My Guest post series is to put a spot light on people I have felt truly inspired by, whether they have overcome physical challenges or have launched a successful business. Most of whom I bring you is people I met somehow on social media or along the journey of life. They have generously answered questions I have put together and took the time to answer so I may share!
Today I bring you Karri and Wayne Waller. Originally from Colorado, Karri and Wayne were high school Sweethearts and have been married for close to 37 years, 1 Son and 2 Daughters and 3 Grandsons! They still have quite a bit of family in Colorado.
Faith is important to this beautiful family. Karri states, they base their marriage and life around Heavenly Father who has sustained them from the very beginning. They are/were a homeschooling family and home churched for about 25 years. The Lord works in mysterious ways! Never intending to move to Nebraska or run an Inn Wayne and Karri have built a charming Inn that they have been running for 17 years now.
An Uncle and Aunt that had real estate interest in Sidney, NE and knew of the interest the couple had in wanting to run a home-based business that could support the family, have space to farm and garden. Though this Uncle and Aunt had different lifestyle views then Wayne and Karri but they had enough respect for them to understand the choices they made and shared with them the property that they viewed and feel in love with.
During this time the offer they put in was refused and unable to put in a higher bid they went on with their lives the best they could. About a year later they were approached by the sellers and they made an offer to them for less than they originally offered! They jumped at the chance and started this new adventure! Karri states, though they had no experience in the Hospitality field, no start-up money and a mortgage in Nebraska and Colorado the couple jumped in with both feet and were flying. This change also meant they could now also enjoy their love of gardening and homesteading.
I asked her how she juggles her many passions and she says it’s an ever present challenge. She has many feathers in her cap, one is Doula work but it is very difficult to be off the property for extended times when working with birthing families. Her kids have families of their own so Wayne and Karri are needed full-time at the Inn. They incorporate farming/gardening work as she puts it, “right out our front door.”
Since Inn keeping is a 24/7 job and if they want hobby time they incorporatehobbies into their job. Since a large population is hungry they wish to share their blessings of a harvest. Karri has a love of Herbalism that has flowed into all other facets of her life. They are able to plant herbs throughout the property that are used for homemade herbal cleaners, Guests are treated to yummy meals that she prepares. You can find lovely herbs and other plants around the Gazebo and flower boxes that grace guest rooms. She says that blending that truly is the hand of our Father and they never dreamed it would all flow together as it has.
They are GREEN! So if you are looking for to stay somewhere that is conscious the land you will find they are Certified Greener Byways Program with the State of Nebraska as well as a Certified Silver Level Green Leader from Trip Advisor.
You will also find some critters here such as; Ducks, Chickens, Bees and family pets!
I am blown away by how joyful and passionate this family is and how the Lord works thru people. Of course a struggle with running this business for them has been a lack of privacy since it is just her and Wayne running the business 24/7 but they have worked out the issues with this.
Lessons learned from this experience are that “Nothing stays the same and that is a good thing! We are always growing and being stretched. We had no idea what we were getting into when we embarked on this adventure and yet due to keeping our vision centered, we are creeping toward a wonderful goal.”
When asked about their thoughts on the greatest success, Karri says, “Our greatest success is that we are able to make a living serving others in a very real and needful way while living the life we always dreamed of and doing it together as a team.”
A favorite motto is, “No compromise, no regrets!”
She does wish they could have begun this chapter when they were younger. They love and enjoy this way of life. When asked what is exciting about their lives right now she says, “We are moving forward with many foundation projects and that we have a glimmer of an easier time in the future. Otherwise, just to see what is around the next corner and how it will blossom.”
You will find this couple is grateful for everything is due to the gracious hand of the Lord! The love they share for not only one another but for others selflessly. Whether they are feeding the elderly or shut-ins of the community, you can also find this God loving family educating others about Homesteading, where our food comes from and how it can be used medicinally. They have an ever expanding garden and new greenhouse! They do have 75 or so medicinal plants on the property. SWOON!
When asked plans they had for 2017, she states, “ Specifically, we still have a couple of building projects we hope to complete in 2017 but we have a large building that needs painting and we will have to find time to squeeze that into the other work here. We don't want to look messy and unkempt so it is a challenge to take on something like that which is very visible but able to be complete in a week or even month. Otherwise, we want to see our gardens pumping out food and those in need sharing with us.”
She offers some great advice for others thinking of starting a Hospitality business. “Start sooner rather than later, expect everything to costs twice as much as you thought and to take you at least twice as long to accomplish. Don't be shy to jump in and don't get caught in a net of over-paying because that will hold you back from your other goals. There are many little inns like ours still left around the country and many have some decent land with them. Most are sadly neglected and will need so much more than you think at first look."
"Be sure to do your research, especially local markets to make sure you can be sustainable, there is much stiff competition and you will not have the capital to market yourself as they can. Which brings me to one of our best secrets for inn-keeping or gardening/farming - don't do what everyone else is doing, the same way. Be real and be unique if you want to succeed. If you like to get out on the town in the evenings or weekends, this will disappoint you very much because you need to be committed to your guests and be there for them as you hope they will be for you.”
For more information on a stay or their wellness business they can be reached at 308-254-4009
*The photos are copyrighted and the property of Sleep for less Motel and Amazing Grace Wellness, any duplication or sharing are not allowed unless expressed consent given by Karri Waller. Please contact Karri for permission*