The Magazine : FACES

The first issue in which I both wrote and helped to curate, the first issue Kim both photographed for, and designed.

When the Swisher sisters Beth (Palmer) and Ann (Henrichsen) founded Black Hills FACES Magazine in 2005, they did it because they wanted to tell the stories of the fascinating people making South Dakota ‘home’. And whether they knew it or not, in doing so, they also started making dreams come true.

Just a few years into their project they took a chance on an untested young woman with a dream and they made me a writer, setting me on a career path I’d only ever fantasized about. I was thrilled, and humbled, and honored. Beth guided me over the years, encouraging me to find my own voice, honor my instincts, clarify my style… I’ll never be able to properly thank her for that. Even now, I still consider my FACES assignments among my proudest work.

So early this year, as I traveled a particularly lonely stretch of highway across the Plains of South Dakota, I got a phone call. Beth wanted to tell me that she and Ann had decided to retire.

50+ issues and 14 years after they began, the Swisher sisters have passed the baton, and taken a chance on me – and my incredibly talented friend and business partner, Kim – again.

I’m honored to announce they’ve entrusted us with continuing the legacy they began all those years ago.

We could not be more excited.

Along with our Arts and Entertainment magazine Melange Black Hills, these sister publications will now be able to highlight all the incredible the Black Hills has to offer; the incredible people, the exciting events, the inspirational adventures, the decadent cuisine, the magnificent art… and we’re planning to position these pieces as a hub around which we can cultivate our community. We’ll host events wherein advertisers can connect one on one with their customers, we’ll help local organizations promote their community events, and we’ll support local charitable organizations in their service to those with whom we share our home. We’ve pledged to give back 20% of our profits to local non-profits.

I never thought this would be the role I’d be playing in my professional career or in my hometown, but I could not be happier it’s gone that way.

Thank you, to all the advertisers, contributors, and subjects that have made FACES a success for the last decade-and-a-half, and to the community they’ve served. We intend to do the same, and carry FACES and the incredible, close-knit community of western South Dakota, far into the future.