When crafty entrepreneurs Alisha Hunt and Marcia Hultman first met at the Capital City Farmers’ Market, they realized their businesses were two peas in a pod.
Hunt, who owns the local shop Bliss, was selling stained-glass wind chimes at the market, while Hultman was offering baked goods as a part of her Sweet Peas business. The two immediately bonded over unwieldy canopies and common interests. The rest is history.
“One day she asked if I’d ever thought about getting a partner up here, and I said yes, but I hadn’t found anyone that fit with me,” Hunt said. “It just worked out perfectly.”
Their individual businesses were melded together in September, and they’ve been co-located in their South Pierre Street shop ever since.
‘Bliss and Sweet Peas’ now offers handcrafted and up-cycled items in addition to reflexology therapy, which Hunt is certified in.
It’s an eclectic mix of products and services, but Hunt and Hultman are making it work. They’re open 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. on Mondays and Wednesdays and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturdays. When their shop out front isn’t open, Hunt has the privacy and solitude needed for scheduled reflexology sessions.
Together the two women, who share a bond much like a mother and daughter, create every item that adorns the shop’s walls – from painted furniture and knit scarves to up-cycled lamps and handmade jewelry.
They even take custom orders – as long as they can find the materials for them.
“We’re frequent shoppers at Value Village, Hospice and any second hand stores we can find,” Hultman said. “Recycling to me is just reusing something for the purpose that it was intended, while up-cycling is giving something a new life or making it into something completely different.”
Due to the unique nature of their items, the shop’s products are changing all the time.
You won’t see someone walking down the street with the exact same accessory that you just bought.
“We really don’t duplicate anything we’ve made,” Hultman said. “If you see something and like it, buy it, because we might not be able to find items to make another one.”
Hultman has enjoyed their location because of the relationships they’ve made with the gallery, music store and nearby bistro.
“We’re excited that the street has a lot of potential and is really taking off,” she said.
About Bliss …
Hunt has always been crafty.
She even has a workshop, complete with a heated woodstove, in her dad’s garage.
A local bead store owner inspired her to make jewelry when she was younger.
Later, she became intrigued by reflexology, an alternative medicine that applies pressure to specific points on the body, relieving pain or stress.
Hunt became certified in reflexology after studying in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, and opened Bliss in February of 2010.
She’s been enjoying the new life of her store.
“I like how’s it’s never the same, everything is so organic,” Hunt said. “It makes us happy when we make something that somebody loves.”
About Sweet Peas …
Hultman’s motto is: “You are what you eat, so eat something cute.”
She enjoys making tiny treats out of fondant and chocolate, and often sells her homemade goods at farmers’ markets and fairs.
Hultman also works full-time for the South Dakota Department of Labor and Regulation and enjoys having evenings and weekends to branch out and be creative.
“Sometimes I think I’ve been in practice for this my whole life, because I’ve been crafting for as long as I can remember,” she said. “I still sew on my grandmother’s sewing machine that I learned on when I was 9 years old.”
Hultman’s eighth grade son Brody is also involved with the shop – he’s known as the ‘responsible one’ and taught the pair how to operate a cash register.
For updates on both Bliss and Sweet Peas, visit their Facebook pages: www.facebook.com/PierreBliss and https://www.facebook.com/pages/Sweet-Peas/115736561853850.