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Where to Buy Local for Back-to-School Items in DSM

2021 Back-to-School Guide

The Greater Des Moines Partnership is continuing to look local first when it comes to buying from Greater Des Moines (DSM) shops, restaurants and more. By supporting small businesses, the money you spend in the region will stay within the community. This week’s #DSMlocal buying guide is for back-to-school items in the region, so check out the featured items below for where to shop in DSM.

Clothing Shops

Purple Poppy Boutique

Featured Item: Denim
Description: Find jeans, shorts and jackets among other items like team apparel and hats at Purple Poppy Boutique in Ankeny.

Little Children’s Boutique

Featured Item: Girls Dresses
Description: Find back-to-school dresses for girls at Little Children’s Boutique in Newton. From leopard print to mermaid scales, your little will love the designs.

Many Hands Thrift Market

Featured Item: Second-Hand Goods
Description: Find second-hand goods for the whole family. At Many Hands, 100% of the proceeds support local and global missions.

Paisley Pineapple Children’s Boutique

Featured Item: Baby & Children’s Clothes
Description: Find fashion for children ages 0-10 in Uptown Ankeny.


Featured Item: Curated Children’s Clothing
Description: ROBIN•riley specializes in eco-friendly clothes, including shorts, dresses, rompers and more.

Footwear Stores

Boot Barn

Featured Item: Leather Western Boots
Description: Boot Barn offers youth boots for school-aged boys and girls. Find round toe and square toe selections.

Fitness Sports

Featured Item: Running Shoes
Description: With footwear from brands like Asics, Mizuno, Brooks, Nike and more, Fitness Sports can match the best shoe to each person based on biomechanical needs. The store carries more than 100 different models of running shoes!

Fit to Be Tied Shoes of Ankeny

Featured Item: Kids Shoes
Description: Find a huge selection of shoes from boots to sandals.

Fleet Feet Des Moines

Featured Item Running and Walking Shoes
Description: Take part in the specialized fit process at Fleet Feet to find the perfect fit.

Shoe Sensation

Featured Item: Fashion Shoes and Backpacks
Description: Find fashion shoes for boys and girls, as well as backpacks all in one spot.


Merle Hay Mall

Featured Item: Back-to-School Items
Description: With more than 70 stores and restaurants, Merle Hay Mall, located on 3800 Merle Hay Road, has much to offer when it comes to back-to-school shopping.

Jordan Creek Town Center

Featured Item: Back-to-School Items
Description: Shop for back-to-school items from favorite retailers like The Children’s Place, Old Navy and Dillards.

Valley West Mall

Featured Item: Children’s Clothing and Shoes
Description: Find children’s fashions at stores like Von Maur and Where the Child Things Are or shoes from Fit to Be Tied Kids Stride Rite or Champs Sports.

Shopping Districts

Historic East Village

Featured Item: Back-to-School Fashion
Description: The Historic East Village is home to locally owned shops like Raygun, where you can check out local shirt selections for children.

Outlets of Des Moines

Featured Item: Clothing and Shoes
Description: Shop stores like American Eagle, Asics, Carter’s, Converse, Express, Francesca’s, Journey’s and more at Outlets of Des Moines in Altoona.

Find more retail spaces in DSM here.

The original #DSMlocal Buying Guide offers gift ideas for a variety of recipients from bookworms to pet lovers and more. Throughout the year, The Partnership will continue to add even more buying guides to encourage buying local, curated with DSM shops, restaurants and service providers in mind for shoppers like you! The Partnership’s most recent guides are listed below:

If you’re a business owner and Member of The Partnership interested in being featured in one of the buying guides, sign up here.

Greater Des Moines Partnership

The Greater Des Moines Partnership is the economic and community development organization that serves Greater Des Moines (DSM), Iowa. Together with 24 Affiliate Chambers of Commerce, more than 6,500 Regional Business Members and more than 365 Investors, The Partnership drives economic growth with one voice, one mission and as one region. Through innovation, strategic planning and global collaboration, The Partnership grows opportunity, helps create jobs and promotes DSM as the best place to build a business, a career and a future. Learn more at DSMpartnership.com.