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We Are DSM Foundry
The spark for DSM Foundry sprang forth from a night of two buddies drinking and joking about how many awesome things could be made if we owned our own laser. When the sun came up and the booze wore off we were still pumped, which had to mean something, right? As the days and weeks wore on, we found ourselves still talking about it and then eventually the fiscally responsible part of this team decided that we should go into business together.
By business we really just meant buy a laser, make awesome shit and see if it sells at farmers markets. So imagine our surprise when people seemed to think our stuff was cool!
At this time we were working out of one of our living rooms and garage. More and more orders started coming in, we started getting more and more excited about what we could turn this into, and our wives started getting more and more annoyed at the lack of livable space in our houses. With that we decided it was time to expand and find permanent location for our laser! We rented a run down garage in the East Village, bought a few more lasers, added some 3D Printers and started trying to see how far we could take what started as an alcohol induced dream between two lifelong friends!
And Thus DSM Foundry was born!
East Village Garage (Headquarters)
About the Artist
Meet Jason Heemstra. One of the owners of DSM Foundry and the creative mind behind most of what we make! Jason grew up in the greater Des Moines area and like most kids from around here, thought it was lame and couldn’t wait to leave. He went away for college (Go Cyclones) and eventually made his way back.
Upon returning he realized how much Des Moines and Iowa in general have to offer and began to feel a little spark of state pride flaring up. He decided that he liked Des Moines so much that he wanted a gigantic street map to hang on his dining room wall. When he couldn’t find what he was looking for he figured he’d just make one. After spending countless hours designing and HAND CUTTING out every street in Des Moines, he had a huge map that he was really proud of.
Some of his friends loved the map and wanted one for themselves, but that was way too much work and Jason didn’t like them that much anyway. Eventually, like the scientists in The 6 Million Dollar Man, he realized that he could get the technology. He could rebuild the map. Make it stronger and way, way faster, and eventually market it to audiences far and wide.
Now Jason spends his days with a team of lasers and other robotic friends designing awesome shit reflective of his off-kilter sense of humor.
History of DSM Foundry
A friendship is born
Two teenagers meet each other for the first time in middle school and instantly realize they dislike each other, a lot. No really, we had little in common. However, after a year of being forced to spend time together due to being in the same extracurricular activities, we actually found similarities and became close friends.
An idea is sparked
After both friends graduated college they returned back to their roots in the Des Moines metro to pursue careers. As a few years went on countless nights of drinking with friends lead to many seemingly awesome ideas, and one finally stuck. Buy a huge laser and use it to make awesome art.
Welcome Johnny V
DSM Foundry is created and we purchase our first laser, Johnny V. Work begins out of Jason's house and garage. We churn out several maps and make our first appearance at the Beaverdale Famers Market. We sold 20 pieces of art that day. We like to think we kept the first dollar, but we're pretty sure we spent it on boba tea at the market.
The team welcomes H.E.L.P.E.R.
Our work with laser wood maps begins to really take off and we start attending the Downtown Des Moines Farmers Markets each weekend during the summer and fall months. We start looking for ways to expand DSM Foundry further and jump headfirst into 3D printing. Our first 3D print was an adorable cat that one of our children immediately broke. No worries, they are much stronger now.
In search of more space
DSM Foundry continues to grow and we realize that working out of Jason's house isn't great for a work/life balance. We find an old repair garage in the East Village that is filled with grungy charm, potential, and an awesome hydraulic lift. With this added space we added two more lasers and another 3D printer to the team (giving Johnny V a well-deserved break). Welcome Gemini II and D1VA (wink).
We'll continue to sell kickass goods and not take ourselves too seriously.
216 East Court Avenue
Des Moines, Iowa