Wagon Wheels West is big enough for this town


Paul Hansen

Wagon Wheels West, a family business, has served the Grinnell community for nearly five decades.

Allison Moore, Editor in Chief

Residing in a tucked-away blue building off of 175 US-6, Wagon Wheels West has served the Grinnell community for nearly five decades. Attached to S&S Electric, the storefront possesses a classic Western charm, complete with a wooden porch, large wagon wheel and a field with horses. Kris Sieck, owner and likely the first person you will see when you enter the store, has helped to turn a family tradition into a multi-generational business. 

Sieck said that her husband and co-owner of Wagon Wheels West, Scott Sieck, loved to show horses as a kid, and they continued that tradition with their own children and now grandchildren. In fact, the horses outside of the store belong to the Siecks, and their current business grew from them caring for their own horses into an abundant stock of horse care and other Western products. 

Sieck’s parents-in-law, Shirley and Lloyd Sieck, started Wagon Wheels West in Grinnell in the 1970s at a different location closer to town. The store took a brief hiatus from the late 1980s to 1993 when Sieck and her husband moved to a different home and focused on the electrical business. 

When they only operated S&S Electric, Sieck said that she and Scott still purchased grooming supplies for their horses to keep in the shop. When customers began to ask if the products were for sale, they expanded their inventory until eventually deciding to reopen a Western store in the other half of the building. “Once people started asking for different products, we’d bring them into the store. Yeah, it was mainly driven by customers,” Sieck said. Wagon Wheels West has stayed at their current 6th Ave. location for 30 years. 

Now, Sieck’s son Curtis and grandson Colton both help out at S&S and the Western store. Sieck also said that her 90-year-old mother-in-law still enjoys helping out at the store when she can.

When asked if she ever thought running a Western store would be for her, Sieck laughed and said, “not at all. I was a city girl.” Sieck now spends her weeks purchasing cowboy boots from numerous vendors, managing business finances, interacting with customers and maintaining the storefront. She said she enjoys taking Saturdays off to relax.

Sieck purchases many of the store’s products a year in advance, and when the packages come a year later, “it’s like Christmas,” she said. “We like to listen to customers for product recommendations,” Sieck added. Sieck said they owe the persistence of their business to their customers.

“Word of mouth is amazing,” she said. In fact, when Sieck sold horse grooming supplies from inside the electrical shop, customers and friends quickly got the word out and demanded for an increase of a variety of products. Today, Sieck said she hopes people will still continue to spread the word about their unique and expansive collection of Western wear and other supplies. 

When they remodeled the store in March of 2022, Sieck said it afforded more space for their sizable assortment of apparel. Additionally, the renovation created a new space for the Bargain Barn, a separate room solely designated for discounted clothes. But perhaps the most eye-catching part of the store is a floor-to-ceiling wall of cowboy boots that tower over Seick’s head. 

Sieck said that Wagon Wheels West is “not just a Western store — we’re here to serve Grinnell.” In addition to grooming supplies and their stock of 3,000 cowboy boots, Sieck said she wants people to know that they also have other casual clothing and shoe options. The casual shoes are her favorite, she said. “I just love these,” Sieck said, pointing to her own pair. “They’re so comfy.”

“They have a good selection of clothes, some funky jewelry and as I said before, an epic selection of cowboy boots,”  wrote Agatha Fusco `25 in an email to the S&B. Fusco visited Wagon Wheels West this year and wrote that other students should consider supporting them. 

“We just want people to come check us out,” Sieck smiled.