BY NIKKI MEYER
Grain bins are a common sight in our area. Some are used for holding grain, and some have outlived that purpose and sit empty or are used for storage. One special grain bin at the home of Darin and Val Pesta, however, has been re-imagined into something completely different: the Let’s Stay Home bin boutique.
How does a grain bin get transformed into a space for shoppers? Val Pesta explained, “I was working at MCW and our daughter, Kait was volunteering there also. She started to have some health concerns and was having a lot of absent seizures that we had to address. I decided to leave my wonderful job and amazing friends to just stay home with Kait. She needed me with her.”
Fortunately doctors were able to get Kait’s health issues under control, however Val still knew that she needed to be available. “Staying with her was my number one priority,” Val said. “But,” she continued, “we needed something to do.”
“My niece, Taylor came up with the name. It stuck...and was perfect for us.”
Even before Kait’s health issues had started Val was busy having fun selling women’s clothing from the “loft” on the second story of their farmhouse. She utilizes Facebook Live videos to give shoppers regular virtual shopping experiences. The practice continued as Let’s Stay Home was born.
“Our customers were great,” Val said, “but we wanted more space for them to come out, visit and try the clothes on.”
She noted that the property has other buildings, but that they were all too old to be useful for what she envisioned. Then she thought about the grain bins they used for storage. Their metal construction was sturdy and weather-proof. “That was the answer and what we decided to use.”
Val contacted her former brother-in-law Paul Haga. “If anyone could do this challenge, it was Paul!” Taylor, who is also Paul’s daughter, designed the setup, and in only three weeks her dad brought it to life. “He created a wonderful little boutique and it is exactly what we wanted,” Val said. The bin came complete with Val’s one request—two dressing rooms.
The Pesta’s goal was to have their first open house before Christmas, which they accomplished thanks to the help of a dedicated crew. “Darin should get a husband of the year award,” said Val. “Especially this year. I broke my arm in January and he and Kait have had to do all of the hard work in the boutique. My daughter-in-law, Henni, and Kait tagged every piece of clothing. My daughter Cortnee came to help this last weekend, too.”
The grain bin boutique opened its doors for the first time on December 2.
On the outside, the bin still looks like a bin, with the exception of a new door and window. Stepping inside shoppers are greeted with the smell of coffee, a fun atmosphere and handcrafted love. “I love the rustic, raw farmhouse feel,” Val shared.
The walls of the boutique contain a number of bars for displaying regular and plus-sized women’s clothing, along with a few kids’ clothes for the “Me and Mini Me” wardrobes. The boutique also stocks some candles, Mix.o.logie perfume in both men’s and women’s scents, LipSense cosmetics, Enso silicone rings, handcrafted jewelry, and Cello pull-on jeans. “Those are our best sellers!,” said Val.
The “handcrafted love” is an important part of the boutique. “Kait makes all of the pillows in the boutique and she is loving doing those. She has also received a few special requests from customers.” Paul’s participation in the bin continues also. “[He] and [his partner] Amy also make wonderful items that we sell in the Bin. They are both very creative.”
This coming weekend the bin will add yet another local vendor—Kenna’s Krafts, run by McKenna Taylor of Trimont. “She makes adorable, hand crafted earrings. We are excited to add her beauties.”
Right now the bin is open one or two weekends a month. Val said the live shows on Wednesdays will continue for those who aren’t able to make the trip out. Items can be purchased from the shows and then shipped to the buyer.
This coming weekend, February 22-24, 2019, the bin will be open on Friday from 5-8 p.m. and on Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. assuming the weather cooperates. Shoppers can also make appointments to visit the boutique outside of the open houses.
Val said the goal of Let’s Stay Home is “to carry fresh, cute and affordable styles for our area.” Though they are little, “and we like it that way,” Val does hope to continue to expand parts of the boutique. “So many people have talents! In our area those can be hard to display. We hope to add on to the other grain bin and make the boutique bigger and add more items, such as more home goods and upcycled furniture.”
You can find the Let’s Stay Home Boutique on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/groups/letsstayhomeboutique/ The bin is located at the Pesta’s home 2836 240th St. Truman.
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