you own a small online business is that you’re not just creating a product, you are a website designer, photographer, purchaser, accountant, delivery service and marketer. We are constantly striving to get better in these areas, especially marketing.

What are you looking forward to with your business in 2021?

Introducing more people to kasta and bringing other elements to our designs such as wood, metals, aggregates and new colors. We’ve only scratched the surface.

What is a word that best describes you?

Kelly: Colorful

Jessie: Industrious

What advice would you have given yourself 10 years ago?

Kelly: You don’t have to pick just one thing. You can dabble in hobbies and different ventures all of your life. Don’t be afraid to try new things to see what sticks. Embrace your “weird”. Have fun and never grow up.

Jessie: In the last 10 years, along with a full-time career, some of my creative endeavors include entrepreneur, furniture restorer and painter, woodworker, interior designer and remodeler, writer, blogger, and now jewelry designer, maker, and co-owner of a small business. While I think it’s admirable to model hard work and drive for your children, I think I’d tell myself to chill out and enjoy my family and maybe pick a lane.

Where can people find your work?

We’re active on social media and plan to participate in a handful of pop-up shops and events each year. We also are very pleased to sell our products at Unglued in Downtown Fargo.

How can our community support you – especially in this pandemic time?

Give any company that you follow on social media some love by engaging with them and their posts. This is huge for small businesses. Any time we make a sale an actual person at kasta does a happy dance.

Website/social to stay in touch:

Instagram: @kastadesigns
Facebook: @kastadesigns
Pinterest: @kastadesigns
TikTok: @kastadesigns

Written by Ashley Morken

Ashley Morken is the owner of Unglued, a modern handmade gift shop featuring over 300 local and regional makers in downtown Fargo. She also a founding member of the Creative Mornings Fargo committee.

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