Marion native Jennifer Hojda and David Leithoff have been busy over the last few months remodeling part of a building on Chicago St. in Lost Springs to house their new store.
The store will be named Rustic Rocking Horse and feature a four-foot tall rocking horse sign made of pine and constructed by Leithoff. Hojda plans to be open Wednesday through Sunday afternoons beginning tentatively at the end of February.
“We’ve been working on things for the store since November,” she said. “We had planned to be open in January but that just wasn’t possible.”
The main reason for not opening was because log furniture Leithoff was making needed time to cure so it would not split and crack.
Both enjoy making items such as jewelry, signs, boxes, and items out of recycled pallets, which they plan to sell at the store, as well as bread, milk, craft supplies, and other staple home and food items residents would have to drive to a larger town for.
“The closest place to shop is Hillsboro or Herington,” Hojda said. “Hopefully we can save some people the drive. We plan to grow with items people in the area request or need.”
They also hope to eventually get a tobacco license and sell home raised eggs from their flock of chickens.
The store offers the couple a unique opportunity to do what they love, and provide for their community. Both Hojda and Leithoff suffer from injuries that prevent them from working full time.
“I have a bad arm and when it gets to hurting I have to stop and rest,” she said. “That prevents you from doing a lot.”
They got the idea for the store after some friends, who own the building, asked them if they would be interested in opening a restaurant in the space. After some research, they decided opening a restaurant would be too strenuous and expensive.
“We discussed opening this type of store with they agreed,” Jojda said.
Both said the road to opening has been hard, but satisfying.
“We’ve been working nonstop,” Leithoff said. “There is no working heater in the building so it’s been cold.”
In conjunction with preparing the store for opening, the couple is currently remodeling their farm outside of town.