Boutique opens in a grain bin on rural Truman farm

Val Pesta, left, and her daughter, Kait Wilcox, stand outside their grain bin-turned-boutique on their farm in rural Truman. A grand opening for their second bin/boutique will take place next weekend during Truman Days.

Let’s Stay Home Boutique, located just outside Truman, will celebrate its expansion next weekend during Truman Days with a grand opening.

The boutique is unique in many ways, most noticeably because it’s located inside a grain bin.

Its home is the family farm that belongs to Darin and Val Pesta. The venture is a family affair that involves Val and Darin, daughter Kait Wilcox, niece Taylor Haga and daughter-in-law Henni Kristiansen Wilcox.

Let’s Stay Home offers trendy clothing, jewelry, candles, accessories, home decor and shoes. With the expansion to a second grain bin, which will open during Truman Days, some small furniture and other goods will be offered.

The boutique first opened Dec. 2 but the family decided now would be a good time to have a grand opening and celebrate the expansion.

“The other side is quite a bit bigger. There will be a vaulted ceiling,” Val said.

The two bins will be attached and, in addition to housing a variety of items, there are two dressing rooms, a fireplace and a sitting area.

Val shared how they came to open a boutique, which centers around her daughter, Kait. Val explained that when Kait was 1 year old, she had encephalitis, which is inflammation of the brain. It can cause seizures and confusion.

“She’s always had little absent seizures,” said Val, adding that these take a toll on Kait physically and mentally.

Val had worked as a paraprofessional at Martin County West for about eight years. Kait worked at the nursing home in Trimont. In 2017, Kait began having more health problem and the family decided that working in the nursing home just wasn’t best for her anymore. Val quit her job at the school in order to stay home with Kait.

Val had been selling some clothes out of her loft, an endeavor that was going pretty well. Still, she wanted to do something more.

“It wasn’t Kait. She wasn’t into that. I wanted to do something where she was involved and gave her a purpose,” Val said.

Soon the idea of opening a boutique was put on the table.

“We were going to call it the farmhouse boutique. And my husband wanted to buy like a storage shed. But then Taylor said, ‘You have a grain bin and it’s just full of junk,’ so we emptied it out and it worked out good,” Val explained.

Let’s Stay Home boutique was born and it allowed the family to do just that.

“Val is the go-getter and she has these great visions. Darin is her anchor and I think you need that in every relationship,” Henni said of her in-laws.

Darin and Taylor’s father were able to transform the grain bin. The women began ordering clothes and items before the bin was even ready. They stored the merchandise in their loft or camper.

“The minute they got done with it, we swept, cleaned, put everything in and got it ready in a day,” Taylor said.

Val enjoys running her own boutique because she is able to order the clothes and items that she wants. She is especially proud that her boutique offers a variety of plus-size clothing.

Kait has been putting designs on pillows using a Cricut Machine.

They have designed a website, which is paused right now as they get ready to open their second boutique. Once it is up and running, people will be able to order items from the boutique online as well.

They also started doing live models, whom they post pictures of in outfits and accessories sold at the boutique. They utilize their Instagram and Facebook pages. Henni explained that their models are their customers.

“We’re very family-orientated. Our customers are our friends. We want people to see that our models are real life people,” she said.

And that’s something they all take pride in: making friends with their customers.

“We want everyone to feel at home here. I don’t care if you buy anything. Sit and stay a while,” said Val, motioning to the sitting area inside the boutique.

The boutique has been open several weekends since last December and has been successful so far. Moving forward, the proprietors plan to have the boutique open the first and third weekends of the month, on Fridays and Saturdays, and always by appointment.

The family is eagerly anticipating finishing the second bin and opening in just a few short days.

“I’m looking forward to growing. I want to see you learn new things,” Val said to Kait.

Truman Days hours for the boutique will be 5-8 p.m. Thursday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday.

The Boutique is located near Truman at 2836 240th Street.