A new store opened in Huxley on Friday featuring products from local Iowa vendors.
Stacey Noe, Brandie Ubben and Sara Hillebrand partnered on the opening of The Local Supply Co., which is located at 201 North U.S. Highway 69.
Twin sisters Noe and Hillebrand have owned and operated Double Dipped Ice Cream and Coffee Shoppe in Huxley for more than three years, and that business has been expanded to include the new store.
“We very much love being in Huxley, and the community — even during COVID times — has really shown their support to local businesses,” Noe said.
For about a year and a half, Noe had another business idea for a store featuring Iowa-made products, and in September she pitched her idea to her sister and Ubben.
“As lovers and supporters of buying local and supporting small businesses, we wanted to provide an outlet for the outstanding Iowa artists and craftspeople so that they can share their products with our customers,” Noe said.
Their goal is to “intentionally bring together the widest possible range of products, and we have been able to do just that,” she said. “Our current mix of inventory includes everything from women’s and children’s clothing, home decor, bath and body products, fashion accessories and food items, such as honey, meats and pasta.”
Right away, they had Iowa-based vendors who were interested, and they’ve opened the doors of their shop featuring 43 of them.
“We’ve already had really positive feedback from the community,” Noe said. “People are really happy to have more options for shopping in town.”
Noe, Hillebrand and Ubben want to create a destination shopping experience. Maybe someone will stop by for ice cream or coffee and do some shopping while they’re there, Noe said. Or maybe they’ll come to shop and pick up something to eat or drink.
“We think the businesses play well off of each other and will help them both succeed,” Noe said.
The shop is set up so that each vendor has a spot in the store “so you know who you’re shopping from” and each space features a written bio about the vendor and their products.
“The businesses all have their own unique stories,” Noe said.
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For example, Bizzy Izzy is a children’s clothing boutique owned by Sydney Petersen of Huxley. In May of 2019, her daughter Izzy was born with Pierre Robin Sequence, which required an extended stay in the neonatal intensive care unit at Blank Children’s Hospital.
“While in the NICU, Izzy was only able to be swaddled in generic hospital blankets making room for her tubes and wires,” Petersen stated in her bio at the store. “As silly as it sounds, we so badly wanted to have something special to make it feel like a ‘typical newborn’ experience.”
That desire to provide comfort for their daughter led Sydney to design colorful, cozy swaddle blankets for Izzy and the other babies. And it inspired her and her husband Jordan to start the “Love, Izzy Project,” which donates a swaddle blanket to a hospitalized baby for each one purchased by a customer.
“They had a goal of donating 1,000 swaddlers to Blank Children’s Hospital in the first year of business, and they reached that goal,” Noe said. “So now the project continues and donations go to other hospitals. Her business was all online and now this is her first retail spot.”
Over time, Petersen’s idea evolved to become a clothing boutique for infants and toddlers. She now designs for children 0/3 to 7/9 and has some “cozy pieces for moms,” like custom moccasins, boots and other accessories.
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The Local Supply Co. also offers women’s clothing, like the styles featured in Mandy Zimmerman’s Stylz By Z line. A longtime resident of Huxley, the active mom of three kids is also a Title 1 reading teacher and instructional coach at Madrid Elementary School.
“I believe every woman deserves to feel her best,” Zimmerman said in her vendor bio. “Therefore, Stylz By Z embraces variety in fashion and we strive to continually evolve as styles and the needs of customers change.”
Zimmerman’s clothing line offers outfits that range from casual to workday to trendy “going-out” styles.
“Mandy has always wanted to have a clothing boutique,” Noe said. But it just wasn’t a practical choice with her busy family and career. “So this is a great chance for her to start her boutique business by having a space in our store.”
Some of the vendors are people Noe and her business partners met at farmers’ markets and trade shows, like Lauren Dowie, the creator of Lauren Dowie & Co.
“Lauren had never taken art in school and she had never painted watercolors before,” Noe said. “Two years ago, her husband was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, and she was looking for a way to relieve stress.”
On a whim, Dowie bought a $5 pack of watercolors, and that purchase was life-changing. It led her to an art form that inspired her to start a business creating prints and greeting cards.
“I am so excited to be part of such an amazing local shop filled with other incredibly creative minds,” Dowie stated in her vendor bio.
“We wanted to bring in a variety of products,” Noe said. “There is no reason you should have to leave Huxley to buy a gift. And I love knowing the people who have these small businesses we’re featuring and supporting what they’re doing.”
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