Hitch Studio celebrates three-year anniversary at new location

By IAN LACK Reporter

After serving the Brookings community for three years, Hitch Studio has relocated to its largest facility to date, on Main Avenue.

The studio commemorated their new logo, store hours and location with a Feb. 6 ribbon-cutting ceremony and open, with founders and co-owners Renee Halgerson and Carrie Kuhl present.

The relocation serves multiple purposes, but Halgerson and Kuhl felt space was the biggest reason for the change.

“We were busting at the seams and we just wanted room to have more retail,” Kuhl said. “Now, we can include more men’s stuff and more religious and kid’s items. We also have more of a professional space with our new location.”

The studio doubles as a design and gift boutique. It also offers web and graphic design, wedding services and a variety of retail products, such as paper items and small gifts.

Before founding Hitch, both Halgerson and Kuhl had freelance graphic design businesses in addition to their full-time jobs. They knew each other from serving on the American Institute for Graphic Arts (AIGA) board of directors, and eventually had the idea of starting their own full-time business.

Rather than competing against each other in a small town like Brookings, they decided to launch a business together, which was a perfect fit as both are South Dakota State graduates and have each taught at SDSU.

After Halgerson relocated from Sioux Falls, the two transitioned away from their full-time jobs and began working to create Hitch. Each year, they expanded to include more space and services for their customers.

Vickie Walters, a resident of Madison, said she’s been a customer since the studio first opened. Walters said she travels back to Brookings often to shop at Hitch for “the friendliness of the work staff and everything you can find there.”

“It’s a kind of quality place that you wouldn’t expect here for this area,” Walters said.

Since opening in 2014, Hitch has hired more than 10 employees and interns, all SDSU students.

“Renee and Carrie are amazing with helping me explore what wedding planning coordinating is like and what this kind of environment is like,” said Taylor Kiehl, junior graphic design major and current Hitch employee. “I’d definitely recommend something like this for students who need some experience.”

While the owners agree the new studio location presents challenges like new expenses and an increased commitment, Halgerson and Kuhl said they remain devoted to the business they started together.

“I think there’s an extreme level of respect that we have for each other,” Halgerson said. “I don’t think this would work without that, and the way that the Brookings community has supported us.”