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Jeremy and Bobbi Schmidt turn detritus from the great outdoors into functional goods inside their Custer studio.
Jeremy and Bobbi Schmidt turn detritus from the great outdoors into functional goods inside their Custer studio.

From Nature to Your Home

Jeremy Schmidt was on his tractor when a tire blew. The culprit? A deer shed. He hung on to the antler, hoping to make a bottle opener out of it. The shed proved too small, so he made a coffee scoop instead. That became the start of SoDak Honest, the business Jeremy and his wife Bobbi operate from their farm near Custer. Along with naturally shed antlers, the Schmidts use scrap metal, downed cottonwoods and other items found in nature to create household products.

“I like to know what the things in my house are made of, where they came from, and I want to be able to shake the hand of the person who made it,” Bobbi says.

The Schmidts do custom work, like a 7-foot bench so solid even the blustery winds atop a Missouri River bluff wouldn’t move it. Barnwood tables can be made to fit any space. “We also make small items like jewelry,” Bobbi says. “The natural oils from a person’s hands keep our rings from drying out.”

Jeremy is mostly self-taught aside from a few classes in high school. “There’s a lot of math involved. I use the Pythagorean theorem more than I ever thought I would,” he jokes.

Editor’s Note: This story is revised from the January/February 2016 issue of South Dakota Magazine. To order a copy or to subscribe, call (800) 456-5117.

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