In the past, Rapid City hasn't had the best reputation with treating the diverse population with fairness and equality. Three Affiliated Tribes artist, dancer and now business owner, Lauren GoodDay Giago, along with her sister and mother, prove that it's possible to operate a fully Native owned and staffed business in the heart of the historic city.
Sage & Silver Americana is a modern western wear boutique located in downtown Rapid City, where most of the storefronts are largely owned by non-natives. Inside, you can find anything from boots, apparel and beautiful beadwork and quillwork to turquoise and silver jewelry. Sage & Silver also boasts a wide range of contemporary Native American artwork by Giago herself, as well as other Native and Non-native artists.
Giago opened the doors of Sage & Silver in October of 2014, after going through Kimberly Tilsen-Brave Heart, a business consultant at Painted Skye Management, who helped her develop a business plan.
A Grand Opening was held on May 8-9th, 2015, which consisted of city officials and media being present for a ribbon cutting and celebration. There were sales, live entertainment, refreshments and giveaways, which many attendees took advantage of. Several customers, both Native and Non-Native, noticed my camera and asked what I was doing, expressing how beautiful the event and boutique are and how happy they are to see Natives succeeding.
Ojibwe Flutist, Darren Thompson, was the first entertainer of the weekend, setting an ambience to the event with beautiful and comforting sounds. Cat Clifford, local musician, was also present to grace customers with his country-rock melodies.
Giago graduated from the Institute of American Indian Arts in Sante Fe, NM in 2013 with a degree in Indigenous Liberal Studies and has her pieces in collections and museums around the world. You can find more of her artwork on her website, LaurenGoodDayGiago.com, or stop on by Sage & Silver at 629 Main St. to see for yourself all of the beautiful things they have to offer.
All photos taken by Tara Rose Weston, Oglala Lakota, visual artist and blogger from the Pine Ridge Reservation. Keep up with her on Instagram @tararoseco.
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