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The Hustle

Name: Cassie Mrotek (ASTRA)

Posted By Keara McGraw

Meet Cassie Mrotek, owner/operator of ASTRA - selling hand blended self care products, sustainable items, Tarot and curated home goods through her website, and in pop-up person at the Mar, 2309 Central Avenue, St. Pete. Adds Cassie: "You can also find my products at Neat Neat Neat in St Pete, Pura Vie in Lakeland, Green Bench Brewing (just the awesome Beer and Charcoal Face mask I made with their beer!) and Lucid Vending Art vending machines throughout St. Pete."

Years in Tampa Bay

We moved here from Milwaukee in June 2019.

Hustle (job)

I am the owner and creator of ASTRA Aromatherapy.

What do you do?  

Everything I do is made by hand and with lots of love. I make smudge kits, crystal sets, aura sprays, pillow sprays, bath soaks, body polishes, hydrating mists, shave bars, etc. I then design and create the labeling, and package everything. I run the social media, the day to day, all ordering, the financial aspect of the business … you name it, I probably do it. I also curate other great products and home goods that are beautiful and sustainable.

Why do you do it?

I wanted to be able to share my own personal rituals with the world. I notice more often than not that a lot of people don’t take the much needed time for their own self care. Whether it’s a warm bath in candlelight, a crystal set to help with intention setting, a smudge kit to clear the dense energy around you and create a lighter vibration, or maybe just a night in with a puzzle, I got you!

What was your Catalyst? (How did you get started?)

My intention was to continue working as a hairdresser when we moved here, but I just wasn’t connecting with that role any more. And when Covid hit, I knew something shifted inside of me and I decided to create a brand and business for myself. I guess the pandemic was what I needed to get my butt in gear!

What’s a common misconception or unknown aspect of what you do?

I don’t have any employees, it’s just me! (But I do ask my husband to help me sometimes with setting up my tent for pop-ups! I also love collaborating with other people.)

What’s the most challenging part of your Hustle?

It has been really really tough starting a business in the middle of a pandemic. But honestly, if it wasn’t for the pandemic I’m not sure if I would have given myself the opportunity to start ASTRA. Bittersweet. I’m missing out on that much-needed exposure.

What’s the most valuable piece of business advice/insight that’s helped you?

Enjoy your failures because those are the building blocks of your successes. Basically, don’t get so hung up if things don’t go according to plan. Stay true to yourself.

Where are you located?

I have leased a space within The Mar St. Pete where I have set up a permanent pop-up. You can come shop during my business hours, make an appointment to shop, shop online, schedule a local pick up or delivery. When you arrive at The Mar you will see the sign for ASTRA and a doorbell that you will ring for me to open the door for you. This is for everyone’s safety. I love being able to make creative use of this space and am so thankful for the opportunity.

More Hustle

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