Simply Dakota Uprising » Inspiring a Life of Love + Adventure in the Black Hills

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A few weeks back we hiked the Stratobowl Rim Trail, which is an easy and short hike near Rapid City with amazing views (a hiking trifecta).

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The lighting is best in the evening when the sun is setting so make sure to add this to your to-do list one of these summer nights! This is where my husband and I had our engagement photos taken. Beautiful views, steep cliffs, long grass, tons of trees, and trails – it had everything we wanted for our photos.



As more and more people start creating shops around the idea of “hyper-localism,” especially out here in the Black Hills, I’ve learned to fuel that competitive atmosphere into the idea of “What’s next?” Always – WHAT. IS. NEXT? Because when they start utilizing the same ideas, even the same content, you know you’ve done a good thing, and you know you’ve filled a gap that was previously missing out here, and although I am only a one-woman showing running this whole thing, I can’t help but think, “What’s next?”

In the words of Seth Goden, and his blog post that inspired it all, I have to remember that no matter what has been done before, or what others are starting to do, it has not been done by me.

Here’s to being generous, being brave, and doing what matters, and to learning how to pivot the strategy without changing the vision. So, what’s next?

Stay tuned, my friends.




Of course it’s been done before


John Koenig calls it vemödalen. The fear that you’re doing something that’s already been done before, that everything that can be done has been done.

Just about every successful initiative and project starts from a place of replication. The chances of being fundamentally out of the box over the top omg original are close to being zero.

A better question to ask is, “have you ever done this before?” Or perhaps, “are the people you are seeking to serve going to be bored by this?”

Originality is local. The internet destroys, at some level, the idea of local, so sure, if we look hard enough we’ll find that turn of a phrase or that unique concept or that app, somewhere else.

But no one is asking you to be original. We’re asking you to be generous and brave and to matter. We’re asking you to step up and take responsibility for the work you do, and to add more value than a mere cut and paste. Give credit, definitely, but reject vemödalen.

Sure, it’s been done before. But not by you. And not for us.

From Seth’s blog:


Dakota Uprising hosted a Garden Party at Willow General Store in Piedmont, SD this past week. Cold drinks, a perfect location, and a beautiful night.

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It took me years to get the courage to host an event (I dread hosting events), but I always had this itch and this vision in the back of my head to host one that was small, intentional and for a lack of better words, cute. When I discovered Willow General Store’s garden area and that she allowed events to be hosted there, I was sold. There wasn’t a better location or person to help me host one (seriously, Lane is awesome!)

We had drinks, played corn hole, had a few little random prizes, and everyone got to take home a baby ponderosa pine tree!

I’d like to thank the people that have helped, supported and volunteered their time to make Dakota Uprising what it is today. From friends and family, to photographers, videographers, printers, ambassadors, and models and small business owners to my first wholesale stockists. I enjoy running Dakota Uprising because there are fun, positive, willing, and supportive people that stand along side the brand. And it wouldn’t be as fun without the help of all of you (you know who you are).

So many people wore Dakota Uprising shirts to the event, too. And that was super fun to see. Shop the tees here.

Dakota Uprising will be hosting more events like these in the future and if you are interested in attending one, sign up on the email list.


Robyn first stood out to me as a person dedicated to their art and craft. Her instagram feed was filled with a lovely mix of both vintage and pottery shots, from finished products to fun finds to art in the making. Her consistency and and vibe made me want to know more about the creator behind her pottery.

The Basics

Name: Robyn Alex Hynes

Any nicknames? Robbie Pop is a good one

Birthday: May 24, 2017

Where are you from? I’m from Bloomfield Nebraska, a small town in the northeast corner. We call it a mini tornado alley.

Where do you live now? I live in a cute one-bedroom apartment near downtown Spearfish.

Tell me about your business.

I have three, but my baby is Seedling Stoneware. It’s a pottery business I created right before Christmas 2016. I took a ceramics class during my senior year of college and absolutely fell in love. I was originally going to be an art history student – so it’s not surprising that I would have eventually found my passion in an area of art. Now I can make money doing what I love!

What is a typical day like for you?

Since I run three businesses, I’m usually balancing both of them. In the morning I go up to the pottery studio and check to see if anything is done in the kiln. That, or I’m on the wheel. Then the rest of the day is spent doing business tasks like photographing products, shipping packages, and doing the online end of things.

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What is one favorite thing you thoroughly enjoy about your job?

I thoroughly love interacting with my customers. They’re all so nice! I’ve been really lucky!

List three random things you use/eat/drink/watch/read/listen/do on a daily basis.

1) Iced Snickers Latte for success 2) My Macbook for functionality 3) Lewis Howes Podcasts

Tell me one thing about you that (maybe) no one knows.

I’m actually very introverted. I like to interact with people, a lot. But I really enjoy my alone time. I get energy from it.


Black Hills

Where is your favorite spot in the Black Hills region?

Crow Peak is probably my favorite place to be. There’s just a peace about it.

What inspires you most about the Black Hills area?

The nature around the Spearfish area, especially in Northern Spearfish. It’s so cute and hippie! Everything is always revolving around the landscape in that area, it hasn’t been completely overtaken by people.

Tell me one little, favorite story from your adventures in the Black Hills.

One time I got stuck in my car near Cement Ridge and ended up getting frostbite. Search and rescue had to come find me. Yikes!

Name one amazing place to eat in the Black Hills and why you love it.:)

BAY LEAF CAFÉ! I’m dedicated to this joint. They’re the best!

What’s your favorite trail and why?

Crow Peak trail. There’s views the whole way, and the trees are massive. Not to mention all of the beautiful wildlife. I once was the first one on the trail at 5:00 in the morning and saw a bunch of deer running through the trees. It was really beautiful.

What’s one lesson you’ve learned about adventuring in the Black Hills?


What is one impression you wish you could change about the Black Hills?

That it’s all tourism based. That’s not true at all. Even though we have a lot of fun things for tourists to do, there’s so many secluded places here where you can experience the history of the hills in all their natural beauty.


How does living in the Black Hills impact your life (or creativity or business)?

It makes me more patient. I know I’m happy where I’m at here. It’s a beautiful place, and it makes me contemplate the meaning of life when I see the sunset or sunrise against the hills.

Tell me one thing about the Black Hills that (maybe) no one knows.

The Native American culture here is dominant, and probably more so than anywhere else in the country (in my opinion.) We’re very proud of our cultural history in this area and the importance of the Hills on native cultures.


Being Creative / Leaving a Legacy

Is there anyone in the community that you turn to for inspiration, advice, or creative collaboration?

I usually turn to other people in the area who are making a name for themselves by doing what they love. I find a lot of people on Instagram who are super successful, including Dakota Uprising. I think our generation has a lot to offer for the development and progression of the hills!

Have you had any mentors along the way?

My mentors started with the photographer Rockie Nolan when I was in my freshman year of high school. She’s the reason I got into photography and art. I also think everyone I’ve interacted with in my life has contributed in some way to the way I am.

Have you ever taken a big risk for yourself or your life or your business? Was it worth it?

I would suppose I’m in a risky situation right now. I’ve given myself 3 months, or all of this 2017 summer to make my business(es) a success, or I’m going to go back to the workforce. However, I’m never going to stop my businesses just because of a financial situation. They’re what I love to do. So I would consider this decision to be a bit risky.

What’s your best advice in?

Business, for sure. It’s something I’m weirdly passionate about and I’m always encouraging other girls to make a name for themselves!


Are you creatively satisfied?

110%. Sometimes to the point where I’ll just fall asleep for 14 hours after a good days work. I need creativity in order to survive, and I’ve definitely got it.

What could the Black Hills use more of?

Artists. Doesn’t matter where we are, there should always be more art!

Do you feel an obligation to contribute to something greater than yourself? What could that possibly be?

Yes, and I think that’s part of the reason I love the idea of business so much and mixing it with the pottery. Pottery has been around for centuries, and humans have always needed it. Business is the act of investing in your future and believing in what you have to offer. I think mixing these two is bringing together the past and the future in a way that should (I hope at least) have a positive effect on future generations.

What type of legacy do you hope to leave?

Kindness, creativity, and the power of being a young girl boss!


Robyn Hynes,


@seedlingstoneware, @westprairievintage, @resalequeens