June Rosckes saw herself as a boutique owner well before she became one. It came to her in a vision over two decades ago. Since 1994, Rosckes has been the proud owner and organizer behind Heart & Home Boutique, an eclectic seasonal shop filled with handmade goods crafted by a multitude of artists. For six weekends in October and November, Rosckes opens up her Waconia barn doors and welcomes guests to visit her unconventional shop.
Heart & Home Boutique was not always located inside a barn. Rosckes got her start by renting space at the American Legion auditorium for five years. After that space was no longer available, Rosckes was forced to get creative. One day after driving around Waconia in search of a new storefront, she returned back to her driveway without any luck. Suddenly, she saw her barn—which was filled with tractors, bales of hay, mice, birds and other critters—in a new light. She heard God tell her that the barn was where her boutique should be.
Transitioning a 1930s era storage barn into a boutique was not an easy task. But with the help of family and friends, Rosckes transformed the space in approximately seven or eight weeks into what it is today: a creative sanctuary for artists and shoppers alike. Shoppers tell Rosckes that time slows down for them when they pass under the barn’s 25 foot ceiling. There’s always coffee and tea on hand.
“I display my things around antiques and old furniture,” Rosckes says. “It goes with the flavor of the barn.” You might see goods displayed on a fence taken from the pasture. Or your eyes might wander up the rungs of an old ladder, holding bird cages and bags. You’ll see everything from one-of-a-kind jewelry to hand-painted calligraphy to hats, mittens and scarves to other home decor. There are practical goods like fishing lures or natural soaps. There are also several food items, such as soup, bread mixes, fudge and caramels and old fashioned canned goods such as pickled brussel sprouts, beets, beans and pickles.
As new artists emerge and old ones evolve their work, the boutique’s products change with every season. Rosckes is always looking to fill her shop with things that are unusual. She sells crafts from approximately 60 artists, many of whom are local, and most of whom live within 150 miles of Waconia.
“I like the reason why she does it,” Judy Pike says of Rosckes. Pike is a loyal customer of 10 years. Over the years, Pike has purchased jewelry, herb dips, Christmas ornaments, jams, jellies, soaps and more. She returns each season for the wide variety of items and the artists who make them. “I like to support people who are trying to make an extra buck here and there. I think a lot of people do it because they love what they are making.”
“I always tell my friends, don’t just walk through once,” Ann Aas says of the boutique. “Really look, because there’s a lot of stuff in there.” Aas is an enamel jewelry artist and Chanhassen resident who has sold her glass and metal jewelry at Rosckes’s boutique for five seasons. She enjoys working at the boutique, meeting other artists and learning about their creative processes.
“I like the atmosphere,” glass artist and Waconia resident Jane Hunsciger says. Hunsciger, another featured artist at Rosckes’s boutique, hand-paints whimsical personalized designs onto glassware. Even though she is selling her items, Hunsciger always finds time to shop and appreciate other sellers’ work: “I’ve got my favorites there. I spend about as much as I make.”
In the sea of assorted gifts and goods, there’s one commonality that strings Heart & Home Boutique’s items together: all items are handcrafted. This is non-negotiable and a point of pride for Rosckes, who has built her business’s reputation around it. “My customers walk in the door and thank me for being open every year,” Rosckes says. “I feel good that I’m offering them something unique.”
Open October 13-November 20: 9 a.m.-6 p.m. Thursdays and Fridays, 9 a.m.– 5 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays, noon-5 p.m.