Shop Iowa offers opportunity to support local businesses online

This House was clean yesterday sign
The Rustic Corner in Charles City features a variety of home decor and accessories.

‘Tis the season for holiday shopping. Why not consider shopping local? It doesn’t matter where you live, you can find locally-made products or procure what you’re looking for by shopping locally. In Iowa, the entire state is your shopping bag.

In partnership with Travel Iowa (opinions and views are ours), we’ve created a holiday shopping guide that includes cities we’ve visited during our travels around the Hawkeye State. And, the best part is that you don’t need to leave the comfort of your home to shop. In fact, you don’t even need to live in Iowa.

Shop Iowa is an online marketplace consisting of hundreds of local stores offering the opportunity to shop at stores in communities you may not have the chance to visit before the holidays. You can shop multiple locations at one time, too. Have your order sent to a business listed near you, or have it delivered to your home.

Live in Council Bluffs, but want to buy a gift from a store in Keokuk? Shop Iowa is the place for you. While each store participating on Shop Iowa offers unique gifts and ideas, here are a few of our favorite places we’ve shopped during our adventures.

Set of home decor with sofa in the middle
You’ll feel at home at The Rustic Corner.

The Rustic Corner

The Rustic Corner in Charles City quickly became one of our favorite home decor and accessories store. We actually had coffee mugs made featuring our first two books – 100 Things to Do in Omaha Before You Die and Unique Eateries of Omaha –   when they were published. Using a laser, the staff created beautiful lettering on the mugs.

With about 500 items in the store that can be engraved, you may want to consider a personally-engraved gift this year. But, if you happen to be looking for something other than an engraved coffee mug, The Rustic Corner can help you out.

With a wide selection of home decor and accessories, as well as clothing and shoes, The Rustic Corner is an excellent spot to buy a  unique gift.

Aromas Coffee mug
Find a cute coffee mug among the merchandise at Aromas Coffee.

Aromas Coffee

Have a coffee fanatic (yes, I’ve asked my brood for a coffee of the month subscription) in the family? Aromas Coffee in Charles City is family-owned and roasts its own beans. With a variety of beans from around the world, including Africa, Indonesia and Latin America, coffee maintains its natural flavors, with undertones of chocolate, caramel, spice, berries and citrus, as well as other notes.

Historic Park Inn Hotel poster
Historic Park Inn Hotel in Mason City is one of the classic gifts available at Wright on the Park.

Wright on the Park

Mason City may be best known as having the last working hotel in the world designed by Frank Lloyd Wright. If you have an architecture enthusiast – or Wright fan, as I do – in the family, a gift from Wright on the Park may be spot on. Home decor in the prairie school design for which Wright is famous, or even gift certificates for a stay at the hotel and a docent-led tour, makes the perfect gift under the tree.

Dutch letter pastries
Dutch letter pastries at Vander Ploeg Bakery.

Vander Ploeg Bakery

Pella is proud of its Dutch heritage, and Vander Ploeg Bakery is the next best thing to visiting an Amsterdam shop. Offering online orders of Pella bologna, letter pastries and cookies, the original Dutch bakery, open since 1847, may be the perfect Christmas afternoon treat.

No Coast Candles

The Everly Brothers once lived in Shenandoah, performing live on the radio before hitting it big as an early rock-and-roll act. But, the southwest Iowa community is also home to No Coast Candles. The family-owned business hand-pours each of its products, such as candles (8 and 16 ounces), hand soap and car fresheners.

Candy can roller ornaments.
Candy cane roller ornaments at Angel Wings and Country Things.

Angel Wings and Country Things

In Winterset, there’s more to do than tour the Bridges of Madison County. Located on the historic downtown square, Angel Wings and Country Things offers boutique women’s clothing, accessories, and hand-crafted jewelry. Along with repurposed vintage items, the store features pocket tokens, from hummingbird pins to lucky gnomes. You’ll also find home decor and garden features.

Coffee mugs for sale at Iowa Quilt Museum
Iowa Quilt Museum has a variety of gift ideas, such as coffee mugs.

Iowa Quilt Museum

The Iowa Quilt Museum quickly gained popularity after opening in 2016, attracting quilters and the curious from around the country. The museum’s gift shop features quilt-inspired greeting cards, art and coffee mugs.

Comic books on the wall
Dungeons and Dodgers is home to hundreds of comic books and graphic novels.

Dungeons and Dodgers

After spending about an hour at Dungeons and Dodgers, Lisa about had to pull me away. Hundreds of comic books, from classics to contemporary, graphic novels, games, accessories and more are available for online purchase. If you have a comics fan or gamer in your life, Dungeons and Dodgers is the perfect place this holiday.

I could go on and on with the thousands of gift possibilities with Shop Iowa and its support of local businesses. You can load your cart up and fill those stockings with just one checkout on the site. But, we all have our wish lists to fulfill, so it’s time to go shopping. Happy Holidays!