One business becomes three

Courtesy photo: From left are Sheri Vaughn, Carrie Kuhl, Renee Bauman and Kirsten Gjesdal.

Hitch Studio grows, sells and expands

BROOKINGS – In 2014, Renee Bauman and Carrie Kuhl founded Hitch Studio as business partners in a design studio for wedding invitations. 

Over time, it grew to include three divisions: web and graphic design, wedding planning, and a downtown retail store full of cards and gifts.

This month, the entrepreneurs are each taking 100% ownership of their divisions and selling their retail store, Hitch Paperie and Gifts. 

Bauman will keep the name Hitch Studio. Her new business will handle wedding planning, including everything from designing invitations to coordinating and decorating on the big day. 

Kuhl will operate UpFrame Creative, a boutique design agency that aims to help small businesses and entrepreneurs succeed with branding, graphic design and website design. 

“It’s so exciting to think Carrie and I grew three businesses out of one startup in only five years,” Bauman said. “We’ve grown so much it’s time that we both focus on our own divisions – now fully-functioning independent businesses.”

Kuhl added, “It is because of the Brookings community, our friends and our families that we were able to create a thriving business together. Now we can begin our next chapter focused on our strengths. I could not be more excited for what the future has in store for us.”

The retail store is being sold to another local entrepreneur, Kirsten Gjesdal, who also owns and operates The Carrot Seed Kitchen Co. in downtown Brookings. The new store, called Honeycomb Gifts, will open in October. 

“I am so excited to continue the beautiful retail store Carrie and Renee have built in downtown Brookings,” Gjesdal said. “Honeycomb Gifts will be joyful, inviting and filled with fun pockets of discovery, including fresh floral arrangements from Hand Tied by Sheri Vaughn.”

All three businesses – Hitch Studio, UpFrame Creative, and Honeycomb Gifts – will remain in the same location at 414 Main Ave. in downtown Brookings. 

“We couldn’t think of a better person to take over and run the brick and mortar retail store,” Bauman said. “It’s in such good hands. The building we’re in is full of creative female entrepreneurs.”

“I am honored that our friend Kirsten wanted to carry on our store. I am looking forward to seeing her vision come to life,” Kuhl said.

Hitch Paperie and Gifts is open until Aug. 31 and will sell many inventory items at reduced prices before Gjesdal opens Honeycomb Gifts.

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