The twosome has learned that they can’t always control the outcome—and that’s a good thing.READ MORE
When Kalen Kaminski (left) and Astrid Chastka met—they were introduced by a friend about four years ago—they had a “love at first sight” encounter, as Kalen puts it. One of the first things they bonded over: “We both have a huge appreciation for shacks—little shack houses,” explains Kalen. The second: a drive to create. “We both love working with our hands, and we both had a lot of down time with freelance.”
Soon enough, after unearthing an amazing vintage wrap at a thrift store, they were exploring shibori processes, mixing dyes, and figuring out how to clamp wood shapes cut with a CNC Router (a skill acquired from Astrid’s architectural training) to fabric. Their dabbling was the start of what would become their line of striking dyed textiles: Upstate. The name for the line comes from the idea of getting away. “When we were working with our hands in our studio in Brooklyn, and it was a way for us to
instantly escape from the city. I think a lot of people with creative outlets can relate to that—that it can transport you somewhere,” Kalen adds.
The demand for their handcrafted creations came fast, and they were faced with the big question: What’s next? “Everyone’s like, ‘What’s your expansion plan?’ We’re like, ‘Buy more buckets?’” Astrid says. “It’s so hard to think about what we want to make for next season when we have to process orders. We’re starting to look at dye houses so we can do more. But dyeing by hand is really fun—I find it to be really therapeutic.” —erica