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Happy and healthy: Parkston's niche shop on Main

Beth Kroll applies organic makeup onto Tawni Griebel's face on Saturday during the grand opening of The Natural Sisterhood in Parkston. (Sara Bertsch / Republic)1 / 6
All natural bars of soap sit in a display during the grand opening of The Natural Sisterhood on Saturday in Parkston (Sara Bertsch / Republic)2 / 6
"The Natural Apothecary" sign sits near the doorway of The Natural Sisterhood on Main Street in Parkston. (Sara Bertsch / Republic)3 / 6
Beth Kroll, left, hugs April Valeski during the grand opening of their business, The Natural Sisterhood, on Saturday in Parkston. 4 / 6
Beth Kroll, left, and April Valeski pose for a photo on Saturday during the grand opening of The Natural Sisterhood in Parkston. (Sara Bertsch / Republic)5 / 6
April Valeski, right, helps a customer during the grand opening of her business, The Natural Sisterhood, on Saturday in Parkston. (Sara Bertsch / Republic)6 / 6

PARKSTON — After medications for her autoimmune disease failed to help, April Valeski began to look at a more natural fix — and The Natural Sisterhood was born.

Valeski held the grand opening for her business, The Natural Sisterhood, Saturday on Parkston's Main Street with the help of her best friend, Beth Kroll.

The Natural Sisterhood — also known as The Natural Apothecary — sells all natural products of Valeski's creation, including body lotion, body scrubs, face moisturizers, body butter, bath salts and soap. Her shop also carries candles, essential oils, organic makeup, salt lamps and diffusers.

"I think there's other ways people can help themselves that they don't realize," Valeski said.

Valeski began experimenting with creating all-natural remedies shortly after being diagnosed with her autoimmune disease several years ago. She dove even more into research and the products when her son developed eczema — a type of skin rash in young children.

"I had to find something that would work for him," Valeski said. "Making it with stuff that was in my kitchen. I thought if I could do that, what else could I make?"

In 2014, Valeski moved to Parkston to be closer to family and also enjoy the small town comforts of the southeastern South Dakota community.

Since the move, the need for more products among family members and her friend, Kroll, grew and she started experimenting with more products. By 2015, she decided to begin The Natural Sisterhood out of her home. She sold online and attended vendor and craft fairs to sell products.

It wasn't until recently she decided to set up shop, and a space opened up on Main Street within TNT's Temptations Boutique.

"Something took me on this path, and I ended up here," Valeski said. "I feel good, I feel healthy and I'm happy. If I can help anybody that's ever been in that spot in a natural way and let them know they have the power to help themselves with some of the things that they choose, then that's the most important thing to me."

Helping others

Valeski and Kroll have been best friends since grade school in Tampa, Florida.

But when Valeski relocated to Parkston more than three years ago, Kroll couldn't help but tag along.

A makeup aficionado, Kroll — who made the move to South Dakota two years ago — has her own makeup corner within their new space and provides "glam sessions" for any interested customers.

"I wish that people could see into April's heart like I do," Kroll said. "Initially she started doing all of this to improve lives of the people she loved most: her sisters, nephews, kids, me and my family. She helped all of us. Every single product was meeting one of our needs."

Now, Valeski is halfway through schooling to become a certified aromatherapist, and the two best friends couldn't be happier with how life has turned out.

Kroll said when she first started using her friend's products she thought they could "change the world." But Valeski had a smaller, simpler goal: to help people.

"She has never ever lost sight of that. That has been her absolute dream, and that is her goal ..." Kroll said. "It's about helping other people. She's the best person I know."

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