Ep. 025 – The Chains That Bind, Jordan + Kassidy Kitzmiller

2/12/22

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Jordan and Kassidy Kitzmillers are bringing a new form of jewelry to the Midwest – permanent jewelry. It’s a perfect symbolism for weddings and rings. Their business Rogue Kreations began in fall of 2021 and is really gaining popularity each day.

Meet the Kitzmiller Sisters

First-born, Kassidy Kitzmiller loves to stay busy and came up with the creative idea behind Rogue Kreations after getting permeant jewelry. Discussing the idea with Jordan, the two went into business together and haven’t looked back.

Follow their journey on:

More about Kassidy

Kassidy Kitzmiller is co-owner and technical director of Rogue Kreations. Kassidy has a passion for welding and creating which inspired her to design Rogue Kreations to be an outlet for just that. She graduated from South Dakota Mines in December 2021 with her B.S. degree in metallurgical engineering and will graduate with her M.S. degree in engineering management this upcoming spring, May 2022. When she is not working on school or running the business she enjoys traveling with her fiancé, wake-surfing, and spending time with her family.

More about Jordan

Jordan Kitzmiller is the co-owner and creative director of Rogue Kreations LLC. Jordan is currently a nursing student at SDSU who also works full time. Jordan loves to try new things and be involved. That is how she became apart of Rogue Kreations. Jordan’s main task is to take photos and talk with customers. When she is not working she loves to shoot archery, hike, and wake-surf in the summer time.

Transcription:

INTRO: You’re listening to The Pulse, an artist podcast based out of Rapid City, South Dakota. Let’s chat about all things weddings!

I’m your host Sarah Grassel. Mother, wife, and entrepreneur.

I am a full-time destination and travel wedding photographer/videographer with a passion for telling stories through photo, video, and writing.

I’m also a published writer in several South Dakota magazines including Black Hills Lifestyle, Unveiled, Siouxland Woman, Motor Market, Black Hills Woman, and a few others. (Read more about me).

Thank you for joining me and for tuning into the show. Be sure to like and subscribe, and leave a comment on the episode to share your voice!


Marriage is like a golden ring in a chain, whose beginning is a glance and whose ending is eternity.


Kahlil Gibran

Host: Welcome back to the pulse podcast. I’m your host, Sarah Grassel. Super excited today to have my first duo Kassidy and Jordan Kitzmiller with Rogue Kreations, how are you guys doing?

Kassidy: Good. How are you?

Host: Not too bad. Thanks for coming on the show. I am super excited to have you. They offer permanent jewelry in the Black Hills, which is something that’s kind of new in our area I think, but before we dive into that too much, I just want to… Why don’t each of you do like a little “hi” and introduce who you are and what your background is.

Kassidy: Okay, my name is Kassidy. I am one of the owners of this business. I have a bachelor’s in metallurgical engineering, and working on my master’s in engineering management. I work at a gold mine in my spare time, I guess, aside from this business, and yeah, we’ve had this business since about September. So it’s pretty new, but it’s going really well so far.

Host: Yeah, super exciting. And Jordan?

Jordan: I’m Jordan. I am currently a nursing student. I’m an SDSU Student. I just graduated high school this last year. I’m also a co-owner of this business. I’m the creative director. I don’t remember your title, I’m not gonna lie.

Kassidy: I’m the technical director.

Jordan: And I make bracelets in my spare time.

Host: Yeah. So tell me a little bit more about about your business and like how it relates to the wedding industry.

Kassidy: Yeah, so we started this business, like I said, in September, and it was kind of just something we don’t have in the Hills and that we felt like we needed to bring out here. In the wedding industry, it ties in great, it’s a great gift for your bridesmaids, your groomsmen to get as the bride and the groom, it’s a super simple bracelet. So it’s not obnoxious or/and kind of goes with whatever outfit and we can put them on really quick. So if you want to have a bridal party, or even your day of we can come in the morning…

Host: Oh, I never thought about that.

Kassidy: Yeah, and it doesn’t take long at all. It takes maybe 15 minutes a person. So if you set aside an hour, we get your whole bridal party done, and it’s something to kind of fill that time in the morning while you’re getting ready.

Host: Yeah, that’s cool. Or even like, the, the night before or something like to make the rehearsal dinner, or you know, that event, more than just: we’re gonna get together the night before and run through everything you know, because that makes it a little bit more fun, too.

Kassidy: Yeah, and our jewelry is as permanent as you want it to be so it’s that fun thing that you can have. It’s not like a tattoo that you got with your friends on your wedding. It’s a bracelet that you can wear as long as you want and then match with everybody that was there.

Host: But it also still has that permanence meaning like similar to your wedding is permanent, you know?

Kassidy: Yeah.

Host: Or at least you hope it is. So yea, what inspired you to start the business?

Kassidy: I personally saw a lot of companies are doing this down south, we just don’t have anything like it up here. We’re the first ones in the Dakotas. So all these states up here, there’s no access to anything like this. And it’s just a cute, fun thing that you can do with your friends or do on your own. And like I love wearing mine. I have three chains on right now. So it’s just I thought it was really interesting and a good thing that we could bring up here.

Host: Yeah, awesome. What was your thought originally, Jordan, when Kassidy is like, “Hey, we’re gonna start this”

Jordan: I actually thought she was crazy. Kassidy likes to start a million things, and then she always finishes all of them. But we’re in school, like we said, and I work. I have another job. And she was like, “We’re gonna start a business, and we’re gonna do this together.” And I was like, “I guess we’re starting a business.” And I love it. I wear two bracelets all the time. It’s really nice for like outfits. I love lots of jewelry. I have a bunch of earrings in my ears. And I like necklaces and all that and it’s nice to just always have something on my wrist. Just like I do my earrings. I never take them out. And I never take my bracelets off.

Kassidy: Yeah, you always look like you’re put together with these on like, you can just roll out of bed and just go and you already have all your jewelry basically on.

Host: I mean they’re permanent, so you have to shower with them, right?

Kassidy: Yep. And they don’t tarnish, they don’t wear they don’t stretch, fall apart anything like that. They are 14 karat gold and sterling silver. So they, they’re perfect for everyday wear.

Host: And yours are kind of loose, but like you can get them however you want.

Kassidy: Yeah, so we like to be able to cut them to the size that fits people. So if you’re somebody who can’t normally get bracelets that fit because you have too small of a wrist or too big of a wrist or anything like that. Or even if you’re like me, I don’t like tight bracelets. I’d rather get it a little bit looser. You have all of those options.

Host: Do you have a problem when you sleep on them that they leave marks or do they irritate you?

Jordan: They’re small enough that it doesn’t bother you.

Kassidy: They’re super dainty.

Jordan: Yeah, I wear mine tighter than she wears hers. And like they don’t get super tangled or anything like that because they’re so small.

Host: Right; yeah… let’s talk about the name and where that came from.

Kassidy: I guess Rogue Kreations came from our dad. Our dad bought a boat and called it Rogue Wave because it’s kind of rogue, off the beaten path, something different. We just rolled with that and these bracelets are definitely off the beaten path a little bit different.

Jordan: We have a couple of other tiny little businesses, and they all have something to do with Rogue. Our dad makes fireplaces. It’s called Rogue Patio.

Host: Oh! I don’t think you told me that.

Kassidy: Yeah. We can actually show you, since you’re here. He builds custom propane or natural gas fire pits and fireplaces.

Host: That’s awesome.

Kassidy: Yep; we have a few of them around the house.

Jordan: Our neighbor has one; they bought one from us. So we took that and then we had our name and then we did creations with the ‘K’ because our last name is Kitzmiller. So we had that little cute personal item.

Kassidy: We tried to be a little quirky.

Host: Right. It’s personalized. It’s that extra “BAM,” you know?

Kassidy: Exactly.

Host: What is it like to go into business as a family?

Jordan: We’re unorganized as a family.

Kassidy: We’re working on it.

Jordan: Because, it’s my sister. So she’s like “I need you to do this.” And I’m like, “Meh, I’ll get around to it.”

Kassidy: So you get those like, not sibling rivalries, but a sibling combativeness…

Host: Don’t tell me what to do…

Kassidy: Exactly, and it’s like, I have my own stuff, you have your own stuff, and trying to combine that into the family thing. But I think it’s going really well. Our dad helps us all the time. Both of our parents are really involved. When we go to any pop up shops, you’ll usually see our dad there helping us because he was a welder. So he has experienced with the machines and that kind of stuff and can help us. Our mom’s been super supportive. She’s our accountant. So we couldn’t do any of this without her without getting in lots of trouble with. So yeah, it’s been good. And I think we’re we’re getting in the flow of things.

Host: Yeah. Yeah, for sure. And how does it… I mean, I know you like to stay busy, clearly. But how do you find that work balance with this business along with your other jobs, and then schooling and a personal life? Because you’re engaged in Kassidy, you know. And are you in a relationship?

Jordan: No, I’m not, no.

Host: Well, single! Shout out to all the guys out there. Yeah, but what does that like to balance all of that?

Jordan We use Google calendars, like a lot. Like if it’s not in Google calendars, it’s not happening. So I have like my, the next couple months of my life planned out there. And I know when I have a free day, and I have to plan in downtime, and I plan on when I do my homework, and I plan and when I go to work, and I’m very, very lucky with my job. I have a boss who just doesn’t really care if I show up or not. So if I’m like, “Hey, I did too much. And I can’t come to work today.” He’s like, “Yeah, that’s fine. I don’t care.”

Kassidy: Having the flexibility with her job is great. Then you just kind of have to make it a priority. Like we love the business. We want it to do well, you have to put the time into it. So we say, “Okay. I’m going to do school for these hours, these hours get the business stuff, these hours get family time, and you just kind of function that way.

Jordan: We have kind of opposite schedules. My classes are more at night. And then she’s online now. But with my work schedule, if we have somebody who’s like, “Oh, we want to be here on this day,” and I’m at work, I can leave work because I work up the road from our house.

Host: Yeah.

Kassidy: Well and it’s super nice because this is very flexible; our business is very flexible. We open up a bunch of hours every week so people can come in and get bracelets, we have our pop up shops.

Host: Do they just come right here to your house?

Kassidy: Yep, yep, this is where we do it-at this desk and they just come right here. And we also do the pop up shop.

Host: Right.

Kassidy: So we kind of take all of this with us and go wherever we want with it.

Host: Is it kind of hard to pack up? There’s not, it doesn’t look like, there’s too much equipment.

Kassidy: We got it down to a science. That small stack of boxes…

Host: …is all you need.

Kassidy: Yeah, it fits in there and then we take the desk.

Host: Well, that’s not so bad at all… except for I would not want to carry around a desk.

Jordan: It’s actually really light. It’s not that bad. It’s really nice.

Kassidy: And then our dad has a pickup, so throw it all in and you’re good to go.

Host: I’ve got a little Jeep Renegade, that getting a desk in and out of…

Jordan/Kassidy: We drive Altimas… wouldn’t work.

Host: So it’s really it is the two of you are the leads on the business, but it is a kind of a big family effort.

Kassidy: For sure. Yep.

Host: I don’t know. Kudos to you. I don’t think, I probably think that if my family went into business, somebody might die. I’m trying to rope my husband into business with me. And that’s like dragging your feet in the mud.

Kassidy: Yep.

Host: Not going very well..

Kassidy: Well when you have the drive to do it, but they don’t, you have to kind of pull them along. Once it gets going it’s exciting, then you’re good.

Host: Are you telling me that’s kind of what it was like?

Kassidy: Still like. (all chuckle). No she does good. It’s like just when you have that drive and you’re excited about something, you’re going to put so much effort into it. You’re going to put the time into it, you’re going to make time for it. Where if it’s kind of just oh, this is a thing we’re doing. It’s I have five million other things in my life to balance it’s not going to be at the top of the list. So there for a while I had school last fall and this was my priority, the business was and school kind of fell below for a little bit. So it’s a balancing act.

Host: When did you start to get excited about it, Jordan?

Jordan/Kassidy: Once Kassidy figured it all out. Kassidy was like, “I’m going to order this, and I’m going to order these chains, and I’m going to order a welder. I need money out of your bank account so I can order and pay for it right now.” I was like, “Hold on a minute.”

Host: Hold up, that’s my hard earned money!

Jordan: I need to give you money? no,

Kassidy: Once we had it set up.

Jordan: Once we had everything and I could see it, I was like, “Okay.”

Host: Then it’s a tangible thing, like you’re actually seeing: this is happening.

Jordan: Yeah, it wasn’t just money getting taken out of my bank account.

Host: Right you start to get some put back in. Yeah, for sure. And I want to just go back a little bit to kind of tying it into weddings. Just, I think you and your fiancé have one together?

Kassidy: He can’t actually have one because he’s in the military. That’s strictly against the rules.

Host: Oh yeah. I forgot about that.

Kassidy: But our dad wears one. Our mom wears one. We have them. So anybody who’s not going to get fired for wearing one, has one. Our best friend, Sadie actually has one. And she works in a hospital and is near MRIs all the time. So basically, anybody can have.

Jordan: Unless you’re in the military.

Host: Darn military.

Kassidy: Yeah, we need to talk to them about that.

Host: It’s not just bracelets that you can do, right? It’s also anklets, or do you do necklaces?

Jordan/Kassidy: Yeah, so they all have different costs just because they are gold and silver. And the lengths will vary. But yeah, we do anywhere you’d want them. There’s a potential for rings. And then we really like stacking the bracelets, like we were stacked ones.


Looking to get Permanent Jewelry For Your Wedding Party?

Touch Base with The Kitzmiller Sisters


Host: I love the idea of rings. Like that’s like the only jewelry that-rings and earrings-are like the only thing I’m like constantly wearing. Yeah, yeah. I never even thought about the idea of a ring. You could do wedding bands.

Kassidy: We could, definitely.

Host: That would be interesting.

Kassidy: Well, it’s an option. We’ll throw it out there. So everybody listen to the podcast, if you want a wedding band, call us we’ll get it figured out.

Host: It would be unique, though. It’s something that you know, if somebody was, I mean other welders in like, that just want something to really tie into who they are as a person, you know? That could be something to consider?

Kassidy: Yeah, we could even make them thicker; do multiple bands and all that kind of stuff. It’s definitely a path we could look at down the road.

Host: Right now, it’s just gold and silver. Do you have rose gold or any other…

Kassidy: We don’t. Just because gold and silver go with everything. Rose gold is kind of one of those that like you wear it with some outfits and you don’t with others. So that’s kind of difficult to touch on. And there’s so many really pretty chains that we’re excited to try with the gold and silver. So maybe one day we run out of ideas, then we’ll branch out to the other colors.

Host: Yeah, but right now with them being permanent. You want something that’s gonna be timeless, right?

Kassidy: Exactly, yeah.

Host: I do want to get into like the overarching themes. So let’s kind of take this one at a time. Let’s start with you, Jordan – throwing you out there – how do you define what art is?

Jordan: I’d say art is anything that you were just excited to make. Art can be anything if… our chains are art, because we’re excited to make them and share them with people. As long as you are being creative in what you’re making, and are excited to show people. I think that’s art.

Host: Yeah, for sure. And then we’ll just keep keep with Jordan right now, what advice do you have for other artists or, you know, maybe just individuals who are busy and crazy and…

Jordan: I can definitely be busy and crazy. Use Google calendars. Manage your time.

Host: This podcast is not sponsored by Google yet.

Jordan: Manage your time and just make sure that you make time to do things that you enjoy. Whether it be like: I have to take an hour out of my day once a week so that I can do something that I enjoy or I have to take an hour out of my homework time so that I have time to do something that I enjoy. Because you’re not going to do well in the things if you’re not enjoying them.

Host: Even thought you’re enjoying your art in your work through the business, you still need time to just not do that. Yeah, for sure. And Kassidy, what’s your… how do you define what art is?

Kassidy: I think art is just whatever makes you happy like photography, just being out in the Hills. Nature itself is art.

Host: Oh, yeah!

Kassidy: Everything that you do can be art as long as it makes you happy and has some sort of creativeness whether that’s like I said, being out in nature or like what we’re doing: creating bracelets.

Host: I really gotta throw, like kudos to you for making what you love with metal work and welding into an art form and something that you know, you can pursue outside of work in a mine. You took that passion that you have and turned it into something that you do for fun but also as a business. That’s really awesome. And what advice do you have for other artist?

Kassidy: I think, don’t set yourself a limit. So if like, you think that there’s something that you enjoy doing, but you don’t know how you’d make it into an art form, or a side business or whatever, just don’t set a limit, because like, nobody in the Hills had thought of doing permanent jewelry. And so if I would have said, “Well, nobody’s doing that, why would I do that?” We wouldn’t be here today.

Host: Right.

Kassidy: So definitely don’t set a limit. Just do whatever you think might work. And if it doesn’t work, it doesn’t work.

Host: When you mentioned that nobody else in the Hills does it, one of my questions was originally: what sets you apart from others in the area? Well, there is no one else. You know, and I think the last time we talked, you mentioned possibly being the, like the only one like in the general region?

Kassidy: We’re definitely the only one in the Dakotas. And then we struggle with saying the only ones in the Midwest, because that’s such a large area. There’s definitely people downtown Denver, Salt Lake City, stuff like that, who have them.

Host: Do you know is there any in our border states like Wyoming, Iowa?

Kassidy: I don’t think so?

Jordan: I haven’t heard of any, no.

Kassidy: There might be in like Minneapolis, but that’s probably the extent of it.

Host: Gotchya. Do we border Minnesota?

Kassidy: Yes, I think so. Yes. Yeah, my fiancé works in Minnesota all the time and he’s right over the border, so we like definitely touch.

Host: I’m kind of surprised that there’s nothing in Sioux Falls.

Kassidy: Yeah, we’re actually going to be doing a few pop up shops. I’ve been coordinating with some boutiques and stuff. So follow our Facebook page and all that, and we’ll be posting about it. But we’ll do pop up shops at the boutiques out there to kind of get our east fiver family in getting their chains.

Host: You can even join the different pages for weddings east river… because that’s kind of what I love about when you mentioned how flexible your businesses, you can pack it all up in two boxes, you know, and take it on the road. So it’s I don’t know, I think that’s really awesome. For sure. Yeah. I do want to talk a little bit about your future plans as a business because you are so new and getting started. Is there a website in the works or like possibly ordering online? I think the last time we talked you talked about maybe doing clasps as like a semi permanent option.

Kassidy: Yep. So we’ll probably look into doing clasps, if there’s some interest at our pop ups. But as far as ordering online, it doesn’t really work for us because we are permanent. So you have to come to us to get them welded on. We can’t send them to you and have you do them. But other than that, we’re kind of looking a lot of pop up shops across the state. I’ll be moving here in the summer. So we’ll take it other places, potentially, Jordan is going to take it over. And we’re still going to have pop up shops in the Hills.

Host: How do you feel about her moving away?

Jordan: She started this and then she just left me with it.

Kassidy: I know, I told her I wish this would have happened like three years ago.

Jordan: She was like, “I’m gonna start a business. And we’re gonna make chains in the Black Hills. By the way, I’m moving out of the Black Hills.” I was like, “Cool.” But we had our link, like…

Kassidy: Oh, we have a camp site. It’s kind of like a link tree thing. And that’s our website right now. So that you can find it on our Instagram and our Facebook, and you click on it. And it has links to our giveaways that are always going on, we give away $25 off a silver chain like every other week, just because we want to make it affordable for people and we want to get them in and want everybody to enjoy these as much as we do.

Host: Yeah, for sure.

Kassidy: But yeah, it has all of our links in there. It’s kind of like a baby website until we get an actual website up and running.

Host: Speaking of babies… on my drive here, I was thinking you could you could do this, like with your kids. You know, you’d have to, you know, make an adjustment or get a new one…

Kassidy: Right.

Host: But that’s almost like a keepsake for you as a parent to have like, “Oh, by the way this this was when you were tiny, like look at how small this wrist was!”

Kassidy: And if people wanted to come in with their kids, we can do discounted pricing. Our prices are set off the inches. So while we say it’s 100 bucks for silver and 125 for gold. Like if you come in with a really small risk a child or yourself, it’s definitely going to be discounted because of the actual length we’re using. So yeah, kids one wouldn’t cost that much. And you could definitely get multiple as they get older.

Host: Have you had anybody inquire about families?

Jordan: I have. My coworker. She’s our front desk lady. She has a little girl named Charlie. She wants to get one with Charlie, whenever. She hasn’t made an appointment with me yet, but she’s been asking me about it and is really interested in that.

Host: Yeah, I think that would be, like I said, I was just randomly thinking about that on my drive over because one of the gifts that, I had a friend gift us a bracelet, like a matching mother’s son said, and I can’t have him wear it for a while. It’s like toddler size and my kid is only eight months old. But I’m like, what would be something that we could do? You could do permanent jewelry!

Kassidy: Yeah, I mean, we’d have to look. I mean, as far as babies chewing on them, you should be good because they are pure metals. They’re not going to break. They’re not a choking hazard. None of that, but I would kind of make caution. Be cautious with it and then definitely keep an eye on it because they can just grow like that. And you don’t want it to get too tight on them.

Host: Right for sure. Yeah, or maybe you could do… well, I was going to say necklace, but I feel like that’d be worse, nevermind! But I don’t want to get too far away from the weddings aspect and you gave a little shout out to your Instagram, Facebook. Do you just want to kind of recap on how people can find you?

Kassidy: Yeah, we have Instagram, Facebook, and TikTok. Our TikTok is kind of growing, but they’re all Rogue Kreations LLC is how you can find us. Some of them only pop up under Rogue Kreations for whatever reason, but Rogue Kreations with a ‘K’ on creations.

Host: And ‘R-O-G-U-E’ rogue.

Kassidy: Yeah.

Host: I always want to put an extra ‘U’ in it.

Jordan: Yeah, I do too!

Kassidy: Before the ‘G?’

Host: Yeah.

Jordan: Yeah, it was really bad, we were making our emails and Kassidy is like, “You spelt that wrong.” I was like, “Dang it!” I had to delete the email account and make another one.

Host: Well at least there is another word, it’s not like you just made it up because you’ve forgotten how to spell. But thank you guys for coming on. Everybody should go give you guys a follow, stay tuned for any updates, and enter your giveaways. And definitely consider having them out at a bachelorette party or just include them with your wedding party favors. So, thanks guys.

Kassidy: Awesome, thank you.


I stopped the first initial recording, but the conversation kept going. I thought what we said after was a great talking point to include, so I asked Jordan and Kassidy to help me recreate the conversation.

***this is not an exact transcript.*** Recorded 01/29/2022 | Released 02/12/2022


OUTRO: Every artist lives in their work.

Pulse is defined as an arterial palpation or a strong regular beating or throbbing. In this podcast, discover artists in the Black Hills who uncover new techniques and live passionately for their work to bring brides and couples something beautiful for their special day.

This podcast started as a connection with artists in The Hills and now focuses on wedding related artists and vendors. From florists to stylists, bakers, and more. Thanks for tuning in!

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