Becky Tomac has always had a love of art, design, and all things retro. Originally from a small town outside of the Black Hills, Keldron, Becky adored vacations with her family in the Hills and decided to move there on a permanent basis. Today, she is known for her colorful and creative designs with her business Oh Geez! Design.
Growing up, Tomac says she loved collecting ads out of magazines, drawing in high school, and crafting in her free time. She decided to go to school at South Dakota State University in Brookings to pursue a career in copywriting, but quickly realized that a career path leading to a big city or corporate design was not really what she wanted.
“I started to fall in love with the creative side of copywriting and design,” said Tomac.
Instead of her original plan, Tomac graduated with a Bachelor of Arts with a mass communications major and minor in graphic design. After college, Tomac moved back to the Black Hills area and began her graphic design career using her passion for typography and color every day.
“It all began by designing and printing greeting cards for a craft show I did with my sisters in our hometown,” said Tomac.
From there, the possibilities launched into something far beyond what she had imagined.
“It may sound super cheesy, but I’m just grateful every day that I get to do this. I still get super excited whenever I see someone in a hat or pass a car with an Oh Geez! Sticker.” – Becky Tomac
Tomac continued, “I later started creating more locally-themed items. Inspired from finding cool gifts by independent artists on visits to Colorado, I wanted to create something like that for South Dakota locals and visitors.”
The business has been kind of a family effort. Angus, Tomac’s black lab, is one of the biggest helpers.
“He provides emotional support and makes sure I take lots of breaks for walks, and my family has been so supportive as well,” said Tomac.
Not the typical family business, Becky’s sisters, parents and friends chip in from time to time, too. One sister is a graphic designer and offers another set of eyes on products, and her parents and friends have helped deliver orders, set up her booth, and even run the booth at events.
Tomac added, “From start to finish, these designs are original and created by a local, South Dakota, independent artist. I even use local screen printers and businesses for printing needs.”
One hundred percent local, Tomac says Oh Geez! Design doesn’t even outsource product orders.
Find Oh Geez! Gear Near You
Belle Fourche // Wild Magnolia Coffee Bar
Hill City // Cream
Hill City // Miner Brewing Co.
Hot Springs // Moccasin Springs Natural Mineral Spa
Hot Springs // Southern Hills Mercantile & Taproom
Lake Norden//Lucky Day Barn
Lead//Lotus Up Espresso & Deli
Lemmon//Grand River Museum
Rapid City // Harriet and Oak
Rapid City // Rapid City RV Park & Campground
Rapid City//Storybook Island
Spearfish // Green Bean Coffeehouse
Sturgis // Black Hills Rally & Gold
Watertown // Dustin Sinner Fine Art
“Having a consistent and recognizable brand identity is very important to me, and unique, high-quality designs or products are a huge part of that,” she said.
Becky also finds inspiration from the great outdoors of the Black Hills, illustrator Charley Harper, and designer Milton Glaser. Her home office is littered with a collection of inspiration. What may look like a chaotic scene to some is a room filled with ideas and creativity to Tomac.
“I love collecting anything vintage, especially mid- century modern design, and cool typography, from mugs to vinyl album covers,” said Tomac.
“‘Oh Geez’ is an expression that I remember my mom saying growing up, so I thought it was a nice fit when I started with my greeting card designs and has a good midwestern vibe. I also get a lot of comments on it when I’m doing shows, so it’s a great conversation starter.” -Becky Tomac
For a while, the business was more of a side project or hobby. It was a passion, but Tomac says it didn’t really pay the bills. She had a full-time job that worked four days a week allowing her to have a longer weekend to work on what she loved.
“I launched an Etsy store with primarily greeting cards, and it wasn’t long before I was getting inquiries for wholesale from nationwide stores,” said Tomac. “My work’s even been featured in Food Network and Taste of Home Magazine.”
Gift Guide Items
Kickin’ It in SoDak style with a retro western style trucker hat.
I’ll take my whiskey “On the Rocks, Under the Stars.” A perfect pair to a fall evening by the bonfire or a spring camping trip.
Peace, Love, SoDak! Spread the love with a, retro, colorful design that screams 1960s.
The Etsy site for Oh Geez! Design was launched 15 years ago. Only recently did Becky make the switch to full-time. In 2020, the side-business started to brew into something more. Becky says that her full-time job was bringing in a new generation of talent, and she felt that it was time to move into Oh Geez! Design full-time.
Tomac said, “I felt like I was leaving my employers in good hands. The next generation of talent was able to offer a new view and everyone was fitting in with the team so well.”
For more information, visit ETSY.COM/SHOP/OHGEEZDESIGN.COM.