Spearfish Economic Development Corporation (SEDC) awarded DirtBags BikeGear with the organization’s Emerging Business Achievement Award on May 14. Members of the SEDC Board of Directors, SEDC staff and other community leaders were on hand to present owners Emily and Heath Brown with the special recognition. The presentation was held in conjunction with National Economic Development Week, which was officially proclaimed in Spearfish as May 9-15, 2021, by Spearfish Mayor Dana Boke.
The Emerging Business Achievement Award was created by SEDC in 2020 to honor start-up businesses that demonstrate successful business practices, practice civic engagement, and partner with other businesses in the Spearfish community. “We are pleased to celebrate DirtBags’ many accomplishments and to recognize their dedication to innovation and the entrepreneurial spirit,” stated SEDC Executive Director Kory Menken. “It has been rewarding to work with them and to witness their continued growth.”
Located in a workshop behind their home at 524 N 7th Street in Spearfish, DirtBags has been operating part-time since 2015. DirtBags began when the husband-and-wife duo decided to sew themselves bags for a bikepacking trip through the Black Hills. Following the excursion, the couple decided to sell their high-quality handmade gear to support other outdoor bicycling enthusiasts. In December of 2020, Emily transitioned to DirtBags BikeGear full-time. The company has experienced enough growth to add four additional part-time positions and multiple machines to their fleet of equipment over the past year and is expecting a very busy summer in 2021.
“We love the bike community that is in the Black Hills of South Dakota,” said Emily Brown. “The trails are epic, the race events never disappoint, and the people are the absolute best. We want to keep this community thriving!”
To be eligible for the annual SEDC Emerging Business Achievement Award, businesses must be located in Spearfish and have been in operation full-time for no more than three years. The award joins the Award of Excellence and the Spirit of Enterprise Award (formerly known as the Rising Star Award) which are presented each year at the SEDC Annual Meeting.