WEST MILTON — Jenny Wagner’s father worked as a carpenter when she was growing up. Yet in spite of growing up with a carpenter, she had no interest in working with wood or crafting.
“I didn’t even know I was crafty,” she said. “I worked in a doctor’s office at an oncology-humantology office and I just started making things, taking them in and showing the girls that I worked with.”
Wagner gave her crafts to her coworkers, who eventually told her they could not keep accepting her items for free and offered to pay her for them.
“That’s how it started,” she said. “I stopped in here (what is now her store) when it was Cozy Cottage and I stopped in here and rented a spot from here. A few months later, she (the owner) asked me if I’d take over the store from her. I decided to quit my job and do this full-time.”
Her first business, Jenny’s Country Creations, opened in May. The store has all kinds of items that give off a look that’s a mix between country and antiquated. Eleven vendors also have their items for sale in Wagner’s store, contributing to the diversity of crafts available in the store.
“We have the farmhouse table, we have signs,” she said. “We make all of our wood products so 95 percent of our items are all handmade. It’s a joke at home that my husband is my wood elf. He makes all the larger items, like the table and benches, and I make all the smaller items myself. After he makes everything I sand them down and finish them.”
Wagner said her children, all of whom decorate their homes in a country style, motivated her to open the store with that particular line of items. The second motivating factor was providing affordable home decor to everyone.
“My theory is, I want it to be affordable for young women and single moms to be able to decorate their houses like anyone else would,” she said. “At one time I was a single mom with four kids and you know, it’s hard to afford to buy stuff, so I wanted all of my stuff to be affordable. I want the customers to be able to walk in the store and see things they can buy.”
Wagner also hopes Jenny’s Country Creations is able to bring something different to and keep small community business going.
“I figured the more stores along here, the more people it will attract,” she said. “It would make more sense to walk to four or five stores while you’re here instead of one or two.”
Jenny’s Country Creations is located at 47 Miami St., West Milton. Hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday and Wednesday and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Thursday, Friday and Saturday. Wagner predicted that once her open house hits in November, the store will be open longer hours.