Thank you doesn’t seem like enough. It’s been three years since Carrie Kuhl and Renee Halgerson opened Hitch Studio and we couldn’t be more grateful to everyone who has helped us along the way! Carrie and Renee first met on a volunteer design board after college and eventually (after full-time jobs and Renee moving back to Brookings) had a meeting on June 26, 2013 with the idea of merging their already thriving freelance businesses. We went to a stationery business workshop in Dallas in October of that year and knew from that day on that we were in with our whole hearts. Let’s do this. Hitch Studio opened a store-front spot on Main Ave. of Brookings, SD on February 6, 2014. Just three years and two expansions later, Hitch Studio outgrew their original space and knew they needed an upgrade. On February 6, 2017, we celebrated our three-year anniversary with a grand re-opening and ribbon cutting of our newly renovated space on 414 Main Ave. (just down the street from our previous space).
Let’s get back to the original space for a minute…it’s a business model we admire and hope to replicate someday. Our landlord started a “mall” of offices as an “incubator space” for small businesses to grow. He offered a month-to-month lease, affordable rent costs for a window space in downtown Brookings, and included utilities in the price. He was very involved and took great care of his building. We truly have Harry Jones to thank for allowing us to take a small step into leasing a space with him. We couldn’t have done it without his affordable and encouraging space for rent! About a year after we signed our lease, we expanded into another adjoining office space. Another affordable step up for us. Harry is only one of the hundreds of people who helped get us started.
We also have our original employees to thank! What started as overwhelming hours of endless efforts, started to become more manageable when we hired our first employees. Of course, we couldn’t pay much, but they didn’t care. They were part of a bigger dream — and they were learning business how-to’s as they were happening.
Wow — mom, dad, Jon, Aunt Vickie, my brother and sister-in-law, all my friends who cheered me on — thank you doesn’t begin to show my love for you! We’ve had nearly 10 employees since our opening and we are so grateful to each of them for allowing us to grow yet again.
Here is the “thank you” that Carrie shared after our grand opening night:
“My heart is full! Thank you to every single person who chose to shop local and support a growing business. It’s because of you that we were able to take the next step on our journey.
Thank you to friends and family who helped us move, surprised me at our open house (made me cry) and sent well wishes for this big day! I love you dearly! Thanks to my mom and dad (Sheila Smith) for all your love and support and for always being willing to jump in and help in any way we need. Thanks to my sister Shannon Palmlund for all your love and support and for listening to crazy phone calls and for keeping me calm.
Thank you to our Hitch Family (aka our amazing employees) who worked so hard to get us ready for our open house, we love you!
A big thanks to my “lady brains”, Gina Kuck, Tami Koopman, Dawn Lutz-Waterman, Stacy A. Aesoph, Arian Bunde and Beth Knutson, I don’t know what I would do without you! You witnessed the very start and have been there every other Friday after!
And most of all, thank you to Renee Halgerson, for your patience, brilliance, planning, grace and strength. We did it! <3 Can’t wait to see what’s next!” ~Carrie Kuhl
Here is the “thank you” that I wrote after our grand opening night:
“Thank you doesn’t seem like enough. My heart is overflowing with gratitude for all the people who supported Hitch Studio the past three years! Our customers who choose to #shoplocal, our friends and family who help us and cheer us on every chance they get #candletotes, our wonderful and loving employees #tearsofjoyfromtheircard … and especially Carrie Kuhl. She is a one-of-a-kind, talented, kind, thoughtful, funny, positive and persistent business partner. Best of all, she’s a #friendilove. Thank YOU for this amazing craziness we call Hitch.” ~Renee Halgerson
In fact, one of our current employees works for the Collegian, the SDSU campus newspaper, and sent us a link to the article that was written about us!
Here are a few of our favorite before/after photos of the newly renovated space to share with you and some great pics of our ribbon cutting evening!