Local Gems Clothing is a passion project for designer and South Dakota native, Andrew Brynjulson.
The Long Version
I was born in South Dakota.
I grew up in South Dakota, went to school in South Dakota, graduated college and met my wife in South Dakota.
I frequently told people I could see myself staying in South Dakota forever.
Then I left.
I went to Minneapolis, MN and loved it. The people, the food, the music, the lakes, the creativity. My eyes were opened.
So when my wife and I moved back to Sioux Falls, SD five years later, it was understandably a culture shock. We missed our friends, our parks, our shops, our breweries and restaurants. And each time I compared Minneapolis and Sioux Falls, my home town seemed to come up short. It bummed me out.
But then I looked closer.
I realized that my home town had changed. It had grown up and started accumulating the kind of cultural assets I'd become accustomed to in "the big city." I started calling them our "local gems." For me, Local Gems were those banner carriers for the city that could stand up to any comparison. They were restaurants, shops, venues, events and people. The things I would brag about to my friends in Minneapolis if they came to visit. They were already here. I was just late to notice.
So, this is my way of noticing. The Local Gems brand is my way of leaning in and participating in the civic pride. It's an admission that I was ignorant and a vow to join the party. I hope everyone will continue to celebrate with me.