It started with a bookshelf. Rob Hoerr was 11 years old when his grandfather showed him how to build his first wooden piece. As a child, Hoerr watched his grandfather tinker with wood, making odds and ends like small wooden animals. As he grew up, he took a wood shop class in high school, but it wasn’t until he was an adult that he decided to turn his fascination and creativity into a livelihood.
He worked as a youth pastor then in a call center before finally deciding that a mundane day job wasn’t for him. “As I got older and did a call center job to survive, it got to a point where I was frustrated, and it felt like I had to do something creative,” Hoerr says.
He went to Missouri State University and earned a degree in interior design but wanted to do more than decorate homes. “I realized pretty quickly that I didn’t just want to show up and be the guy that told someone what to do on site; I wanted to be able to contribute to it,” Hoerr says. “That led to me learning how to build custom pieces for design jobs, and that became the thing I wanted to do all the time.”
After graduating, he worked for a local furniture business and perfected his building skills. In 2015, he started Moon City Goods, a business that rolls custom home goods and interior design into one.
Running as a one-man show, Hoerr creates all his products in a tiny 550-square-foot workshop without air conditioning. Once a piece is finished, he keeps it in his house so the ever-present film of dust doesn’t dirty the completed project.
By working both interior design jobs and shipping products, Hoerr says he has found Springfield to be the perfect hub. “It’s inexpensive to operate the business here, and shipping small items is reasonable enough that I can base the business here and still make money,” Hoerr says. “The website generates most of the business.”