Woman Owned Series | Willow Station
First up in the Woman Owned series is JoAnn Friesen at Willow Station. I first approached JoAnn while we both had booths at a local craft fair. I knew she was going to have a spring open house and I wanted to get some pictures as she was setting up her shop. Finally March rolled around and I went out to her shop to get started. I haven’t ever had the chance to go to one of her open houses, so I was excited to see what all the hype was.
Willow Station is beautiful! As I was taking pictures, I had her tell me all about how she came up with the idea for a seasonal store, about the design of the store itself, and her philosophy on design and decorating our homes.
How did you come up with the idea of Willow Station?
I came up with the name Willow Station by brainstorming with my family. I have a large willow bush outside the store that I love to cut and give away to people, and the building looks like a gas station. So we just put it together!
Why are you only open a couple of times a year?
When I was thinking about opening Willow Station, I knew I wanted something different. I knew I wanted things to always remain fresh, unexpected, and special. And when you're open all the time, it's hard to get people excited and wanting to keep coming back. And it works for our schedule. My husband farms and he needs me around to help him. If I were open year round, I couldn't be as flexible as the farm needs me to be.
What is your philosophy on decorating a home?
Your house should reflect your family and its lifestyle. You shouldn't have to get rid of things just because it doesn't fit the style of your house or the latest trends. We can think of a new way or a new place to use those items. I like to empower people to try decorating their homes even if they don't think they can do it. We can get inspiration from anything, whether that’s blogs, Pinterest, Houzz, magazines, or even public spaces. Very few people can afford to do everything at once, so do what you can, even if it is just one thing at a time.
How do you pick out items for your store?
Mike and I go to market every year. I also have some sales reps that stop over from time to time. I try to get to know my customers and what styles they like. I also think about what styles I like and think would work well in our area.
We are always looking for new products. In order to keep things fresh, I try not to buy the same thing more than 2 times, that way people are can find something new each time they visit.
What trends do you see that you think will stick around for awhile?
Modern farmhouse is pretty popular right now and I think it will stick around, but in a variety of ways. I think people want minimal, clean, and functional styles. They want each item they bring into their home to serve a purpose, or to be dual functional.
Right now is a really fun time to decorate because you can mix all kinds of styles and it really can look great.
What information do you want people to know about the store? Do you offer services to people other than just your Open House weekends?
I am open by appointment year round. Just call and set up a time to come visit!
For a fee, I will come out to help you with your house. We can look at what you already own and find new ways to use those items. I can help with the feel of your house and find new items that will reflect your family and its lifestyle. Once we talk about how you want your house to feel and what's important to you, then we come up with a plan. We pick out pieces and different ways to style them. Then you can use that plan to decorate how and when you want.
What are 2 pieces of advice you could give to people on how to decorate their homes that make it feel like them and not just something they're trying to copy out of a magazine?
What do you want people to know about you when they walk into your house? When people come to our home, I want them to feel welcome, that they can kick off their shoes and feel at home. I want them to see that Christ is the center of our home and even though I enjoy decorating, it is only worldly possessions and people are more important than things.
How does your home function? What styles do you like? Personalize your home to fit you. Fill it with things you like, or things that have a story or a memory for your family.
What are your 3 favorite products you have in your store right now?
I love silks and we have a lot of unique ones right now.
Many new furniture pieces
Willow Station will host their spring open House April 11-13.
Thursday 4:00 pm-8:00 pm
Friday 9:30 am-8:00 pm
Saturday 9:30 am-3:00 pm
You can find Willow Station at 10 Henderson North Road, Henderson, NE 69371.
If you need more information, please call JoAnn at 402-710-1433.
Come out to enjoy a fun filled day with friends and family! There are plenty of places to sit with good food and good company.
Not only is Willow Station selling their own products, JoAnn also has different vendors at each open house.
Kerri Pankratz is selling handmade items.
Diamonds in the Rust (Sarah Goertzen) She will have vintage finds and fresh flowers. She will also be having a potting session at 5pm on Thursday and Friday. Cost is $35 for a pot and 3 flowers. You can choose from annuals or succulents. Call Sarah at 402-631-9333 to reserve your spot!
Valencia Boutique (Pam Discoe & Paula O’Connell ) will be selling clothing and accessories.
Coasters Coffee Co (Sarah Johnson) will be there Thursday and Friday serving coffee and sweets. Thursday she will also serve an evening meal, and will serve lunch and supper on Friday.