NFIB Visits Holmes County

Date: November 02, 2018

Holmes County is home to over 850 NFIB members, as well as the largest Amish population in Ohio. Holmes County at present is comprised of 11 distinct affiliations. The community of over 30,000 individuals makes up more than half of Ohio’s Amish population by itself, and many of these individuals are small business owners. Tourism is also a big part of Holmes County. Some interesting FAQs can be found here:

Earlier in 2018, NFIB launched our latest Area Action Council in Holmes County.  The group is chaired by Kurt Rohde, owner Rodhe’s Market in Millersburg. The business has been a member since 1963. The Vice Chair of the group is Paul Schlabach, owner of Diamond Doors in Fredericksburg, who joined just this year. With so many members in this county, prior to the Fall 2018 Holmes County Area Action Council meeting, members of the NFIB staff in Ohio took some time to get to know some of these members.

Lamp & Light Candle (member since 2012)

Lamp & Light Candle has been open for ten years. Operated by four sisters, who shared a love of candles before opening the shop, Lamp & Light’s candles have 75 scents in them, and ship as far away as Iowa. The shop usually makes 30-40 candles per day, and some of their candles take several days to make. Lamp & Light Candle is open six days a week, year-round.

Signature Craft (member since 2015)

Signature Craft is a wholesale custom cabinetry company that’s been in business for four years now. Signature Craft doesn’t typically sell locally, but rather sells cabinets in Columbus, Dayton, and Cincinnati.

Robert Raber, the owner of Signature Craft, says he’s worked in cabinet shops since he was 17 and that he always wanted to own his own. Signature Craft has grown quite a bit in its four years of business, Raber says; they now have seven employees.

Bfearless (member since 2013)

Bfearless is one of the English businesses in Holmes County, and they cater to the English community. In business for five and a half years, Bfearless is a women’s boutique, and their business is locally driven. At the end of the year, Bfearless donates all their clothes to a foundation in Dover.

Bfearless has been very successful in their five and a half years of business, employing 15 people across two different stores. They’ve even hosted their own fashion show at the Encore Hotel. Owner Tim Schlabach says that fashion is a different business and that the hardest part is that they need to keep moving product.

Berlin Furnishings (New Member in 2018)

Berlin Furnishings is one of the newest Amish businesses in Holmes County, with just three months in business. Joseph Yoder and his daughter run the business, with the help of one additional employee. They make hardwood furniture, a craft that’s been in the family for generations. Yoder says it typically takes them ten weeks to fulfill an order, and that everything they sell is manufactured right next door to their showroom.

Valley Brake LLC (member since 2013)

Valley Brake manufactures brakes for buggies used by the Amish community. Leroy Yoder took over the business from his father in 2012, but the company has been in the family since 1980. Valley Brake works directly with buggy manufactures to supply the brakes. Yoder has four employees and uses a machine that was made in Cleveland during World War II to manufacture their brakes.

Farmerstown Furniture (member since 1991)

Merle Hershberger took over the business in 2002, which has been in her family since 1969. Farmerstown Furniture builds and ships custom furniture all over the country. They feature eight different types of wood, typically taking ten weeks to fulfill orders. Farmerstown Furniture has a 5,000 square foot showroom where they show off bedroom sets, desks, rockers, and more.

NFIB members had an opportunity to meet with their Ohio State Senator, Ohio State Representative, and a nominee for Ohio Supreme Court at the Holmes County Area Action Council in October. Many of the members NFIB met with the day prior were able to attend an receive some valuable information on state issues and the November election.

The Holmes Area Action Council meets three to four times per year and is an excellent opportunity to meet elected officials who are working to promote your right to own, operate, and grow your business. The meetings are also excellent opportunities for members to keep up to date on state and federal legislation and new laws that impact small business owners throughout the year. For more information regarding the Holmes Area Action Council, please contact Gracie Gerlach at or at (614) 221-4107.

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