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be great

be great

i feel that my entire life has been a paradox, which has led me to this very moment—the launch of pretty + grit. 


my heart is full when i’m running through the woods. i am in my element during a muddy bike ride and beers with friends. on the flipside, i am in awe of breathtaking art and architecture. i can’t resist indulging in food and drink, and i envy people with impeccable fashion sense.

my twenties were afflicted with trying to “find myself”. i felt as if my measure of success needed to be the practical settle down, get married, buy a house, have kids, do work gig. while i hope for some of those things one day, i wasn’t meant to forge a straight path. growing up, there was a constant nag to ride bikes and live down by the river in a cabin for the rest of my life. it paralleled with an equally compelling nag to build a high profile career and retire at an early age to travel the world and teach design. i still feel this way most days. maybe i will do all of it. or maybe none of it.

i’m sure you’ve felt this way at some point.

this push-pull lead to many new challenges, adventures, and a serious case of wanderlust. i look back at these experiences, and there is one thing that has given me perspective and respect for the different paths that we all take:


give yourself room to mess up (done that).
eat all the chocolate (guilty).
go to class hungover (oops).
let the kids have the pizza (heck, i still do).
say hi to a complete stranger (hey).
play sports (2 ACL surgeries later...).
give grandma a hug (she’s the best).

in each of our experiences are lessons of beauty and meaning. when we acknowledge these lessons we can use them to find balance and growth.

i love design, details, organization, dressing up, making a mess, and getting shit done. i am lucky enough to have racked up a few design degrees, ten years of work in the field, taught as an adjunct, and currently have an amazing gig at white bicycle with people who are not only my mentors and colleagues, but have become my friends. credentials are cool, but more than anything, it’s about the experiences and the people along the way that count.

the vision for pretty + grit has become clear after realizing the desire to make something that helps us to understand and celebrate life in a real way. 

i’ll be honest. i am SO scared to share this with the world and it could be a terrific failure. but at least i’ll know that i poured every ounce of effort into the project. and that is far better than not trying at all. 

the greatest thing is that it’s just getting started. 

so... what is pretty + grit?

we are the balance of beauty and meaning. we launch collections of handmade jewelry and carefully curated apparel that are simple, beautiful, versatile, and durable. each piece is different and acts as a reminder to connect with our world on a deeper level. each piece of p+g jewelry and apparel is a badge of grit and beauty.

in parallel with the jewelry and apparel launch, i am launching a journal. it is a collection of stories from women and girls of all walks of life. it serves to inspire and empower us. you’ll find stories of perseverance and challenge that are real and raw. the first story will be published in the next few weeks, so stay tuned.

feel free to join us at our official launch partyshop around, or send your story (or someone you know) of strength to i can’t wait to hear from you. thanks for taking the time to read this and i hope you live your best life.

be great—

image: dawn m. gibson photography 

Comments on this post (12)

  • Mar 22, 2018

    Inspiring journey with so much more potential to come! Love this. Good Luck Lady!!!!

    — Amanda Kempisty

  • Jan 15, 2018

    Sounds amazing and I’m sure by now you are having much success!!
    Sorry to have missed the Grand Opening, but hope to get there and experience it!! Congratulations Casey on your new Adventure and amazing life, hopes and dreams!! YOU GO GIRL!!!!
    All the best to you!!!
    Lynn Dahl

    — Lynn Dahl

  • Nov 26, 2017

    To watch your very HUMBLE journey throughout life and your passion for so many things, has been an honor…….and a privilege to be your mom. Right from your preschool artwork, childhood art lessons, and projects in the attic art room…..we knew there was something special. You have been blessed and we love you to pieces. Congratulations on a wonderful first show and launch party. It is obvious that people love your work and that you love what you are doing.

    — Holly Kelly

  • Nov 17, 2017

    Awesome! That sums up, as best as I can, how I feel about your new business and what it means… and my sister-in-law! :) I love your designs! Brendon won’t mind if I buy everything, do you think? :)

    — Ellie Kelly :)

  • Nov 10, 2017

    Can’t wait to SHOP! Life is a journey, and only YOU CAN make it happen!

    — Claudia Hojnacki

  • Nov 09, 2017

    How did I ever get a granddaughter so special!!!—and being so true to yourself
    is fabulous and extra special. You are an inspiration to us all!!!

    — Marcia Hutt

  • Nov 07, 2017

    So stinking proud of you! You are beautiful. Your jewelry is beautiful. Your story is beautiful. Never stop working for what you believe in! Xoxo

    — Justina

  • Nov 06, 2017

    Congrats, Casey! I can’t wait to see all your hard work culminate in this effort. Your preface is very well written and very honest. Thanks for this.

    — Zack Schneider

  • Nov 06, 2017

    Casey — You nailed it. Like you said, you’re just getting started and I’m so excited for your incredible journey ahead — and it will be just that… Incredible. Like you! Keep inspiring us (and me)! #ROCKSTARBOSSBABE

    I can’t wait to shop! <3

    — Becky Pope

  • Nov 05, 2017

    Casey! Congrats on your new project, sounds like you have some amazing products and I’m like to looking forward to read the journals :) best of luck, but I know you’ll do Great, you are inspirational! Xoxo

    — Julie Presler

  • Nov 05, 2017

    Thanks for allowing me to write the first comment. It’s going to be great! Can’t wait to see things progress. Nice job.

    — Eric Kempisty

  • Nov 05, 2017

    Wow, amazing and inspiring, I need to share this with my daughters! Congratulations for being great!

    — Patrick Capuson

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