Dakota inspired

Sweetgrass Rose Reynolds, a member of the Sisseton Wahpeton tribe, showcases one of her custom designed ribbon skirts between dropping off orders in Flandreau this past weekend. Reynolds, who lives in the Brookings area with her family, delivers custom orders nearly every week to clients locally as well as ships nationwide, especially this time of year, as the pow wow season is well underway.

One of the best problems a small business owner might ever have, is keeping up with a growing demand for their business.
Sweetgrass Rose Reynolds, a custom local designer seamstress, understands the challenges all too well. The orders coming in, this time of year especially, are swift as more people learn of her work and hope for one of her beautiful Dakota designs.
“I started enjoying sewing when I took a class in high school,” Sweetgrass (yes, that is her real name) told the Moody County Enterprise. “It started with sewing simple items like pillows and quilts. I didn’t sew for some time after high school and then started back up again when my daughter found an interest in dancing at the local FSST pow wow. Then all my other nieces and nephews wanted to dance too. I loved seeing them all together enjoying themselves dancing…I grew up attending pow wows throughout South Dakota and have so many special memories from them.”
Pow wow season is her busiest — as Sweetgrass creates beautiful and colorful ribbon skirts, ribbon dresses, ribbon shirts, crossbody purses, tote bags, jingle dresses, fancy shawl outfits, traditional dresses and outfits, grass dance outfits, hand drum bags, and regalia accessories for those taking part in ceremonies throughout the region. When the 39-year-old wife and mother of two needs an extra hand, her own mother and sister are there to help.
Sweetgrass was in Flandreau Sunday night doing deliveries in and around her hometown.
“I visit Flandreau weekly because of my family and friends that still live there. Plus, I deliver to my customers that order my sewing items. My parents, sister, brothers, nephews, and niece live in Flandreau, along with aunts, uncles, cousins, and friends. My parents are Kevin and Rose Pederson, and I enjoy visiting my grandmother Helena Thompson.”
Sweetgrass graduated from Flandreau High School in 2001, her husband, Jesse Reynolds graduated as a Flier as well in 1997. After living for a short time in St. Cloud, the couple decided they wanted to be closer to family as they started having their own children. They now live in Brookings with their two teenagers, Dylan, 14 and Paige, 13. When she’s not with her husband and children or at her sewing machine, Sweetgrass serves as the Business Office Manager for a national health care company based out of Sioux Falls.
This coming Friday, Sweetgrass will have a booth at Flandreau Fridays, a day designed specifically to celebrate the diversity and different cultures that call Flandreau home. There will be food vendors, retail vendors, a stage where different dance and music groups will showcase their talent, and more. Hundreds attended the inaugural event last year. Sweetgrass expects as many will attend this year, if not more. While this will be her first ever in-person showcase, she’s excited to be there, share her work, and hopefully — take more orders.
“I love how my items make people feel. I see the smile on their faces and I hope I can help grow that passion in them to express their culture and be proud of who they are, especially the children,” she said.
Along with all of the local orders for her work, Sweetgrass has also sold to buyers across the U.S. and Canada. She hopes in the coming months to only further grow her business.