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Local sisters launch business; products available in MN Herberger's

Jessica Wagner, left, and Courtney Wagner pose in front of one of their product stands inside Herberger's. Submitted photo1 / 2
Submitted photo2 / 2

One small town idea will have a big reach starting this month. Jessica and Courtney Wagner will soon have their handmade jewelry designs available in every Herbergers in the state of Minnesota.

The two sisters began creating bracelets as gifts for their family and friends a little over a year ago. The creations were a way to create personalized gifts and it was fun for them to find the beads and design them.

"And then the people that we were giving them to fell so much in love with them that they asked us to start creating customized ones," Jessica said.

The customization turned into people telling them to start selling the bracelets; an idea that began to take hold in their heads. The girls did some research, decided to dive in, make their hobby a business and Small Town Staxx was born.

Jessica and Courtney said that Small Town Staxx became an official company in July. The women have done just about everything for the company on their own. Jessica, a Hastings High School graduate of 2009, has a degree in graphic design. She designed their logo. Courtney, an HHS graduate of 2013, just finished school at Winona State and is now a marketing coordinator. The combination of the two sisters' talents has allowed them to maintain the company on their own so far.

When Jessica saw a call for proposals on social media for a program called Close to Home, the girls decided to apply. The program allows local makers, artisans and designers to apply to be in the Close to Home shop. After a couple months of waiting, the sisters had given up on the idea, but then the call came in. Herberger's had chosen Small Town Staxx to supply their product for the in store shop.

The girls picked their top three designs to supply for the store: the MN staxx, magnesite staxx and the matte black staxx.

"Those are our most popular ones that people will buy so we just thought let's go with those and we like those too personally," Courtney said.

It was a process to create enough product for the Herberger's order. It was a much larger order than they had ever done in the past, but the sisters split the order into smaller increments so that it didn't seem as big. The girls picked a couple nights and were able to make about 300 bracelets for the 17 Herberger's locations in Minnesota.

Working with a family member may not be the best idea for some family dynamics, but Jessica and Courtney said that they actually work quite well together. She thinks it helps being sisters because they are able to be more blunt and honest with each other.

Jessica said that the two sisters have two different styles that actually collaborate really well in the business. Jessica said that she is a little more edgy whereas Courtney is a little more girly "so we kind of bring two different things to the table which is nice, so she gets me, I get her."

However, if there is ever an issue that cannot be compromised, they turn to a couple of mediators: their parents.

For more information about Small Town Staxx, visit www.smalltownstaxx.com.

Michelle Wirth

Michelle Wirth graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire in 2013 with a degree in journalism and web design. She worked as a web content editor for a trade association before coming to the Hastings Star Gazette in 2016.

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