Sioux Falls Made is one of my proudest achievements in media.
About two years ago, I created this new brand as part of the Sioux Falls Business Journal as a way to tell the stories of all those locally who make things.
It’s introduced us, and our readers, to incredibly talented artists, chefs, musicians, designers, crafters, coders, growers and other entrepreneurs who are helping define the maker movement in our community.
But we wanted Sioux Falls Made to be more than stories. We wanted it to be an experience.
So in December 2014 we held our first Sioux Falls Made Market in a converted garage at the Argus Leader. More than 1,000 people came that day to shop locally made items, including some from makers who had never sold their work in a public setting.
A year later, our event tripled and we moved to the parking garage at Cherapa Place, where we will return this Dec. 2.
Recently, Sioux Falls Made held its first pop-up miniature event for one of our sponsors, The Co-op Natural Foods, as part of the store’s first annual block party. We called it “Meet the Makers” and invited some of our best-selling makers to sell some of their work.
We had a great time meeting a crowd of Co-op members, and our makers had a successful day of selling.
Sioux Falls Made has won national awards for innovation from the Argus Leader’s parent company USA Today Network and has drawn sponsorship support from several area businesses, and I’m grateful for all of that acknowledgement.
But the most rewarding part, by far, has been to watch the makers we have featured grow into small business people moving their products to market at an increasingly large scale. Proving local media can help serve as an incubator for entrepreneurship is a powerful achievement. For our readers, this blends interesting content with a memorable experience.
It’s the direction I think media must head to remain locally relevant. And there’s nothing but upside to it.