How You Built It: Small Store, Big Heart ft. Home Within

Updated: Sep 24

Small Business Appreciation Week is September 20-26 so to celebrate we are highlighting a few business members who volunteered to share their stories.

The categories are:

  1. Breaking Barriers

  2. Small Store, Big Heart

  3. Out of the Ordinary

  4. Home Grown

  5. Bigger Than Before

Today we are sharing our second category - Small Store, Big Heart featuring Home Within.

Hi Lori and Megan! Thank you taking a few minutes to chat with us about your business! First question, will you each tell us a bit about yourselves?


My name is Lori Romatzke, I am originally from Lexington, but married a Kearney boy so now I live here! I have 2 sons - 7 and 4.  I taught school for several years, but decided last year to retire. Opening a store has always been my dream and I feel so lucky I get to do this every day! 

My name is Megan Mitchell, I was born and raised in Kearney.  I have 2 daughters, a freshman in college and an 8th grader. I am an active realtor with Coldwell Banker. I've always had the desire to open a store and am so lucky to have done so.


Wow! We love that you have been so involved with the community in your other careers and now continue to do so by owning a small business!

So, when did you open your shop?


We opened this spring briefly and then decided to hold back until August.  Our grand opening was August 8. 


And we loved being a part of your Ribbon Cutting for that Grand Opening! Will you tell our readers more about your location? The size, where you are located, the style of your space, and what kind of products you carry.


We are located at 2210 Central Ave - we have about 4500 square feet of retail space.  You will find home decor and gifts.  Our style is a little bit of everything.  We want everyone to find something they might love.


That's wonderful that you want to carry something for everyone, so then who would you consider to be your customer?


I think Everyone can be our customer!  Whether you are buying a gift for someone or yourself, or decorating you home we've got you covered. 


Next question, do you have any employees? Give them a little highlight.


We do not have any employees right now - It's just us!! 


Most small businesses start out that way, with a lot of love from their owners to help it grow! Which is a great segue into our next question. The theme of this segment is Small Business, Big Heart. So tell us, why is your business unique in its sense of heart? Our store comes from our heart!  We hand pick everything you see in our store and we put a lot of thought into what we feel our customers would love.  We really try to have a personal connection with our customers so they feel at home in our store.  We also love giving back to the surrounding communities and to Kearney.

Do you have any major goals for your business?

We do! Our 1 year go is to have some employees and our 5 year goal is to have a sustainable business that we can keep in Kearney for years to come. Wow! Those are great goals! We can't wait to watch how you grow.

With every business there are excitements and challenges -

What has been your favorite part?


Our favorite part about owning a small business in Kearney has been interacting with customers and having the support of the community to fulfill our dream.


Alternately, what has been your biggest challenge?


Our biggest challenge has probably been dealing with Covid-19 and all that comes with that in our first year of business.


Growth definitely comes with obstacles, we are glad that you were able to overcome. With overcoming obstacles, that means you probably have some great tips for aspiring business owners, any you would like share?

If you have a desire and passion - then go for it! Be ready for a lot of work but a lot of satisfaction! 

Anything else you would like to share?

We are really excited for the future and look forward to seeing everyone in our store!


Perfect! Thank you so much for sharing about your business today. We have loved an inside look at how you created a small business with big heart!

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KEARNEY AREA CHAMBER OF COMMERCE

1007 2nd Ave | PO Box 607 | Kearney, NE 68848

PHONE: (308) 237-3101

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