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Celebrate Independent Retailer Month in July

July 25, 2014

Independent Retailer Month dedicates July to celebrate independent retailers across the country. Throughout a range of in-store, online and community events and promotions Independent Retailer Month encourages consumers to shop at independent retailers; highlighting their positive social and economic impact — local, nationally and globally.

Research has found that a dollar spent at an independent retailer is usually spent 6 to 15 times before it leaves the community. From $1, you create $5 to $14 in value within that community. Shopping with an independent retailer supports local traders, their suppliers and the people they depend on to run their businesses. Buying from an independent retailer boosts your local economy, rebuilding confidence in the community, enabling local businesses to prosper and grow.

Many stores in Historic Valley Junction are celebrating Independent Retailer Month by encourage the public to shop at independently owned businesses throughout the metro. Three of the stores celebrating are Olson Larsen Galleries, Rustica and Wines of Iowa.

In 1979, Ann Larsen and Marlene Olson purchased Jan's Gallery from Jan Shotwell, and renamed it Olson-Larsen Galleries. Ann and Marlene continued the precedent set by Jan’s Gallery in promoting local and regional artists. From 1984 to 2010, Marlene owned the gallery and continued to build on the reputation of representing the finest artists in the Midwest. Susan Watts purchased the gallery in 2010 after serving as manager under Marlene for seven years. Olson-Larsen Galleries is a contemporary art gallery representing the finest artists in the Midwest. They are also a custom frame shop specializing in museum quality, archival framing. Working in a wide range of both two- and three-dimensional media, Olson-Larsen artists offer paintings, photography, sculpture, various types of prints, and mixed media work. Olson-Larsen Galleries takes pride in providing individualized services to both the corporate collector and the individual buying art for his or her home, and everyone in between. They also coordinate major commissions.

Dawnrae Kuhn is the owner of "Rustica Home Relics", the shop around the block, at 513 Elm Street in Historic Valley Junction. Dawnrae opened Rustica on October 6th, 2012. Rustica features a mix of new and old, vintage and architectural salvage, home and garden, furniture and home decor. “Re-purposed, Re-cycled, Re-imagined” are words used to describe the merchandize available at Rustica. Dawnrae makes a lot of her own items. She loves putting her own personal touches on projects which gives her a sense of pride. Dawnrae does a lot of special orders for her customers at Rustica and she loves to see their faces when they get to see their items for the first time. Sharing her passion for love of home is why she wanted to open her own retail store.

Wines of Iowa is co-owned by sisters, Rae Ann & Jorene King who went into business together 7 years ago with a tearoom and gift shop in a small town. When that failed to generate a profit, they decided to open an Iowa wine store. The sisters had been carrying wine in their gift store and knew the Iowa wine industry was quickly growing. Wines of Iowa opened in Valley Junction two years ago and just two months ago moved to a larger location on the corner of 5th & Elm Streets. They sell over 300 varieties of wines from 34 Iowa wineries, along with home decor and wine accessories. Wines of Iowa also hosts bus trips to Iowa wineries and winery events. The sisters chose Historic Valley Junction because it has a vibrant business district that visitors seek out and locals enjoy visiting again and again.

Historic Valley Junction

Historic Valley Junction is home to over 150 distinctive stores, restaurants and independent businesses, each with its own unique historical character. Known for its unique specialty stores, Valley Junction is one of central Iowa’s most unique attractions. Visit our website, valleyjunction.com for more information and a complete calendar of events.