LP’s Do It Yourself Rental closing its doors for good

October 15, 2007

By Ivan Raconteur
Staff Writer

The building has been sold, soon the tools and equipment will be auctioned off, and Do It Yourself Rental will become part of Lester Prairie’s past.

For nearly three years, owners Bob Thiesfeld and his wife, Julie Havelka, who live near Silver Lake, have run the business at 700 Central Avenue mostly on their own.

After devoting the majority of their time to managing the business and helping others with their projects, Thiesfeld and Havelka are ready to spend some time pursuing other interests.

“We were always here,” Thiesfeld said of the past few years.

The store was open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. six days per week.

Thiesfeld was previously employed as facilities supervisor for Lake Region Manufacturing in Chaska.

There, he was responsible for building maintenance, equipment repair, and a variety of other duties that prepared him for running a rental business.

He explained that the business had “a little bit of everything,” from lawn care to construction equipment, trailers, tractors, and a wide variety of tools.

“When someone calls or stops in, you have to know what tool is right for the job and how to use it,” Thiesfeld said.

He often had to show customers how to use the equipment. Sometimes, the first thing people asked was “How do you turn it on?”

The need for a broad range of knowledge was part of why Thiesfeld had to spend so much time at work.

“You can’t just hire anyone off the street. They have to know how to use everything,” he said.

Havelka is employed in the information technology field, and has continued to work at her day job while they owned the store.

She helped at the rental business in the evenings and on weekends.

During the summer months, they both often worked Sundays, when people would return tables and chairs, and they had to get them ready and check them out to the next customer.

Owning the business has been a good experience for Thiesfeld and Havelka, who both grew up in Glencoe, but now they are ready to take time out for themselves.

Their daughter, Brittany, is 16.

“We want to be able to spend more time with her, and enjoy her last two years of high school,” Havelka said.

Brittany plays basketball for the Minnesota Stars, and has played in a number of out-of-state tournaments.

“This is an exciting time. The colleges are starting to call, and I haven’t seen her play in a tournament for two years,” Thiesfeld said.

He admitted that he is ready to spend some time catching up on his own hobbies, too.

He is an avid outdoorsman, and he used to spend nearly every weekend hunting in the fall. He hasn’t been able to do that since they bought the business.

“The dogs sit at home and wonder when they are going to get to go out hunting again,” Havelka said.

“I am looking forward to going back to a five-day work week,” Thiesfeld said with a smile.

As for the tools and equipment, everything will be sold at an auction Friday, Oct. 26 starting at 10 a.m.

A list of the items can be found at www.diyrental.com, or at the auctioneer’s web site, www.faheysales.com.

Thiesfeld and Havelka are not getting out of the rental business completely, though.

They plan to keep 20 tables and 140 chairs, as well as a 20-foot-by-30-foot tent, which they will rent out for parties. For information about these items, contact them at (320) 327-8459.

Thiesfeld and Havelka said they appreciate the business people have given them over the years, and they appreciate everyone who has come into the store while they owned it.

The rental business has been at that location for about 13 years, Thiesfeld said, but he was unsure about the new owner’s plan for the building.

He has not decided what he plans to do yet either, but he has some ideas.

“I may just get a fish house and spend the winter out on a lake fishing,” he said.

Need any tools?

All of the tools and equipment owned by Do It Yourself Rental will be sold at auction, Friday, Oct. 26 starting at 10 a.m.

The business is located at 700 Central Avenue in Lester Prairie.

A list of the items to be sold can be found at www.diyrental.com, or at www.faheysales.com.