“Easy going, friendly and hard-working” are the adjectives Nathan Wanner used to describe himself in three words.
This week’s Neighbor is 28 years old and is the new manager at the Slumberland in Hayward, having moved here in 2019 from Fargo, North Dakota, where he became the assistant manager of Slumberland in their West Fargo store in early 2017.
Born in Bismarck, North Dakota, and raised about an hour west of Bismarck in Hebron, Nathan is the son of Deb and Don Wanner. His mother grew up in Rosemount, Minnesota, and went to college in Fargo, where she met her husband, Don, who is from Hebron.
Nathan said his dad is a farmer and rancher, owning cattle and growing crops — wheat, barley, sunflowers and corn.
His mom has been a nursing home activity director for over 30 years.
Do you have any siblings?
“Yes, I have one sister, Vanessa. She is a physical therapist in Dickinson, North Dakota. She is married to Levi who farms with my dad. In April she and Levi had a baby, Liam, and I am lucky enough to be his godfather.”
What were you like as a kid? What did you like to do?
“Growing up I played basketball and helped out on the farm a lot. Every summer during my elementary years we would spend a couple weeks with my grandma and grandpa in Minnesota. We would go to Duluth and the Twins games. My two cousins lived near Minneapolis, which allowed us to see them some, too. Hebron is about eight hours away from the Twin Cities so it was always fun to spend time there.
I liked collecting sports memorabilia, going to sporting events and playing basketball.
We would try to take a family vacation to either the Black Hills or Duluth for a week in our camper each year.”
What schools did you attend?
“I went to Hebron Public School from kindergarten through senior year. I graduated with 16 people.
I moved to Fargo in 2009 to attend college at North Dakota State University. I spent four years there and graduated with a business administration degree.”
How did you get into the Slumberland business?
“In 2013 I started working at Slumberland in Dilworth, Minnesota, the day after I graduated college. In the beginning of 2017 I became the assistant manager at the West Fargo store. In January of 2019 I agreed to relocate to Hayward to manage the store here.”
What is working in retail like for you?
“I enjoy working at Slumberland because of all my friendly co-workers and the great work environment that Slumberland creates for its employees. Each store I have been in has had a family environment.
Working in retail has its ups and downs but I love that every day is different and I get to meet a lot of people.”
What’s your favorite thing to sell? How many staff?
“I enjoy selling mattresses the most.
One of my favorite days of the year for work is when Slumberland does our annual ‘Home for the Holidays.’ We donate beds to children in need. In Hayward we donated 13 beds this year.
There are seven employees in the store, between sales people and warehouse staff.”
Any thoughts on moving to Hayward?
“We weren’t sure what to expect moving to Hayward. Everyone has been very friendly here. There is a lot to do. We love exploring all the lakes around here in the summer and I am excited to explore the trails this winter.”
What surprised you the most about Hayward?
“I was surprised about all the resorts and restaurants. We love trying every place.
I was surprised how many people knew of Hayward or had connections to Hayward before moving here.
I understand why after being here. It’s a great place to vacation and has an awesome community feel to live in.”
Three words to describe Hayward?
“Snowy, outdoorsy, fun.”
What is your greatest fear?
“I hate snakes! Hopefully won’t run into one anytime soon and definitely won’t be picking one up for fun.”
Your greatest accomplishment?
“Becoming a store manager because I went to college with the hope to someday be a manager. It’s cool to see it actually happen.”
Who does your hair?
“My amazing girlfriend, Sam, does my hair at Salon Soleil (she told me to add the amazing part).”
(Editor’s note: The Sam to whom Nathan refers is Sam Ruszat, who was a Meet Your Neighbor several weeks ago. People from Fargo are friendly.)