People of the Tribes: Meet Kaisa

In association with McGettigans

I’m Kaisa Holsting, a fearless 32-year-old blue haired multipotentialite who dabbles in a variety of different creative fields such as graphic design, jewellery design, rock’n’rollin’ on stage, modelling on catwalks and magazine spreads and painting and playing with yarn when there’s still some free time left. I actually don't even like that question, because it's almost impossible for me to sum myself up in just a few words.

The one thing that you’ll realise pretty quickly about me is that I'm not your typical Estonian, I don’t do things half-heartedly and at the same time that I do a lot of things. From music to creative arts (painting, design, crafting ), behind the imagery to the front of the camera, that’s how it’s been for me. I usually spread my roots and branches wide and solid into the ground and try things out. And the same could be said about my stay so far in Galway.

I’m originally from Estonia, Tartu - which is the 2nd largest city in Estonia, mostly known for its slow-paced rhythm and world-renown university. We like to call ourselves Scandinavian and most Estonians have a University degree and speak at least 3 different languages. Estonia is mostly known for its high level of IT and start-up companies and is sometimes called the Silicon Valley of the Baltics. My hometown Tartu is actually pretty similar to Galway! We even have the same statue that you Galwegians have here on Shop street (the one of 2 Wilde’s ).

I’ve been living in Ireland for a year now. My cousin moved here about 11 years ago and after finally graduating and finishing my graphic designer degree back in Estonia I found myself at a crossroads, not really knowing where to go next. Having been to Ireland visiting before I'd been fascinated by its culture and friendly people. Therefore the move to Ireland felt like a step in the right direction to give me a fresh new start at something new and exciting. And boy have I had new and exciting opportunities here!

Something interesting about yourself?

I play a couple of different roles in my life. Some of my friends know me as this colorful and artsy creative girl that does graphic design and pixel-jewellery under the brand umbrella of Sylph Designs. Other’s know me as an international book author as well as a lead vocalist at kickass rock’n’roll band called The White High. My old colleagues at Skype and Microsoft and Estonian start-up knew me as the training specialist, innovation events coordinator, a marketer, blogger and women in engineering enthusiast.

I love wearing different hats when it comes to making my life interesting. But most of all, people know me as the blue-haired graphic designer girl that fearlessly promotes the label “Be Yourself” and doesn’t settle for boring things in life. Which in most cases results in me spicing up my life with new adventures, such as moving to a totally different country over-night.

Galway has proven to me to be the ideal space for a creative, artsy and music-loving person. Locals are chilled out, friendly towards the many different nationalities that roam their streets and with its multi-cultural environment, its just makes the perfect place to hang out in - both professionally as well as personally. I also love the fact that it’s so close to the water.

It’s also a great space for young entrepreneurs to start off their business in comparison with Estonia. Being an older country, Ireland hasn’t seen that big and fast progress going on as my tiny little country has. What’s been developed already in Estonia is still in baby steps phase over here, which means that there’s a lot of room for bright-minded young people that have start-up ideas in their head and wish to change their surroundings. At the same time we share similar kind of surroundings, nature is great, air is fresh and the weather isn’t as rainy as I thought it would be.

During my stay here I’ve made quite a few new friends and local business connections. Found ways how to expand my business (both as freelance graphic designer as well as selling jewellery and art ), taken part in local initiatives and even put on my first jewellery fashion show in collaboration with Galway Designers Network, organised my first art exhibition at Galway Designers Studio House, given loads of branding workshops and begun a small-scale modelling career With Rós Model Management. I’d say, the sky’s the limit and the opportunities are endless!

Now it’s arguable whether Galway as the city or Ireland as the country was the spark that lit the fuse in all of these new adventures, but I’d say if the infrastructure is there, it’s all up to me to make it happen and I’m amazed at how well my bold move to Ireland has paid off in the end. At this point in my life, I wouldn’t see myself anywhere else other than roaming the streets of Galway sprinkling my blue fairy dust around!

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