Prairie Edge in Rapid City was named Retailer of the Year at the South Dakota Retailers Association annual banquet in Pierre.
Prairie Edge art gallery and Sioux trading post has operated in in downtown Rapid City since the 1980s, providing an outlet for Native American artists and helping educate the public about Native American culture. The business offers everything from clothing, jewelry and paintings to books, herbs and crafts.
“Prairie Edge has become an integral part of the revitalization of downtown Rapid City and an important cultural touchstone,” said SDRA Executive Director Nathan Sanderson. “They focus on providing the best possible experience for their employees, customers, and the people whose works they sell.”
The leadership team at Prairie Edge has been a driving force in establishing Main Street Square in downtown Rapid City, developing transitional housing for homeless people, helping to establish the Lakota Nation Invitational Basketball Tournament, and other important community and cultural projects.
Founder Ray Hillenbrand died last year. The business is now owned by his daughter, Mimi Hillenbrand.
“Ray’s legacy and Prairie Edge’s legacy is you can’t just come in and set up and do business and that’s it,” said general manager Dan Tribby. “You have to help other people out, be a good community member, and encourage your employees to be good community members.”
The business employs 35 people, including many longtime staff members. Tribby said that longevity is a reflection of their commitment to fairness whether dealing with artists, employees, customers, or others in the community.
SDRA has presented the Retailer of the Year Award annually since 1982.