LEFT: Delise Simmons is the owner of Red Dirt & Pearls Boutique that opened this past July. She operated the boutique out of her home basement for two years before moving the business into the south side of the Sandstar building. (Photo by Marcus Heerdt/Fall River County Herald-Star)TOP RIGHT: Becky Wendland and Brenda Gamache are partners in the business known as Old Bank Maker’s Market located adjacent to the Red Rock River Resort. BOTTOM RIGHT: Carl Hall, owner of Second Chances is in the process of moving his business into the Fargo Mercantile building on North River.
By Marcus Heerdt
HOT SPRINGS – There are many new storefronts in Hot Springs as of late, and some of these new shopping options have an official business front for the first time. This article features three businesses that began at home, but now have storefronts in downtown Hot Springs.
Red Dirt & Pearls Boutique
In July 2022, Delise Simmons moved her boutique out of her home basement and into the south side of the Sandstar building at 108 N Chicago Street in Hot Springs (previously home to Cabin Fever).
“Before I moved downtown, clients would come to my basement to shop,” said Simmons, who operated the boutique in her basement for two years. “My clients have appreciated the accessibility of my new location and store hours and we now have more options for giftware.”
The boutique has a wide-assortment of clothing, jewelry, accessories, and purses for sale. This also includes candles, wax melts, goat’s milk bath essentials, bee products, and other self-care items.
“My customers have fallen in love with the idea that they can always find something new,” Simmons said. “We have specialized items like devotionals, wine accessories, a collection of teas, and gourmet foods.”
When asked about the name of the business, Simmons explained the idea originated when her boyfriend gifted her a pearl necklace and said, “You do not own a set of pearls. You can dress them up or you can dress them down.” This related to her in how she loves to help her customers create their own style. She took this idea and paired it with the red dirt found in the Hot Springs area. Together, she created the Red Dirt & Pearls Boutique.
The motto “Branding your style with a little dirt on your boots” emphasizes that the boutique is there to help customers feel their best.
Red Dirt & Pearls Boutique is open from 10:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday and Saturdays from 10:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Closed Sundays.
Follow the boutique on Facebook @reddirtandpearlsboutique or Instagram @reddirtpearls.
Old Bank Maker’s Market
Old Bank Maker’s Market is located on the south side of the historic Minnekahta Block next to the Red Rock River Resort at 603 N River Street in downtown Hot Springs.
Located in a space that was once used as a bank, the market features artsy creations and curations in a wide-variety of mediums by more than 35 different local vendors. Each creator/curator has their own designated space to sell their products.
“It’s been a huge blessing for us all,” said Becky Wendland, owner and co-founder of the store. “This is a joy, not a job. It all came together beautifully.”
Wendland and fellow artist Brenda Gamache seriously considered the idea of opening Maker’s Market last summer. After meeting and coming to an agreement with the building’s owners, Joe and Julie Pekron, the art duo officially opened the storefront in November 2022.
“These types of shops are helping people in the area make income,” said Gamache. “It’s difficult and too expensive for an individual person to start a new business, but through the collaboration of this group, it worked out perfectly.”
Each creator is expected to work at the market at least two times per month to help offset costs.
“We all have the same dream,” Wendland said. “To be able to sell our products without having to run an individual business. It’s great that Hot Springs has an additional creative outlet for local artists and we can’t wait for the summer tourism season. Our space is filling up with vendors and we now have locally fresh-baked goods for sale as well.”
Wendland said that she comes from “a long line of artists.” Growing up on a ranch outside of Crawford, Neb., she remembers being influenced by her grandmother, who was a watercolor and acrylic canvas artist.
“I attribute my messiness and creativeness to her,” Wendland joked.
Gamache also said that it has been “a long life of art” and that “art is in her blood.” In January she had an “Emerging Artist” watercolor and ink show at the Dahl Arts Center in Rapid City.
“I hope that the Maker’s Market increases the exposure of our local artists,” Gamache said. “We have a lot of creative people here.”
The market’s current hours are Mondays, Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sundays from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Closed Tuesdays and Wednesdays. For more information call (605) 745-2122.
Second Chances Recycled, Restored, Repurposed
Carl Hall is currently in the process of remodeling the bottom floor of the Fargo Mercantile building (previously home to the Noah Foundation) at 321 N River Street in Hot Springs before the re-opening of his Second Chances storefront.
Hall said that he has always loved the historic Fargo building, and it is a place where he can “spawl out” more after previously selling his work in a smaller space at 108 S Chicago Street.
Second Chances sells antique and vintage furniture, repurposed items, collectibles, home décor, artwork, and more, with many of the items restored by Hall himself in his work space in his home garage.
The handyman and retired Navy veteran said that he has always loved to work with his hands and the idea for his business began in 2020.
“My father was a collector and after his passing in 2020, I went through his stuff in the house and the garage, pulled a couple interesting things aside, restored a few items, and then it turned into this,” Hall said.
After selling out all of his repurposed items at a vendor event, Hall thought it was time to work in the business full time, and opened his first storefront in March 2022.
Hall said that he loves to go out and search for items to repurpose, and has found used treasures in church basements, dumpsters, estate sales and auctions, storage units, and antique and thrift stores. He also has had clients personally call him with items of their own to restore.
With a planned opening at the Fargo building in mid-March, Second Chances will have a wide-assortment of items for sale which includes but is not limited to all different types of furniture, metalwork, lamps, ammunition crates, records, books, and glassware.
Hall is looking forward to the opening and encourages everyone to “stop in and take a look around.”
Second Chances can be found on Facebook by searching 2nd Chances Recycle, Restore, Repurpose.