The Makers Loft: The Local Business You Need in Your Life

In October, I took my friend on what I creatively titled an Iowa City adventure. Essentially, the definition of that adventure was, most of the campus was new to me still, and I wanted to learn more. So, we aimlessly wandered around downtown. We stopped by Raygun, discovered White Rabbit and Om. Then, as we walked down Washington Street, we stumbled upon a sign that read, "The Makers Loft" and an arrow pointing up past an open door. Our curiosity and my recent viewing of the company's Instagram motivated us to learn more. We made it up the stairs and found ourselves immersed in this beautiful store. 

The Makers Loft opened in early September of 2018. One of the owners, Simeon Talley, said they opened the store because they saw that Iowa City needed "a store that focused on selling local goods and for local artists and makers looking for additional retail outlets." The store is co-owned by Simeon and Veronica Tassler. They found that their locally created items received a wonderful reaction from locals and students.

They sell items from about 50 vendors now, managing to do this in under a year. The Makers Loft sells a range of things from coffee, to art, to vintage clothes and so much more. Everything that is sold is created by an Iowa small business. The partnerships between The Makers Loft and their vendors are born from social media, events, recommendation and vendors reaching out themselves.

Over the holiday season, Simeon and Veronica opened a store in the Coral Ridge Mall called Made In Iowa. The store was supposed to be a pop up just for the holidays, but due to the amazing response and desire from consumers, the store is still going strong. The owners found that consumers want to shop locally all year round, and the foot traffic from the Made in Iowa store makes that a very accessible thing to do! Just walking by the store, you can't help but step inside and check it out. With a plant-filled bathtub in the front window, how could you not take a look for yourself? 

The Makers Loft is in the process of moving from its place on Washington Street. When asked about the reason behind this move, Simeon said, "We learned that retail really needs to be in a high traffic and high visibility area to be most successful. And we were able to find a great location that became available just as we were thinking about making a move." Both him and Victoria are extremely excited that the store will find it's new home in the heart of the ped mall and the new faces they will see in the store from it. In addition to their previous vendors, they will be adding a few more vendors when the new store opens. One of the most exciting new additions to the store will be a coffee shop selling coffee from local Iowa companies. The owners look forward to introducing this to the Iowa City community. 

Simeon and Veronica plan to open the new and improved Makers Loft location in late April. They are immensely excited to re-introduce The Makers Loft to the Iowa City community!

Thank you to Simeon Talley for the interview and allowing me to share the wonderful thing that is The Makers Loft with the Her Campus Iowa community. Make sure to check out Made in Iowa at the mall and the new location in the ped mall in April.