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Rex McDonald Studio is now under new management

Scott and Kim Woods are the new owners of Rex McDonald Studio in Wadena. Back row, from left: McKayla, Kim, Scott and Megan Woods. Front row, from left: Cole and Kade Woods. Submitted photo

After nearly 30 years of owning Rex McDonald Studio in downtown Wadena, Don Hoffman has sold the business.

The new studio owners are Scott and Kim Woods of Alexandria, Hoffman said Monday. Scott said the studio was set to close Dec. 31 and reopen Tuesday, with him and his wife as the official new owners.

Kim owns a photography studio in Alexandria, Glimpse Photography, which will serve as the parent company to Rex McDonald, she said. The name will stay the same, she said, but she and her husband will incorporate some new elements into the business.

"They call it a 'boutique' style of photography," she said.

Although Scott and Kim reside in Alexandria, they grew up in Wadena and are aware of the 80-year legacy they have inherited by purchasing the Rex McDonald studio. They had their senior pictures and wedding photos taken there, the couple said.

"It's known for its quality and great service," Kim said. "There's not a lot of studios around anymore. A lot of people just do it out of their home, so we're excited to have a space where people can still come and have their family where you don't have to depend on the weather and what time of day it is."

Hoffman as agreed to stay on for an undetermined amount of time, Kim said. Hoffman said his full role at the studio during that time is still not completely set, but he will be a consultant and part-time photographer to help with the transition.

"I'm glad to help them. I had a lot of help when I started out," Hoffman said, "so I think that's the thing to do."

Scott was grateful to have Hoffman stay at the business.

"It keeps that consistency there, and what the business has been, and hopefully (will) keep the current clientele," he said.

Hoffman said that after his time at Rex McDonald is done, he'll likely retire.

"I'm 60-some years old, almost 61, and I'm just thinking that at some point you need to plan for that," he said. "This is probably sooner than I was originally thinking, but I don't think I want to wait until the end and then not be able to find a buyer ..."

Although Hoffman said he felt sad leaving behind the role of owning his own business, he also felt somewhat relieved.

"It's the stress of wearing all the hats that you need to wear when you're an owner - marketing, insurance, benefits ... all of those things I won't be solely responsible for."

Hoffman also said he was excited for the future of Rex McDonald under the Woods' leadership.

"(They're) a young, energetic, vibrant couple that are going to be businesspeople here in Wadena," he said. "They will continue to generate quality work."