If you are looking for a new years resolution for 2018, how about resolving to support your main street businesses more?
In an era where it might seem "easier" just to go online and have something shipped to your door, we are forgetting the incredible value of shopping locally and supporting the men and women who keep our Main Streets alive. Every time we choose to buy locally, we are keeping those dollars in our communities and those dollars continue to circulate through the economy.
I may live in West Des Moines, but I have a special place in my heart for my hometown communities of Sheldon and Archer in O'Brien County. Recently, over the holidays, I adventured around Sheldon, including making stops at several downtown businesses.
Sheldon is the "Marigold City" so it would make sense that there would be a store called "Marigolds". They have one of the better slogans I've found for a store, "Shop the Unexpected". Finding the unexpected is exactly what makes an adventure fun!
The store is actually a winding display of lots of great decor, food and beverage, furniture, toys, clothing, jewelry, home furnishings, kitchen accessories, and much, much more.
On certain days (or day) of the week, my cousin Emily's very popular Half Baked cupcakes are for sale. From all accounts, they sell out rather quickly.
Years ago, this particular property used to be like a mini-mall with lots of different businesses. When Marigolds took it over, they just made it into one big store. There is always something new and it's all so very nicely arranged.
Check out Marigolds on Facebook and make sure to stop in next time you are in the Sheldon area.
Next door to Marigolds is Ben Franklin. There are still a few Ben Franklins to be found in communities across Iowa, and perhaps elsewhere. If your town is lucky enough to have one, it's best to support it because they are amazing.
I always say that I think the Sheldon Ben Franklin has everything. The family that owns the Sheldon Ben Franklin also runs the Ben Franklin in Orange City, a town about 20 miles away in Sioux County.
There is a healthy selection of clothing and merchandise branded with either the local high school (Sheldon Orabs) or favorite universities such as Iowa State or Iowa.
There is a large selection of crafting materials and a sizable inventory of fabric and quilting supplies, for those who are creatively inclined.
They have a large selection of greeting cards and, in an unexpected twist, an impressive collection of pinatas for sale.
They have collectibles for sale and a wide array of toys and games, too.
There is a wide selection of home goods, small appliances, clothing, personal care, and more. The connected framing gallery has some higher end prints and other fine furnishings.
If you are going to be downtown Sheldon, a stop at Ben Franklin is a must. Check out their Facebook page to learn more.
JDL Kreations & Consignments
About a block away from Ben Franklin and Marigolds is JDL Kreations & Consignments. This particular store front has a storied history in Sheldon and has been home to a number of businesses over the years. The current occupant has filled the space with a unique selection of all kinds of things. I like these types of stores because there is usually something for everyone.
There was a box of ties for sale for $1 each. I limited myself to only 20, but I think there was about 200 in there. If you hurry, you might still find some good ones left. You can't beat that deal!
But if ties aren't for you, perhaps a wedding dress?
There is other clothing for sale, as well.
Other than clothing, there are a lot of antiques, furniture, vinyl records, and other household and home decor for sale, too.
Give JDL Kreations and Consignments a look on Facebook. They have great updates and new inventory all the time.
Across the street and a few stores to the west of JDL is Evie's Hallmark. This particular Hallmark has one of the largest selection of greeting cards that I have found. But of course, they have lots of other items too!
Check out Evie's Hallmark on Facebook.
A Country Florist
Next door to Evie's is Sheldon's main florist, "A Country Florist". They keep a steady business with all of the life events that include flowers but they also have other home decor for sale.
I asked the two young women working how much this gorgeous mission oak buffet was, but they could not find a price tag so perhaps it was not for sale. Gorgeous item!
Check out A Country Florist on Facebook and stop in next time you are out and about in Northwest Iowa.
Lastly, I stopped across the street at the former First National Bank, which is the site of one of the most infamous embezzlement cases in United States history. Burnice Geiger's crime was international news when it was discovered and lead to changes in banking laws and regulations. I am sad that the bank building is gone as it had fallen into disrepair. After the bank left, it was a restaurant. Pucci's had great steak fries.
Check out the plaque but you can also watch this brief YouTube video documentary about the incident.
As always, I welcome your suggestions of places to visit and profile whether in O'Brien County or any of the other 98 counties in Iowa. If you have a good idea or would like to host the Iowa Adventurer, please drop me a note through this website.