Running has always been an important part of life for Wire Design Company founder Kristi Wire.
“I used to run competitively,” said Wire. “About 10 years ago, I actually fell down a flight of stairs, which caused me to have to go through all sorts of physical therapy.”
Unsure if she would be able to run again because of lingering nerve pain, Wire jumped at the opportunity to stay involved by designing merchandise for the Sioux Falls Area Running Club two years ago.
“They just happened to know me from the advertising world,” said Wire. “And I just started to think, ‘If I’m ever going to run again, if I’m ever going to try and get over this pain and whatnot, let’s do it. Let’s just dive in, start running again, design for them.’”
“The purpose is to be a shop that inspires people into trying something new. People have reached out and asked how to do this. It’s about sharing e-commerce.” – Kristi Wire
WIRE DESIGN COMPANY
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The initial task of creating mascots for the Trail Series of races in Union Grove State Park, Newton Hills State Park, and Tuthill Park brought an influx of attention to Wire’s designs.
Inspired by the public’s interest and the running club’s suggestion to open a store selling her works, Wire turned her new design work into an online shop, which launched in August.
The running club logo that Wire designed pays homage to the club’s previous logo and the Sioux Falls city flag.
“All of the designs were sketched by hand, then created digitally, and then basically printed through Printful. The designs are local,” said Wire.
Now the shop has more than 50 products available, with clothing options ranging from toddlers to adults and a variety of other products. Wire says her store caters specifically to athletes and animal lovers.
One of the most popular items is the jackalope gold shirt, designed as a mascot for Newton Hills. Wire attributes its popularity to the connections it inspires to local colleges.
“You could take that association with [South Dakota State University], yet that was not the intent,” said Wire.
The other animal brands she created include an eagle for Tuthill Park, a fox for Union Grove, and a bear as a generic addition.
She also designed a new logo for the Sioux Falls Area Running Club, found on her shop, and 10 percent of profits from the store go back to the club to help with events, marketing, and other expenses.
When not working on the online shop, Wire also works with different companies, helping them shape their brand identity and doing design work for them on logos, labels, marketing campaigns, and other projects.
“The thing that I find fascinating is how people decide how to buy because, jumping in, I really didn’t know what people were going to buy.”
“I like to work with companies that are trying to solve a problem or have a challenge, and I come in and help them visually figure that out,” said Wire.
Wire has plans in store for next year involving adding more mascots to represent other parks in the Sioux Falls area. In the meantime, she continues to set up pop-up shops during the fall at various races.