The Black Hills are known for all things handmade, from art to food and everything in between.
Now 2 Rapid City women have started a small business to help share that with all of America.
They're sort of the opposite--- of big box stores and corporate America...as we find out Along the Way right here in Rapid City.
Kindred Crates is brand new, hot off the presses, they've only been in business for a few weeks, launching just before Thanksgiving, just in time to tap into the holiday shopping season.
Jessica Miller of Kindred Crates says, "We create gift boxes that we carefully curate with independent makers and small businesses and it's a way to celebrate and uplift amazing artisans and makers in our community and across the country who are really grounded in their communities."
Emma Rivers, of Kindred Crates says, "We have currently 3 different themed boxes. We have our Cheer Box which is happy, colorful, bright for any occasion. We have our Happy Camper Box which is for all the outdoorsy type people and currently we have an I heart local box which will change with the seasons. But this is our Winter Wonderland theme."
Co-owners 35 year old Jessica Miller, and 32 year old Emma Rivers have no corporate headquarters, they have no warehouse...they *are* the epitome of a small business start up. They says they've already to shipped to New York, Alaska, and Kansas City. But for their first holiday season, they even hand delivered boxes locally.
Jessica Miller of Kindred Crates says, "Basically we work in between my 2nd floor walk up apartment and that's tiny or Emma's House. And so she keeps most of the stock at her house. We pack there." "My house ends up being the planning, graphic design, meeting space."
Miller and Rivers prefer to call themselves Co-Curators rather than Co-owners.
Emma Rivers, of Kindred Crates says, "That's the best part. We get to just look at all of the artists that we are here locally and see the products they're making and then choose a theme and then we'll try to find products that fit that theme."
Miller says, "Keepsakes, things that are tangible, you can hold onto like a custom piece of ceramic pottery. And then something that's useable, usually like a candle or matches, maybe some chap sticks, or bath bombs, things of that sort. And then there's always something edible as well. "
The common ingredients are high quality, handmade products that launch a chain reaction of joy.
Jessica and Emma say, "They're primarily local. We do have some products that come from out of state but we just , we want to celebrate small businesses, independent makers and artisans and people that are doing really great work."
Jessica says: "Being able to help an independent artist when they make a sale they do a happy dance and then so you've helped them and then the person giving is feeling joy and then the person receiving."
Both women work other jobs full time. Jessica runs a creative and consulting studio and Emma works in communications and marketing support for the Rapid City Arts Council. This new business they've launched is just getting on it's feet.
Jessica Miller says, "My dream is that we're able to have a full line of every different possible occasion and so our next one's of course gonna be a Valentines. But there'd be the brides maid's, the new baby, Mother's Day, and then be able to grow from there."
They both dream of someday having a storefront...and Kindred Crates shipping boxes for many days into the future
Jessica and Emma say, "Definitely long term, Hopefully long term (The two women laugh.)"
If you're interested in learning more about these ladies new business...you can check out their pages on social media as well as their website which is simply kindredcrates.com
If you've met someone cool "Along the Way" please call or e-mail us to let us know.