BRITT | From hair salon to home-based photo studio, Amanda Krumwiede took her business, White Barn Picket Fence, from Britt to Main Street Algona on Aug. 15, 2018.
After graduating from West Hancock High School, she attended and graduated from the Professional Cosmetology Institute in Ames. Krumwiede immediately opened her own hair salon in Britt, Root 66, in 2004. In 2005 she was offered the opportunity to manage a salon in Mason City. She closed her salon, living in Mason City for a short time with her husband, Courtney.
Krumwiede said she thought she would like living in a bigger city. However, she soon realized how much she missed home.
“Britt always felt like home,” she said. “A small town, feeling welcomed, knowing people. Relationships are important to me.”
The couple bought an old four-square farmhouse Britt folks still refer to as “the old Benzler House.”
Photography has been a hobby for Krumwiede since high school. While sharing photos of her children on Facebook, she began to receive positive feedback. It was then Krumwiede realized she could turn her hobby into a business.
In 2008, Krumwiede rented space before converting her front porch into studio space for her photography. She first started taking senior photos, family photographs and weddings. However, as her family continued to grow, she decided to stop shooting weddings. She now focuses on children and families with small children.
“Honestly, I didn't think I'd do anything but hair forever,” Krumwiede said. “But I felt God was pushing me in a different direction. Photography was a side thing, but it quickly evolved. It helped provide a creative outlet for me.”
More importantly, Krumwiede discovered she really loved connecting with the kids and their families.
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“Photography was just the boat they came in,” she said. “I love photography, but it's the connections.”
With four sons and one daughter, ages ranging from 4 to 12 years, Krumwiede said she had a decision to make.
“Britt is a great place to raise a family. My parents live in Britt and my sister and her family just moved back to Britt,” she said.
Krumwiede outgrew her porch studio and really wanted a “Main Street” connection.
“While I love Britt, there was no place on Main Street for me,” she said. “I looked at places in other communities but this (Algona) was the best fit – the best space.” Krumwiede said she debated a long time before going to Algona. “Most people seem to understand my decision, but some not. They don't want to see things leave Britt.”
Her business is divided into two sections, retail store and photography studio.
The front half features gift items and contemporary farmhouse style home décor and home goods. In addition, she carries a sprinkling of carefully chosen clothing, jewelry and accessories where the profit goes to benefit organizations such as “victims of human trafficking.”
The back half consists of the photo studio.
“The two are paired together, but separate entities. I don't have experience in retail so this is a whole new endeavor for me,” Krumwiede said. “I can see how God has opened so many doors for me. I trust He'll see me through.”