March 29, 2018
TEKAMAH, Neb.- On National Mom and Pop Business Owners Day, we decided to look at the importance of small businesses in Nebraska.
At Master’s Hand in Tekamah, Scott and Susie Robison seem to have a good handle on what it means to be a “mom and pop” business. “It’s about family. That’s what makes a mom and pop store a mom and pop store. Our employees are family, and our customers are family,” Master’s Hand co-owner Scott Robison said.
When you walk in the door at Master’s Hand, you experience the warmth, kindness and personal service. It’s a business that started small. “We started in our kitchen actually in 2003 making candles. We started having more people wanting them, so we moved to the basement, and we actually outgrew the entire house,” Master’s Hand co-owner Susie Robison said. Eventually, Scott and Susie were able to move to a building just south of Tekamah, and they’ve been growing ever since. We still make our candles in the back, and then we opened up a flower shop. We also have the chocolate company, and we make our own chocolates here, and I love hospitality,” Susie said. You could say the Master’s Hand store is geared toward the female shopper. Owners say running a successful mom and pop business like this requires building relationships. “Here when people step in the door, people have entrusted us with the most valuable resource they have. Their time. And it’s a great responsibility when someone steps in that door to honor the fact that they’ve given their time to us,” Scott said.
Scott and Susie are much like the farm and ranch families of Nebraska. They work together everyday for a common goal while balancing the challenges of everyday life. And they say one of the secrets of being successful is having a sense of humor. But along with the laughter comes some challenges. “Balancing time is one thing. It’s all encompassing,” Susie said. “The other part of about being a mom and pop business is you have to wear so many hats,” Scott said.
A big challenge came when Scott went blind a couple of years ago. “My blindness is related to diabetes,” Scott said. “I had some indications I had diabetes, but I just kept going and going, and didn’t take care of it. Ultimately, it cost me my eyesight.” But Scott says his blindness has allowed for more people to be a part of the business. And he says, it has allowed him a chance to let others find their purpose by helping him. “God gave us one more day to get up in the morning and serve people, and that is an awesome thing to wake up to in the morning, whether you can see or not,” Scott said.
It’s that positive and inspiring atmosphere that employees at this mom and pop shop love. “I don’t feel like one of 100 employees, I feel special and the attention that I get since we are not all huge and spread out, really helps me,” Master’s Hand employee Susannah Grady said.
If you are ever traveling in Tekamah, be sure to check out the Master’s Hand store. And be sure to frequent your favorite mom and pop store in your community.