Creating the foundation for successful events through holistically managed venues.
It is always inspiring to see how folks show up in their lives. What they create with the circumstances they encounter. Jessica and Kastina have built something unique out of working in the event industry for more than a decade. But they aren’t simply unique and niche just for the sake of being different, they have done the hard work to align their passions and skills within the industry where they saw a need.
As businesses begin to overhaul, design or reconstruct their buildings in order to host events, Bigger Picture Solutions provides consultation that is critical for successful venues. “Similar to a construction contractor, we are an event contractor. We like to help build venues that facilitate a good time. It’s the foundation for good event planning.” – Jessica Barrett.
They have decades of experience and insight, creativity, and intuition. Not only around how to make an event successful, but what venues themselves need to ensure clients are happy and that their events foster memories to last a lifetime. (And only the good ones.)
Two women. Two entrepreneurs. Two leaders and powerhouses in their own right. And a business with a model to pay attention to.
Bigger Picture Solutions was created as a natural extension of work the team has been doing over the past 15 years; building and managing venues, creating events and experiences, while focusing on vendor relations and team building.
To put it in their own words, Bigger Picture is:
Jessica Barrett: Experience Maker, Vibe Creator, Coffee Drinker.
Kastina Morrison: Event Planner, Logistic Lover, Sauce Enthusiast.
These two friends who work together, live together, and hang out together, decided to launch their new business last year…just as the pandemic began taking over our lives and many businesses with it. Entrepreneurs were faced with being creative and shifting how things are done, or closing their doors. For Jessica and Kastina, they used the opportunity to reflect, reconnect to themselves, each other and their passion, and mindfully design who they would be when the world opened back up and Bigger Picture Solutions could thrive. Taking time to get right, focusing on healing and business practices founded on integrity and equity has far reaching ripples that are very evident when you meet and work with them.
During our time together, it was clear how natural creating magic is for them as they are intrinsically magnetic together. You will rarely see them sit still. They are in constant motion and even when they are physically standing in one place, their minds and plans and conversations move through exciting and invigorating projects and visions. Their work is tangible, almost alive, because they are so full of life. They take empty space and an empty block of time, and fill it with something previously unimaginable.
While these two give their all to their passion, their purpose is reflected in the integrity they display in all they do. Working with them you soon discover that all their unique ideas and creativity are possible because they have hard lines of who they will create with. There is no room for discrimination, they practice inclusion and representation in the ways they work, live and lead. As curators of space, these two are deeply intentional about the safe spaces they create within their business and nurturing their clients to live with a similar commitment.
It’s a beautiful gift to find a kindred spirit in a world that often seems too busy to slow down and forge deep meaningful connections. Kastina and Jessica have not only managed to find one another, but go all in nurturing their friendship and business partnership. It was captivating hanging out with them in the partially renovated event space at Station 10. While the space is currently empty, I watched them paint pictures with their words as they spoke their dreams and visions into life. Their dynamic is genuine and fluid. Puzzle pieces that complement one another. And it’s not even about fitting strengths and weaknesses together, it’s about complementing energy.
They were generously vulnerable with us as they shared what it was like to launch a business during a global pandemic. While Jessica had experienced seasonal depression before (it is more common than you think), she spoke of how last summer she met emotional struggles like she had never known.
The two women had just decided to go into business together. Jessica left her job at the Machine Shop to devote full time energy to this new venture, and then everything closed down.
She stated, “Did I really just give up my full time paid gig in the middle of a pandemic where no one needs my services? Cool.” There was no time to prepare for this big financial hit, coupled with facing a deep depression that stemmed from the state of the world, a life of flux with so many unknowns, and isolation.
Kastina on the other hand had one full year of working by herself and for herself as an event planner before the pandemic hit. Her goal was to pay her bills and she made it. She had one year to get used to how to pay herself and the fear that comes with stepping off that ledge without a safety net. She was a steady tether for Jessica in a dark time, and together they never gave up. They faced the fears, the mental struggles, embraced the unknown, got creative, and held onto their dream with an iron grip.
And one year in, they are thriving.
Bigger Pictures Solutions isn’t housed in one location as they represent many properties, and you can find them managing and designing a long awaited new location at an old fire station in St. Paul.
Station 10 was built in 1885 making it the oldest Fire Station in St. Paul. It’s history includes a horse hospital and housing Engine 10, Medic 10, and Ladder 10 for many years. What really makes this station a historical marker is it was one of the first stations to be integrated. Construction was delayed on the renovation to ensure its historical standing. You can learn more of the station’s history by checking out this website and youtube video, or the journey in converting the building here. Now, Station 10 is home to a brand new restaurant, microbrewery, taproom and event center designed and owned by developer Travis Temke.
When the women met up with Travis and his wife through friends, they all knew immediately that they belonged together. They had found their people. Both thrive on creating spaces where people experience joy, connection, and love.
Station 10 is going to be such a vibrant life source for this little pocket in St. Paul. Please make it a bucket list item this summer!
As lovers of mindful and enchanting spaces, our time with Jessica and Kastina was so fulfilling. Thank you both so much for your time and innovation to bring your passion to the world allowing us all the opportunity to get a glimpse of how the magic sauce becomes tangible reality!
Want to check out Bigger Picture Solutions’ most recent project? Check out Station 10 gatherings.
Also Kastina runs her own event company “Kastina & Co.”! If you are in need of an event planner or consultant, please check out her website and services!