‘Ride the wave or drown in it’ at Water Wave TV

What started out as an idea in college has transformed into a local arts phenomenon.


Image by Emily Pofahl

Co-owner Kelvin Kuria pets Suki, the store pup, at Water Wave TV on Friday, April 2. In addition to the vintage shop that opened last November, Water Wave TV also has a podcast and recording studio.

Three friends created a local phenomenon that’s a one-stop shop for vintage clothing, shoes, music, podcasts and events.

Water Wave TV is a vintage clothing and shoe store where customers can buy, sell and trade their clothes and shoes. There’s also an on-site recording studio, home to Water Wave’s weekly “Freestyle Fridays,” a chance for people to come into the booth to record unscripted freestyles.

Kelvin Kuria, Eric Geisthardt Jr. and Elliott Kerby are the creators of Water Wave TV. They’ve been friends for four years since they met at the University of Wisconsin-River Falls.

Co-owner Eric Geisthardt Jr. organizes racks at Water Wave TV on Friday, April 2. In addition to the vintage shop that opened last November, Water Wave TV also has a podcast and recording studio. (Emily Pofahl)

The owners take pride in the work they’ve put in to create a multifaceted store that focuses on all forms of entertainment.

“Water Wave TV is the number one source for Minnesota music, culture and we’re here to help expand Minnesota’s culture while we give back to the community,” Geisthardt Jr. said. Kuria said they’re the “number one platform for creativity, talent and entertainment.”

Water Wave TV has been in business at their Southeast Como location for six months now. Opening the store had been their collective dream since college. Originally, they wanted an office space for their studio and podcast, but when they were able to find a space where they could open a storefront, Kerby said it was “divine intervention.”

“Back in the day, we used to interview musicians at our place, and our roommates would have no idea what we were doing or what Water Wave was. But we’ve always thought long-term in our goals to advance the brand,” Kuria said.

The trio opened the store because they wanted to bring a friendly and welcoming culture to the people who live in Como and the surrounding Twin Cities area. This brand’s identity is rooted in their ideas to create their own wave and way of doing things — hence the name.

Similar to Mr. Miyagi’s “wax on, wax off” teaching method, there is a method to the madness of the Water Wave TV creators, said Geisthardt Jr. “Water is the new wave and you gotta ride the wave or drown in it,” he said.

Water Wave TV gets its name from Geisthardt Jr. and his friends trying to promote a healthy lifestyle through eating properly and drinking water.

“It was really random. When I was a senior in high school, me and my friends wanted to get in good shape for the summer and we started saying, ‘Water is the new wave,’ which is the origin,” Geisthardt Jr. said. “But, the name officially came together when I was in a business law class, and I’d doodle in class because it was boring. Afterward, I wound up going to the computer lab to create the Water Wave logo and the shit looked and sounded cool.”

When Water Wave TV became an official storefront, profit took a backseat to getting their name out there, hosting events and doing videography for free for artists of all kinds.

Before having a storefront, the creators made it their business to give back to the community before they “made it” and organized the Summer Szn Concert in Mankato. This concert, which they hosted in 2019, showcased local musicians, and all proceeds were donated to the Boys & Girls Club of Mankato.

“We would post Minnesota rappers on social media and people would view us as the hub for local talent,” Kerby said. “Afterward, we started hosting local events that showcased Minnesota’s local talent and we took it from there.”

The guys at Water Wave TV emphasized the importance of helping local creators grow because in return it’ll help them grow their business, said Kerby.

“Drink more water and you know the waves … that’s our saying.”