I'm sitting in west river South Dakota near my home and with family enjoying time together. It's great to have a few days off from work. But even greater to spend some time with family because we do not live near each other.
As I spend this necessary time with the business of Travel Backroads; my day job has been quite demanding. My day job, if you are not aware, is helping Deuel County in SD with economic wellness, growth and thriving. It seems like a thankless job sometimes, but I learned a long time ago that pats on the back are not required and that kudos come with seeing a job finished or well done. I survive with the latter by helping entrepreneurs, housing, business awareness, business collaboration, and community betterment. I personally thrive on it and I commit fully, not haphazardly to this passion of mine. If I meet with criticism, I'm not too shook as I know I'm doing the best I can with what I have as knowledge, and grateful that I'm always learning. Someone new, one day, will be able to too their hat in the ring and work their magic.
While in the Black Hills I had the chance to stop in, at one of my all time favorite businesses, and that is the House of Scandinavia. (Anyone notice my different car? My white one met a deer one night last month.)
Carmen Graves, daughter (and her siblings), of the Watkins, have been handed down the scepter of operations since their parents' retirement. I have been going to this store since I was a little girl. Stopping more in my adult life I have come to the realization that I'm grateful and blessed to have an appreciation for my Scandinavian roots; thanks to my Grandmother Nordin and the traditions we celebrated at Christmas. However, when my grandfather married and they started their family in Rapid City, having come from Milaca, Mn and Sweden, my grandfather Bernhard Nordin said "We're in America now, we will speak English." Much of the language and extras were not passed down through the generations, much to my dismay.
I've made my final decision within my business Travel Backroads to change my pricing. Keeping it affordable was always my goal and making it easy for businesses to get in the directory was the aim.
It's a one time listing fee; then you're in, like Flynn. The membership gets you in the directory on all the pages that apply. It also gets you social media coverage on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube for videos, and Yelp. Hiring Apple for a brief period has helped me get recognition on other platforms and Siri! This next summer you find my business as part of Glacial Lakes & Prairies Tourism publication as I've paid that price for my small & local business listers. I love promoting and have a new page also for "Testimonials." I so appreciate my customers' backing my business, and saying so.
I think one of the biggest aspects of my business are the maps. I reiterate; there are so many great stores and businesses that are on the backroads or on a city street, why miss them? Why not let others know they are there. I love it!
Travelers SHOULD know these stores are near them. Wouldn't you want to know? Like Clear Lake has these amazing women's clothing stores for ALL sizes (even curvy)
--why go I-29 when you can go Hwy 15 in east central SD. Then, if you get there, keep heading north to Milbank and stop at Linda's, or Milbank Flower or Whimsy on Main.
My next quest as part of my business is to show "Specialty Products" in their own category. (Homemade donuts like at Wall Drug--do you know this particular passion?) I KNOW for certain that others have their favorites --homemade malts, caramel rolls, specialty coffees, truffles, and more. Why not showcase these places just for what they are known for?
My next focus are Murals. They are not a trend, and seem to be artistically showing up on rural South Dakota community walls. So, I'm starting a category too for those. Organizing on the directory is a challenge because I want everything found easily; and I'm a self-appointed and self-taught webmaster; videographer too. Murals tell their own story and what communities want to say. They're great and the SD Art's Council is helping many with grants for their creation.
So, call me. Let me work for you. I want to promote you. I want to promote your business, your town, your product. I will do my utmost to show you how fiercely loyal I am to you. Check out my directory, follow me on social media and get on my blog's emailing list.
If you're not a biz, then please "say it forward" to your town's businesses, Chambers of Commerce, or a friend who's a store owner. I would really appreciate your help in my quest to drive the passion to go local. We cannot sit back, it's up to us to drive traffic to the diamonds in the rough.
Simply put, I'm always working, learning and growing with new things in-store.
with Travel Backroads