Kenny Reed started State of Mind Woodworking by using the outline of South Dakota in an array of wooden designs. Though they still appear in his works now, Reed is getting asked for commissioned pieces, like shelving, logos, house numbers, and more as his side hustle continues to grow. 605 chatted with the Sioux Falls artist to get to know a little more about him.
MY PASSION FOR WOODWORKING STARTED… when I was a kid. My dad is an excellent craftsman, and he did an excellent job of including my brother and me in including my brother and me in building and fixing things around the house, teaching us how to use tools and how to make things that would last. I was a somewhat mischievous kid, so it was also a good way to keep me out of trouble.
I STARTED MY BUSINESS TO… provide a creative outlet for myself and make things that others would hopefully enjoy. After a bit, though, it was more about challenging myself and doing my best to bring my own and other’s ideas to life.
MY IDEAL CLIENT IS… well, to me, any client is a good client. But I really appreciate when someone enjoys craftsmanship and locally made items as much as I do. An added bonus is when they put their trust in me to add my own personal touch.
A TIP FOR GETTING STARTED IS… just go for it. It took some pushing from some of my loved ones to think my work was good enough to be sold, but once it started to sell I only wished I’d put myself out there sooner.
ONE THING I LOVE ABOUT SIOUX FALLS IS… the people. It is a very diverse yet tight-knit community. The business and support I’ve continued to receive from the people here is something I didn’t fully anticipate, and it is a large part of my desire to continue.
MY FAVORITE PART ABOUT SOUTH DAKOTA IS… oh, boy. With South Dakota’s typically bitter winter approaching, this one is almost hard to say out loud: the seasons. I like to be outdoors, and South Dakota has a lot to offer no matter what season we’re in.
SOMETHING ABOUT ME THAT WOULD SURPRISE PEOPLE IS… I’m a closet musician. Literally. There is a full music studio in my spare bedroom and only a handful of people know that’s something I do. Sometimes you need to do things just for you.
A SPOT I FREQUENT IS… Monks House of Ale Repute. They have an amazing rotating beer selection. Plus they serve Scotch Eggs. Win win.
MY GO-TO PLACE FOR A SNACK OR MEAL IS… Bread and Circus [Sandwich Kitchen]. Their food is top notch, and they are a pillar of support for the downtown community.
A PERSON I LOOK UP TO IN THE ART COMMUNITY (NATIONALLY OR LOCALLY) IS… as far as physical art goes I have to go with Shaine Schroeder. His work is iconic, and it’s been fun seeing his murals pop u pin the city. I’m also a big fan of local music, so I have to mention Soulcrate and Burlap Wolf King.
ADVICE I HAVE FOR SOMEONE STARTING ON ETSY IS… it’s easier than it looks. It’s also pretty inexpensive. They make it very easy to create a store and market your products. It’s also a great way to sell things outside of your local community.
I HOPE TO START SEEING MORE OF MY WORK AT… local businesses. I’ve done a few pieces for some already, and even in the digital age, word of mouth still seems to be the best form of advertising.
ONE OF THE BIGGEST CHALLENGES ABOUT MY BUSINESS IS… trying to balance a 9-5 job and a personal life while running a small business on the side. My long term goal is to take this full time, so it’s likely this challenge will continue of the foreseeable future.
ONE OF MY FAVORITE PLACES TO RELAX IS… in a kayak on the Big Sioux [River]. It’s remarkable the different perspective you get in Sioux Falls by floating through it on the river. Sitting in an ice shack or boat fishing are pretty high on the list, too.
SOMETHING I’M LOOKING FORWARD TO IS… spring arts fairs. I didn’t have enough merchandise built up to get out there last spring, so I’d like to change that this year.
WHEN I’M NOT WORKING, YOU CAN FIND ME… outdoors. I enjoy fishing, kayaking, four-wheeling, hiking with my girlfriend and her dogs, snowboarding, etc.
A COOL MOMENT IN MY CAREER AS A BUSINESS OWNER WAS… purchasing a CNC machine. Although I still get a lot of joy from cutting things out by hand, the CNC takes care of the more repetitive tasks and gives me more time to focus on new designs.
IF I WASN’T IN THE WOODWORKING BUSINESS, I WOULD BE… doing something where I was paid to travel. I’ve been to a majority of the states and would like to get to all 50, as well as some foreign countries.
ONE THING I’LL NEVER FORGET IS… the look on certain customer’s faces when they enjoy one of my pieces. During the creation process it can sometimes be easy to get lost in the work itself and lose sight of the big picture, but seeing my work hanging in people’s homes/places of business makes it all worthwhile.