Young Kearney entrepreneur sells homemade fishing lures at Cabela's
A young Kearney entrepreneur is building and getting into a major retailer.
Justin Hoeft, an 18-year-old high school student started making fishing lures for his family when he was 10.
Now Cabela's is selling his lures.
"Had a flattened penny one day and the idea kind of hit me to use these for a spinner blade and it all kind of evolved from there," said owner of JR Lucky Lures Justin Hoeft.
Justin started fishing when he was 2 years old.
When he was 8, his parents took him to Cabela's in Omaha to learn fly tying because he loved to fish so much.
"I mean he's just always loved the outdoors. Always," said Justin's mother Connie Hoeft.
"I always had a habit of getting caught in trees and stuff and losing a lot of lures. I just needed something where I could make a lot of lures and have a lot of different colors readily available," said Justin Hoeft.
Years later in 2015, he started selling them at the Kearney Archway.
"When Justin came to me to sell his lures, I was ecstatic with the idea. We have thousands of people from across the world who come to visit the Archway every single year. To have a unique Nebraska made item for fishing, oh, one of America's pastimes I was thrilled with the idea. They were clever, unique and like I said, handmade," said event and retail coordinator for the Kearney Archway Kara Stevens.
Justin's mom Connie said they're unique because the design has local ties.
"It's the penny stamped with the Archway and it says Kearney, Nebraska so no matter where he sells these it's going to say Kearney, Nebraska. I think that's super cool," said Connie Hoeft.
Justin said the names are clever.
"We kind of have all sorts of different sayings. Some of my favorite sayings are "Just for the Halibut" or a "Kickin bass lure" or "Bite Me" just kind of different funny sayings to make them kind of a gift and a good fishing lure," said Justin Hoeft.
Now Cabela's in Omaha is selling his products - he said it's ironic because that's where he first learned fly tying.
"I took him over there to see the lures put out. It was just like a dream. He was just bubbling. He was just so happy to see them in a place that he shops and he actually has his product there," said Connie Hoeft.
"I'd never thought this would end up happening but it's pretty exciting that it did," said Justin Hoeft.
Justin Hoeft is looking forward to the future to expand his sales throughout other stores in Nebraska and says he may have to add a few more people to his team.