1) Introduce Iowa Makers:
Iowa Makers: Iowa Makers, located in Dundee, IA, is a specialty gift shop carrying ALL handmade products by local artisans from Iowa. We offer everything from pottery & candles made on~site, wood crafts, paintings, wine and more. Our mission is to partner with as many local artists in Iowa to showcase their incredible talents and provide an opportunity for our community to support local makers while finding unique gifts for the whole family. We also have a wine tasting bar!
2) What are some unique products you offer?
IM: We also make laser Black Walnut earrings, car freshies, foam soaps, mini diffusers & diffusers. Hopefully, cold press soaps will be in our future!
3) What inspires you?
IM: As a potter~I have been making pottery for 25 years now~so I have an online class I take, also other potters inspire me. We also pour our own candles~new products, new scents & the customers love what we have done.
4) Where did you start?
IM: Pottery~I started in a suburb of Chgo, Candles: Dundee, Iowa & Iowa Makers~Dundee, Iowa.
5) What was your business’ first best seller or big success?
IM: @IowaMakers~my pottery mugs that has a stamp of the state of Iowa and I paint a red heart in the middle of the state, candles: Wedding candles were huge~we personalized them & they burned them at the reception. Iowa Makers our other big sellers are handmade wood products.
6) When did you open?
IM: We reopened in May 2020.
7) Do you have a favorite product or thing to make?
IM: Pottery~Bowls, Mugs, Trays...Candles~Custom Labels for our Wholesale accounts.
8) Does your business support any local causes?
IM: We created the Backbone Area Artists Tour~which is the last weekend in September~self guided tour to area artists studios and shops around Delaware & Clayton counties.
9) What is the most interesting thing about Iowa Makers?
IM: We custom built our business to serve our customers with a wine tasting bar, we give tours of our business. The pottery & candles are made on~site.
10) What is the most interesting thing about how Iowa Makers interacts with where you're located?
IM: We are close to Backbone State Park~we get a lot of visitors that stop by for souvenirs, wine, syrup and BBQ sauces.
11) Do you have any plans for next year?
IM: Getting more wholesale accounts for candles and pottery/etc & doing less shows.
12) What is advice you'd give to someone starting a similar business?
IM: We strive to be 100% Iowa Made, we also have seen other stores like ours (out of state)~that have products made in So. Korea, China etc. People REALLY love to buy local.
13) Will you expand Iowa Makers?
IM: Yes! We are always looking for new artists that make handmade items.
14) What makes what you do unique?
IM: I can make anything & everything in pottery, I have done classes, their store logo on our colored labels in candles.
15) Do you have any hobbies?
16) How does your business adapt to change?
IM: We are members of local Chamber of Commerces, we know what's going on.
17) Does your business do anything for the holidays?
IM: Yes, we have a holiday open house.
18) What is your favorite thing about the Midwest?
IM: The 4 seasons; people are friendly, it's not crowded like the West/East coast.
19) What is your favorite part about your state’s natural environment?
IM: With all the corn in Iowa there are a lot of wooded area's & scenic rivers.
20) What is your art making process like?
IM: Ball of clay, put on wheel, make awesome functional ware, dry, trim, bisque, glaze.
21) What is your favorite thing about your art making process?
IM: I love throwing on the wheel.
22) Do you have a favorite artist?
IM: Jessica Putnam Phillips.
23) What ingredients do you use in your candles?
IM: Soy wax, fragrance oils.
24) Do you have a favorite scent?
IM: Dicken's Village.
25) What benefit do your customers get from Iowa Makers' candles?
IM: Aromatic fragrances in their home.
26) Why do you choose the ingredients that you do?
IM: We use the finest ingredients in our products for our customers.