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Community Highlights: Meet Hannah James of HLM Hospitality

Today we’d like to introduce you to Hannah James.

Hi Hannah, thanks for joining us today. We’d love for you to start by introducing yourself.
Three years ago, my dad died unexpectedly and left my two sisters and I with an 11-room hotel in Hermann, Missouri, a historic German town in wine country, about 3 hours from KC. At the time, I had just started a new job, so in full grieving mode, I spent my weekends, evenings and lunch breaks learning how to run a hotel (answering phone calls, social media, managing staff, ordering supplies, you name it). On top of that, our mom (who has since also passed) was sick in a memory care facility with early onset dementia. It was an extremely challenging time to say the least, and after a year, in March 2019, my husband and I decided the only way we could continue on was if I left the corporate job behind. It was the best decision I’ve ever made and allowed me to take our business to the next level. It worked and I was finally living my dream. That spring, an old Bed & Breakfast went up for sale just around the corner from the hotel and we knew it was an opportunity we couldn’t pass up. We spent those summer months renovating and restoring the historic three bedroom/2 bath house and separate garden cottage, making it The Schiller House, a Bed & Beverage. Since Covid, which gave us ample time to finish projects (a silver lining), the response to both of our properties has been really amazing. Despite the crazy awfulness that has been losing both of my parents, I couldn’t feel more fortunate to be where I am today. I feel like I’ve found my “calling” and have two amazing guardian angels who I know are guiding the way.

Up next, my husband and I moved to Hermann full time and recently purchased another historic property right around the corner from our hotel and the house. We’ll be restoring it and opening it as a general store/cocktail bar this July. The Fancy Pheasant Provisions & Pours will carry wine, beer, spirits, grocery and gifts.

One of my favorite things about our hospitality business is that we get to meet so many great people from all over the state/country. Hermann is such an idyllic, charming town and I love playing a part in the experience people have here. We hope our new venture will become a destination and gathering spot for tourists and locals alike and we can’t wait to see where this next chapter takes us.

We all face challenges, but looking back would you describe it as a relatively smooth road?
Inheriting a business and not only having to teach myself how to run it but constantly finding ways to improve it was a challenge. I’ve spent countless hours researching, networking, asking for advice and of course, good old-fashioned trial and error.

We’ve been impressed with HLM Hospitality, LLC, but for folks who might not be as familiar, what can you share with them about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
HLM Hospitality consists of Vinchester Inn, an 11-room boutique hotel, The Schiller House, a Bed & Beverage guest house rental and The Fancy Pheasant, a modern-day general store, all located in the heart of historic Hermann, MO. We are a 3-hour drive from KC, making it a very popular weekend getaway for Kansas Cityians.

If you had to, what characteristic of yours would you give the most credit to?
Determination. Coupled with creativity, it has all happened when I decide “it has to happen”. Truly though, none of it would be if it weren’t for my husband. He’s a force and somehow manages to juggle a full-time job in advertising with a full plate of maintenance/contractor jobs.

Contact Info:

Image Credits
Joan Fisher

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