Western Storefront: Jewel Of The West
Between the two renowned monuments in the Heart of the Hills is a boutique gem.
The Black Hills of South Dakota are an alluring tourist destination, not only for their majestic beauty but also as home to Mount Rushmore and the Crazy Horse Memorial. But between these famous monuments in the Heart of the Hills is another of the region’s most notable attractions: Jewel of the West. Located on the historic Main Street of Hill City, the award-winning storefront dazzles visitors who stop to shop on their way to see the presidents and the Lakota warrior with its designer collections of clothing and boots, belts and bags, and, of course, plenty of jewelry.
After retiring as an educator and moving back to his picturesque hometown, Hill City entrepreneur Victor K. Jepsen opened the unique boutique in 2000 with the help of his wife, Rachel Taylor, who gave the store its name and worked there on the weekends when not busy with her law practice. But upon Jepsen’s unexpected passing just two years later, the fate of the store rested in his wife’s hands. “I had to make a decision,” she says. “I could continue with my law practice or jump both feet into Jewel of the West. I took a leap of faith and here we are today. It’s been a great, fun ride.”
Now celebrating more than a decade with Taylor at the reins, Jewel of the West offers Southwestern-style pieces from names like Tasha Polizzi, Lilly Barrack, and Paige Wallace, as well as a diverse selection of sterling silver and semiprecious stone jewelry by local designers. “They bring that Black Hills flavor into the store,” Taylor says. But the boutique isn’t confined to fashions; it also carries art and pottery, gallery lamps, chandeliers, textiles, and furniture. “[All of] the items we carry and the look of the store are inspired by the lifestyle and landscape of the American West.”
Jewel of the West, 208 Main St., Hill City, South Dakota, 605.574.2464, www.jewelofthewest.com
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