A few years ago, I was at a point in my life that I needed to make a decision. Go back to a regular job, or find a way to continue to work from home. Working from home, does have its advantages, and I really didn’t want to go back to working 40 a week. One day, it hit me, this house was the answer. Actually, I think, it was calling my name. I’m sure, my husband, John, thought I was crazy when I told him. After all, I had never mentioned having a desire to open a bed and breakfast. It wasn’t a totally foreign idea to me. My parents had operated one, in my hometown of Scotland, SD, about 30 years ago. But this house had always fascinated me, and it had been for sale for over a year. The owners were ready to sell. After we did our initial walk through, John, was swayed to my way of thinking. We started the process, of exploring the idea. John is much more detail oriented than I am. Before we made the offer, we had this place inspected by so many people. We knew what we were getting into ahead of time. If I was the one in charge, we would have made it the very first day. To me, it was a perfect solution, an older house, that is in great shape, a way for me to work from home, and it could help pay for itself. It sounds like a win, win to me. Well, we did make our final purchase at the end of May, 2014. Then, the work began. Over the summer, we made the changes necessary to turn it from a residence into a business. For the most part, it had been very well maintained. And the changes we did, were to make it work better as a bed and breakfast. One of the rooms upstairs had been their laundry room, and it needed to be switched to a bedroom. The laundry was moved to the basement, and a full bathroom was added down there. The main floor needed a half bath and we needed to separate our private area. Since John is a farmer, summer is his busy time. We did hire most of the work done. I did do all of the wall painting. There are no white walls in this house. Luckily, John and I made a good team. Each of us, had an area we cared about being right. He wanted the woodwork and small details to look good. I was the decorator. It really helped make things go smoothly. For me, there was a day or so, that I worried about “what will they think of the decor?” I quickly got over that. It really doesn’t matter what people think. This is our home, and I want our guest to feel welcome here. So, that is how I decorate. Maybe it isn’t “modern” or a certain style, but it is me, my family, and what makes us comfortable. By October 1, 2014, we had everything complete and ready to go. Fast forward five years, and this was the best thing we have ever done. However, we weren’t an over night hit. It has taken time to build up our clientele. For one thing, people in town, didn’t quite understand what a bed and breakfast is. Plus, we had to get good reviews on the internet to help improve out of the area traffic. Every year, we have done better and better. Along the way, we realize that we needed to be involved in Highmore too. Maybe sometime I should calculate exactly how many guests we have had over the years. So far, they have come from at least 37 states and 6 countries. My favorite thing, is when we have a full house and everyone is happily chattering at breakfast. We try very hard to give great hospitality. Our busiest month has been November. Well, that was until this year, and it has been busy all year. I’m thankful for John going along with me and for being my snow removal guy. (You should see the size of equipment he uses for that!) He does do lot of other things around here too. But for the most part, this is my domain. After all, he does have a full time job. I, on the other hand, have several part time ones. Basically, this allows me to be flexible in my schedule for all of those other activities. Which is what I was looking for, when this idea originally popped into my head. I love being able to dream and make things happen.
- Jane Purcell on The start of my family tree
- Beth Simonson on South Dakota guide
- Cheap Rooms in Anaheim on South Dakota guide