John Kelly founds NorthStar Orthodontics. It may be hard to believe, but the lab was first a one-man operation in a converted railroad car far from town, with little in the way of utilities. Water had to be carried to the lab from the house!

First Fall


That first Fall, with orders multiplying and a long Minnesota winter approaching, NorthStar sought a larger, more serviceable location. In order to devote cash flow to the business, John and his new wife lived in the basement of a small, old building that was purchased for $7,000 to contain NorthStar. The area where models were poured for retainers during the day doubled as a kitchen and laundry room at night!

Business is Booming!


The word is out and NorthStar continues to grow. Featured in the Park Rapids Enterprise Newspaper and touted as one of the most successful businesses in Northern Minnesota!

Crown & Bridge Department


NorthStar opens the Crown & Bridge Department, expanding their product offerings and services for Dental Practices across the country.

New Location


NorthStar moves to our current location in the Industrial Park of Park Rapids, MN!

Large Addition


A large addition onto our facility doubles the size of our lab, which now hosts our Acrylic, Metals, Wire Bending, Reception, and Digitals Department.

Crown & Bridge Closed


NorthStar closes the Crown & Bridge department to devote focus to Orthodontic Appliances.

Family Business


Conrad Kelly, son of John & Cindy, joins the family full-time at Northstar as Vice President bringing his wealth of knowledge in IT and Innovation to help NorthStar continue to grow and develop with industry trends and technology.


Oct 27th, 2008

NorthStar’s Founder John Kelly passes away. Our staff continues to honor his legacy in their daily work and celebrate his memory every year with “Wear Your Neck-Tie to Work Day”. John had a large collection of neckties and always arrived to work dressed in his best! He could often be found overseeing technicians in the lab, teaching techniques, managing quality, and lifting spirits!

Going Digital

May, 2009

NorthStar goes Digital! Our Digital Department was opened and our first 3 Shape Digital Printer installed, launching what now hosts the majority of our prescription intake!

MWBO Hall of Fame!


Cindy Kelly is inducted into the Minnesota Women Business Owners Hall of Fame! Recognized for her hard work over the years in the founding and growth of NorthStar, her dedication and service to her community, Cindy is a wonderful example of strong female leadership.

Formlabs 3D Printer

Dec, 2018

Digital trends in the Dental Field continue to grow and NorthStar upgrades to a FormCell 3D Digital Printer. This new technology allows NorthStar to create appliances faster than ever before without compromising quality.

New Reins

Jan 1st, 2020

Conrad and wife, Amanda Kelly take the reins of NorthStar Orthodontics. Continuing the track-record of personalized customer service, incredible growth, and dedication to quality while serving practitioners coast to coast.