Current owner of The Barn and KD Designs, Kara Parde, says that when it comes to a small business, “it will grow on its own if it’s meant to.” That is exactly how she has managed to grow her business and became the new owner of “The Barn” in Hastings, Nebraska.
In 2005, Kara began a jewelry business with her daughter. They decided to sell their products for fundraising for the playhouse that Kara's daughter was acting at in Lincoln and found their efforts successful. Following the fundraiser, they began going to craft shows and farmers' markets before opening a year-round store in downtown Lincoln called KD Designs, located at 151 N 8th Suite 110.
Before the store's opening, Kara was no stranger to The Barn Festival. She had been a vendor for many years and had built a strong relationship with the previous owner. Kara explained that they had taken their "Charm Bar" vendor pop-up shop to many different events in Chicago and Minneapolis, but she said, "nothing compared to what we did here, The Barn is really special."
When the first time arose to purchase the property, Kara and her husband didn't express much interest. It wasn't until a year later that they decided it was the right time. With the support of family, friends, and their community, they knew they had made the right decision and were preparing to move to Hastings and commit to owning The Barn.
The Barn has hosted festivals for the last 27 years, and this year will be no different. There are currently two festivals at the Barn - one in May and one in September. Kara and her team carefully selected the vendors for these festivals and come from as close as Hastings and as far away as Texas. The festivals bring about 5000-8000 visitors ready to shop on both sides of the road during the multiple-day festival and see what all Hastings has to offer.
This year's Fall Festival is scheduled for Sept. 16th - 18th and Sept. 23rd - 25th. In addition, Kara is working on hosting a Christmas Market this year which will run from Dec. 2nd - Dec. 11th. She is also working on many other potential projects that are very exciting for the future of The Barn.
On top of the festivals, Kara has opened an additional KD Mercantile location on the property. The store sells accessories, purses, jewelry, home decor, and more! The items they sell in their store are products they have made, popular Barn Festival vendor products, and some outsourced things.
Since moving to Hastings, Kara made the switch to Heartland Bank. She recalled many community members recommending her to Heartland Bank and trusted their opinions. Kara said, "I love banking there, Beth was great, and it's just real people." Kara appreciated that the first time she pulled through the drive-thru, they called her by her name.
Visit The Barn September 16th-18th and 23rd-25th for their Fall Festival or stop into KD Mercantile Wednesday - Saturday 10:00 AM - 6:00 PM or Sunday 12:00 - 5:00 PM at 3030 S. Marian Rd, Hastings NE 68901. You can also keep up with The Barn online at https://barnfestival.com/, follow them and participate in live sales on their Facebook and Instagram pages, and also follow along with KD Mercantile's.
Behind the Business is a feature series highlighting and giving back to the businesses behind Heartland Bank. Our customers do not pay to be featured.
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