Willow City woman starts booming business after retirement


When you retire many use the much needed free time to relax. Onne Willow City woman decided to use her extra time to start her own business.

Reporter Aaron Fields met up with Marylyn Diebold to see how she’s been making the most out of her retirement.

Diebold says, “I’ve just got to keep busy. My mind is just going with new ideas all the time. I love crafts and I guess I’m just kind of hyper.”

Marylyn Diebold had been working for nearly 40 years at Willow City’s First National Bank and Trust and after retiring she started noticing potential in things others wouldn’t.

“I looked at all this needle wood laying there and I was thinking the stories this wood could tell and we were just going to burn it and I thought no… so I just got the idea,” says Diebold.

She got some of the pieces and started putting designs on the old wood, trying to give it a purpose again. That’s when she created Willow Creek Bend.

The at-home business uses old and new wood to create unique signs. She’s done anything from Christmas themes to ones that highlight North Dakota’s nature and continues to try out new ideas every day.

Diebold says, “It’s really not just one thing it’s a mixture of everyone’s interest and that’s what is kind of fun too.”

But she tells KX News she couldn’t have done it without her husband, Wayne… working hand in hand together.

“He’s gotten the pallets cut up and he’s been such a help,” Diebold says. “He won’t let me near the handsaw, and saws all the boards and does most of the sawing for me. So he’s in this too.”

Wayne Diebold adds “She does great work and you wouldn’t think she had it in her really but she does it. It’s just unreal.”

Aaron Fields: “Do yall ever get tired of each other from working together?”

Wayne Diebold: “Hahaha no not really.”

Both Marylyn and Wayne never thought it would grow into what it has today. Marylyn told me she was hoping to get just 50 likes on her business page and now has over 800.

With their team effort they have sent signs to people all over the country.

“I’ve been at it now for about 11 years and everytime I sell one I get the YESSS (feeling). It’s just as exciting now as it was selling my first one,” says Diebold.

Marylyn wants people to know retirement doesn’t mean it’s the end and just do what you love.

“To me when I started this… you know when you retire from one job you’re not retiring from life. Go for it! Just follow what you think… and I’m having fun with this. You need to love what you’re doing. I’m not an artist per se and my stuff is very simple but I like it that way.”

Her signs range from $15-$60 and she has made over hundreds of signs.

It’s not about the money for Diebold but just continuing her passion. Wayne has even started creating his own furniture from the old wood they’ve found.

They are taking COVID-19 seriously and spray all their signs down with Lysol before sending them.

For more information about Willow Creek Bend, click here.



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