Lofty Lou

a mother and daughter artist duo from iowa

in the beginning...


Lisa Rasmussen began her business Lofty Designs when she was freshly out of college with a Bachelor's Degree in Art and Design. Her primary goal at that time was to focus on calligraphy, matting, and framing. After Sarah began her jewelry journey, Lisa changed some of her focus from these prior mediums to a new exploration in jewelry and mixed media design. Lofty Designs discontinued matting and framing in 2013 and since then has traveled to shows exhibiting her unique jewelry designs with Sarah.


Sarah Rasmussen began her jewelry business when she was only 9 years old. She discovered her interest in this art form while learning the skill in order to take it as a 4-H project. She began creating beaded creations for all of her friends and family members, finally realizing that she could make a profit off of her artwork. Sarah has evolved her side of the business into beaded creations, as well as photography and mixed media artwork. 


Lofty Lou was born...


After attending an entrepreneurship seminar in 2017, Sarah called up her mom Lisa and suggested the idea of fusing Love, Lou Lou and Lofty Designs into one business. Sarah and Lisa had been traveling together to art shows in the Midwest (and even Florida) selling their creations to a wide range of audiences since 2004, all the while maintaining the two separate business names. As the mother/daughter duo already operated together quite well, it would be quite simple to function under the same business name. The first business name that popped into Sarah’s head was “Lofty Lou”, and the women chose to run with the idea. It seemed a nice blend of the two original business names. Working together as mother and daughter is something that neither Lisa nor Sarah take for granted, as their special artistic bond is something that not many are able to experience.


A funny side note: as Lisa and Sarah were designing the new logo, they sat down separately with sketchpad and pens, drawing out logo designs for review. When they met to share their sketches and ideas, the logo they chose (pictured here) was a drawing that BOTH had in their sketches, without even knowing or communicating the idea to the other. The logo incorporates the barn and the heart from each of their previous logo designs. This is what happens when two women think as a team.

Lofty Lisa
Lisa Rasmussen, a 1984 art graduate from Iowa State University, formed Custom Calligraphy shortly after her college graduation. Her calligraphy/matting & framing business transitioned to “Lofty Designs” in 1999 with the renovation of a corn crib to barn studio dream-come-true. Lisa retired the matting/framing side of her business in 2011 to concentrate on creating art and working with daughter Sarah in her jewelry business. Lisa’s passion remains with “letters” and “words” and “messages”, something quite evident in her original calligraphy/mixed media cards and her stamped metal jewelry. She also enjoys creating one-of-a-kind jewelry with natural stones and vintage keys. Lisa’s favorite things are to create in her barn studio, to go camping with her husband, to cuddle her grandchildren, and to show/sell art at shows with Sarah.

Sarah Lou

Sarah has always been a creative soul. As soon as she would get home from school, she would run into her mom's Art Barn and start creating on the nearest scraps. Sarah decided to come to Iowa State University for college and after changing her major 5 times, she decided she wanted to pursue a career as an Art Therapist. Her degree is in Psychology with a minor in Design Studies and will go to graduate school for her Master's in Art Therapy in the next two years. When Sarah isn't creating artwork, she enjoys listening to music, watching Netflix or Hulu, cooking, running, and laughing her brains out around her friends over a drink. Sarah likes to say she has a billion dream jobs, so if she wasn't an artist, she would love to have a career as a dolphin trainer or a stand-up comedian.