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The Rock House

                                                                                                                                                      Photo by Christy Porter
Jean Potts and Trish Kissiar-Knight team up again for their design and rental business, 
The Rock House Design & Rentals.
 By Shari Harris


A rock house on south Hwy. 137 was the boyhood home of Wesley Kissiar. When he was about nine-years-old, as daughter Jean Potts recalls, he moved with his family to Licking, from Redbud, Ill. Potts and sister, Trish Kissiar-Knight, have a goal of restoring that rock house. They have named their new business in honor of it and hope to use some of the proceeds toward that end.
The Rock House Designs & Rentals is a multi-faceted operation, combining the patience and restoration talents of Potts with the design talents of Kissiar-Knight. They offer wedding décor and rentals, with setup available, interior décor items, furniture renovation, and consignment painting.

Photo by Christy Porter
The Rock House Design & Rentals showed many of their items 
at Christmas in July at the historic Licking Mill Saturday.
Potts started doing restorations after her daughter graduated from high school. She took a class in furniture restoration and found the time and attention required for a project to be a positive outlet for the stresses of her job. When her daughter married in 2017, Potts and her family made many of the decorations for the event. These were the beginning of their stock of wedding rental items. When Potts moved back to Licking in 2019, she teamed up again with her sister, who had relocated to the area about six years earlier, and they officially opened their business, The Rock House, in June of this year.
Kissiar-Knight and Potts started making their marks on the world in high school. In 1975, Trish Kissiar was a senior and Jean Kissiar was a sophomore at Licking High School. Their historic volleyball season ended with a first place state win over all classes in Missouri’s first state volleyball tournament and earned them a place in the Missouri Sports Hall of Fame.
Kissiar-Knight was inspired by her high school coaches and, after playing on a championship SMSU (Missouri State) volleyball team, she went on to coach fourteen years at West Plains High School, taking her team to four consecutive Class 4A state championships. Another 16 years were spent leading the MSU-West Plains Grizzlies volleyball team, with Kissiar-Knight recalling 10 or 11 of those years, finishing in the final 16 in the nation. Though she is semi-retired now, Kissiar-Knight continues to run volleyball camps and referees for USA Volleyball.
Potts also played volleyball her first year of college, but her aspirations led her to attend nursing school, and the curriculum did not allow her to continue her college volleyball career. Potts has been a flight nurse for Mercy Lifeline since 1997, and her current role as clinical educator, training flight crews at four bases in Arkansas and Missouri, is just as important in saving lives as when she was on a crew. Volleyball is in her blood, however, and she continues to coach club volleyball in the Springfield area, even after returning to Licking.
Their parents, Wesley and Patsy Kissiar, taught them well. In 1964, the Kissiars started a John Deere dealership in Licking, in the building most recently converted from Dunky’s Ice Cream to a private residence on North Main Street. The Kissiars built the building on Hwy. 32, between Dollar General and PJ’s Café, and moved the John Deere dealership to that location. Another move was to come, when they purchased the Chevrolet dealership at Hwy. 63 and BB, south of Licking, and combined the businesses. The Kissiars ran successful dealerships for many years, and the successes of their daughters followed their example.
If their former accomplishments are any indication, expect great things from The Rock House. And if you’re looking for wedding rentals, are redecorating, or need your items restored or even repurposed, The Rock House Designs & Rentals is worthy of a call. You can reach them at 417-274-3925, 417-880-9345, or email trishknight12@yahoo.com or coachpotts@icloud.com.