A South Dakota Gift Guide 2018
Buy local this holiday season with these South Dakota-made or South Dakota-themed gifts.
If you’re searching for a little bit of South Dakota to share with your loved ones this holiday season, I’ve got you covered. I’ve assembled a list of South Dakota-made or South Dakota themed items that I would actually want — an important distinction.
Let’s start here: The folks at Downtown Sioux Falls have a pretty amazing gift card that can be used at all of your favorite places downtown like Fernson, Queen City Bakery, Coffea, Parlour Ice Cream, Bread and Circus, Sanaa’s, and The Source as well as a long list of shops.
Let’s get the self-promotion out of the way. Local Gems is my little clothing brand I started when I moved back to South Dakota to help manifest a bit of my home state pride. The shop has Dakota shirts, hats, mugs, and posters. I hope you find something you like.
Formerly Dakota Uprising. Westward Wandering is the grown up version of my shop. Their shop centers on their Black Hills roots, but is full of South Dakota pride. They even partner with a non-profit to plant trees.
If you’re looking for some local threads with an edge, you should try Wolfgang Empire. They are a Sioux Falls shop that definitely defies the wholesome midwestern clichés, in a good way. If you see the chief skull around town, you know where it came from.
Oh Geez! Design is a one woman graphic design studio located in the Black Hills of South Dakota. I became aware of her after buying one of her South Dakota hats from Unglued when it was in downtown Sioux Falls.
For the ladies, you can’t go wrong with a custom bag designed by Rebekah Scott. Purses, clutches, totes, laptop bags, backpacks, and more all designed and sewn in South Dakota. There is a seemingly infinite number of fabric styles and options that are ready-to-ship, but if you can’t find what you’re looking for, use the custom bag builder tool and make it perfect. (Full disclosure: We designed and built the website and RSD is one of our favorite clients)
My First Book of Patterns is a lovely children’s book by my pal Bobby George and his wife June. As a new dad, I will say that it’s nice when a kid’s book is both entertaining and looks good on a shelf.
Lovely Seeds is a 171 page collection of poems that covers the topics of mental health, self-love, and loving others. I don’t know the man, but the book is gorgeous and worth a spot on your coffee table.
Food & Drink
I share studio space with these guys and everyday it smells amazing. Nothing like freshly roasted coffee beans in the morning.
They say we Midwesterners have a bland palette. Prove them wrong with some local hot sauce. Kiss of Death anyone?
I mean, if you don’t like cheese and ice cream, I don’t know what to tell you.
My mom brought over some Dimock Dairy cheese curds and they changed my life. Some of them were the size of my face. Treat yourself.
Did you know that Patagonia uses Wild Idea Buffalo Co.’s 100% grass-fed meat in their Patagonia Provisions jerky? Pretty neat. And tasty.
Or should I say, “THE ORIGINAL KIMBALL POPCORN BALL!” I’ve actually never had one, but I’m including it based on the shear number of people who recommended it.
Get yourself some coffee, some coffee equipment, some coffee clothing, and other coffee-related things from one of my favorite spots in town.
These guys have become a South Dakota icon. So, wear their shirts, get a gift card, or buy a tap handle. Oh ya, and get some beer why don’t you.
Art and Decor
If you’re all in on the Modern Farmhouse design craze, then this is the shop for you. Handmade wooden wall decor that would fit right in in an HGTV living room. Made with love in Platte, SD.
It’s finally official now that the City Council has approved it. The only thing left to do is buy a flag, sticker, patch, and get a tattoo.
Aaron is a big, lovable Michigander who does not live here but comes here more often than a famous designer probably should. He made a pretty iconic South Dakota screen print that’s worth checking out.
I’ve got a couple of Laura’s paintings on my wall. If you’re looking for some abstract South Dakota-related art, check out her series of Midwestern Landscapes.
Susan’s work will be familiar to anyone from or in the prairie lands. But with all it’s color and energy, it won’t feel like a basic, stodgy landscape painting on the wall.
I’m obsessed with Dan Eisenhauer’s newest project. SorryBots are robot lamps created from found, recycled and vintage parts. Giving old junk a new life. Get one for yourself or commission one that’s all your own.
This is a Rapid City company with an impressive growth story. Don’t tell my 6-month old, but we’re getting him one of these for Christmas this year. Sure he’s young and doesn’t know what a bike is and can barely sit up on his own, but they make a rocker attachment. Babies are so ungrateful these days.
These guys are a signature part of the Downtown Sioux Falls shopping scene. Why not support them instead of Amazon. Amazon doesn’t need your money.
Bloom is an indoor play and child-development center. They are relatively new to the Sioux Falls scene but an annual membership is a cool gift to parents who probably are a little tired of plastic toys from China cluttering up their living room. Bonus, if you find yourself playing inside the Vet Clinic in their “tiny town” you’ll see a bunch of illustration work I did.
This is a project of Fresh Produce, a little ad agency in Sioux Falls. The Kiosk Thursday shop is eccentric and magical. It has all the little bits you never knew you needed. “Keep Sioux Falls Boring” pens, Marc Wagner’s Skullmore patches, magnets, buttons, keychains and more.
I remember when I lived in Minneapolis, I would make people listen to Rock Garden Tour, the world’s only Rock n’ Roll Gardening show. They didn’t get it because they weren’t from South Dakota. I told them, RGT is South Dakota’s version of Minnesota’s Prairie Home Companion. Get onboard, ya’ll. Get yourself some “Avant Gardening” gear.
My pal Abby Bischoff is a photographer. She created an amazing photo project after traveling around the state documenting the abandoned homes and structures of South Dakota. Pick up one of her calendars or talk to her about getting a print for your wall.
For you sports lovers, you’ve got to check out this shop in Downtown Sioux Falls. Artwork made out of baseballs is a great conversation starter at dinner parties.
Lastly, this is not a South Dakota company, but for awhile they had a really neat Badlands National Park patch hat as part of their National Parks series. Sad to report that it seems to have sold out. But I Googled it and they can be had elsewhere on the internet. Find it here.
What did I miss?
If you think I passed over something obvious, send me a message.
Until then, happy shopping.
~Andrew Brynjulson is a Sioux Falls-based freelance designer and art director specializing in logo, web and brand design. He often writes about art, design, marketing and business. Share your thoughts, @BrenniFresh.