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Nick Carstens nominated his wife Katie for a makeover on Twin Cities Live and she was selected. This photo is before the makeover. To see what she looked like after her surprise makeover, go to and click on the show archive. The show aired on KSTP on Dec. 19. (Submitted photo)

Hammond woman gets TV show makeover

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Hammond woman gets TV show makeover
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When you go shopping at a mall during the holiday season, expecting hectic crowds is one thing. Most people don’t expect to be ambushed by a TV crew and given a holiday makeover.


Katie Carstens had no idea what was up her husband Nick’s sleeve when they set out to go Christmas shopping that ordinary Tuesday, Dec. 10.

“I was under the impression we were going Christmas shopping at the mall,” Katie said. “We took the kids to daycare and away we went.”

Katie said she has been a fan of Twin Cities Live on KSTP ever since she started watching it on maternity leave. She likes to see what the host Elizabeth Ray is wearing, when she can sneak time to watch it.

When they got to Ridgedale Mall that day, she saw the crew and told Nick it would be fun to go find them and watch them surprise someone with a makeover.

“We were standing in the middle of the mall and he was asking all these weird questions,” Katie said. “I figured he was wired from being in the car for two hours. Suddenly Kelly Hanson grabbed me. I was ambushed.”

Hanson is one of the producers of TCL. Katie’s husband just stood there smiling, she said.

“My first reaction was ‘oh shut up!’” Katie said. “But then I realized the camera was on.”

Nick had nominated his wife for a holiday makeover by writing a letter to the show. The reasons he listed for his wife deserving a makeover were she allowed them to name their first son Karsten Carstens and she was OK with their 1970s themed wedding.

“I guess he had the initial thought for both things,” Katie said. “For our wedding we wanted something different than the traditional. We wanted it to be stress-free and fun. So often people get lost in the details.”

Their wedding party and guests all wore retro attire, Katie said. She was the only one dressed in modern clothing.

“We still have people say it was the most fun, best wedding they’ve ever been to,” Katie said.

As for the name Karsten Carstens, she said she was not for it when she first heard it.

“When we met we both knew we wanted a bigger family,” Katie said. “I jokingly tell people he paid me a large sum of money to use that name.”

The name Karsten is a family name found on their family tree, Katie said. When their son was born, she gave in to the idea.

“The name just fit,” Katie said of their now 2-year-old son. They have another son, Eddie, who is 8 months old.

Ray, Hanson and other TCL crew members took Katie shopping at Cache for a holiday outfit. She picked out a long-sleeved gray dress with beading and ruching, with earrings and stilettos to match.

Katie said the experience was like hanging out with a group of girlfriends.

Then she was taken to an Aveda salon, where they cut and colored her hair. She also received scalp and hand massages.
“This was nothing I would ever do,” Katie said. “I just sat back and took in every moment of it.”

The episode aired on Thursday, Dec. 19. Katie, who works at Baldwin Area Medical Center and lives in Hammond, watched it with her coworkers.

“I still get very teary-eyed when I think about it. I’m very loved,” Katie said.

She said it was kind of a shock to see herself on TV She thinks the crew did a “fabulous job of putting our story together. You’re not sure what’s happening when they’re filming all those clips.” Katie said.

Nick said he got the idea for nominating his wife because she mentioned entering the ‘win a makeover’ contest herself the Thursday before the ambush.

“She said she should enter the contest, but then changed her mind because she thought someone deserved it more than her,” Nick said. “She is always putting everyone else’s needs first. She never makes herself a priority. She shops at the thrift store and the dress she picked on the show was even a clearance dress. She never complains. It’s time she was taken care of herself instead of taking care of everyone else.”

To see Katie’s makeover show, go to and click on the show archive.

Sarah Young
Sarah Young was appointed the editor of the Pierce County Herald in February 2015. She joined RiverTown Multimedia in October 2013 as a news reporter for the New Richmond News, where she covered community events, spot news and education in Hammond, Roberts, Somerset and St. Croix County Circuit Court. Previously she free-lanced for the River Falls Journal, Hudson Star-Observer, RiverTown special publications and the Superior Catholic Herald. She graduated from the University of Wisconsin-River Falls with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Spanish and French in 2001. She completed a minor in journalism in 2004. She lives in Prescott with her 2-year-old daughter Carolina.  
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