• Hohn family: "When you own your business, the work never ends"

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     Jason and Allison Hohn are business owners, parents and long-time Mitchell residents.
    Jason grew up in Mitchell and learned hard work at a young age. As early as middle school, he did janitorial work and cleaned carpets for a local company. In high school, he started a lawn care business so that by the time he graduated, he had a clientele established. With a year of business courses at MTI on his resume, he has been working for himself ever since.
    Allison spent summers and weekends in Mitchell during her growing-up years. It was during one of those summers, around the time they graduated from high school, that mutual friends introduced the couple.
    Allison attended Lake Area Technical Institute in Watertown and became a licensed cosmetologist. She worked as a hair stylist for 10 years, throughout the first years of their marriage.
    Now married 19 years, the Hohns own Hohn’s Carpet Cleaning and Jason Hohn’s Lawn Care.  They employ two additional full-time employees, plus part-time and seasonal help.
    While Allison manages the office and does hands-on work in the carpet cleaning business, Jason continues to do lawn care and carpet cleaning as well. Their three children – 14-year-old Connor, 13-year-old Jada and 9-year-old Abby – also pitch in to help sometimes.
    “Owning a business gives us flexibility with our busy kids,” said Allison.
    All three of the Hohn children are active in different activities. For Connor, heading into his freshman year at Mitchell High School, it’s track, baseball, football and hockey.  Jada is involved in middle school and travel teams for volleyball and fast-pitch softball.  Abby, going into 4th grade at Longfellow, does year-round gymnastics.
    The Hohns have encouraged their children to participate in sports.
    “Sports provide good structure for the rest of your life,” said Jason. “For me, basketball provided a standard of ethical conduct, plus physical fitness and good health habits.”
    “It also keeps them out of trouble!” added Allison.
    They agree that they want their children to understand that they must work hard in life, because no one will just hand them things without their putting in some effort.
    The commitment of owning a business isn’t for everyone, the Hohns say.
    “Entrepreneurs need to stay open-minded and patient,” said Allison. “You can’t please everyone, but you should strive to.”
    “It’s hard work,” said Jason, admitting that in the early years it wasn’t unusual for him to work from 5 a.m. to 10 p.m., six days a week.
    The family also is committed to supporting other local businesses.
    “Mitchell retail is the best it’s been in recent years,” said Allison.
    “I buy everything locally that I can,” added Jason.  “It’s important to support other businesses because they support us.”
    In rare downtime, the Hohns enjoy riding Harleys, family camping trips and hanging out with friends. They have found connections through their kids’ activities, schools and their church.
    “When you own your business, the work never ends,” she said. “But that’s a good thing.”

    Photo: Ann Long Photography