Iowa City Holiday Retail Open House Consolidates Christmas Parties and Shopping Into One

The Holiday Retail Open House invites shoppers to attend individual celebrations around Iowa City retail stores for snacks, drinks and other small gifts.

Lillie hawker

The Clock is seen in downtown Iowa City on Thursday, December 2, 2021.

The holiday season is huge in the retail world – and Iowa City’s small businesses are ready and waiting. Downtown Iowa City offers several vacation experiences, from a hall of hundreds of teddy bears to an ongoing elf hunt around town. Among these festivities, the Maison des Fêtes du Commerce de Détail, with nearly 20 participating stores.

The Holiday Open House is on Dec. 4 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and invites the public to attend small holiday parties at local businesses in downtown Iowa City. Each store will provide snacks, drinks, or a small gift that may take the form of a tangible item or a discount with a purchase.

Betsy Potter, director of creative services for downtown Iowa City, said the vacation retail open house has been around for over 20 years and is a collective open house. that makes the holiday season more collaborative.

A new business on Dubuque Street, 223 Baby Co, is spending the holiday season fully enjoying all the seasonal entertainment that downtown Iowa City has to offer.

“Everything they come up with, we’ve always had great results and it’s only been a month,” said owner Macy Krall. “Whatever they create and deliver for us, I probably always will. “

223 Baby Co opened in October this year as an extension of 223 Vintage Co in West Branch. Krall said he noticed several Iowa City residents coming to West Branch specifically for the baby section of the vintage store. She saw the need for a baby store in downtown Iowa City, and the second location was born.

Krall said 223 Baby Co has around 75% baby products, but the store has other products as well, such as gifts for mom and dad and small decorative items for students like small Christmas trees. .

For the holiday season open houses, 223 Baby Co will offer “Baby Dollars”, which are in the form of gift cards. A photographer will also do mini sessions on Saturday evening and Sunday morning.

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Krall said November and December are important for small businesses because it gives them the opportunity to launch all of their holiday merchandise and come up with possible gift ideas that are unique to their own store.

Sheila Davisson, owner of clothing boutique Revival, agrees the holidays are a great time to shop downtown, mainly because of her customer-retailer relationship. For the open house, Revival will be providing shoppers with refreshments, as well as a variety of freebies for purchase, including Moon Balm, a lip balm made in Cedar Rapids.

“Many of us store owners and employees have all built relationships with our customers,” Davisson said. “So, this is a time where we can see each other, and we can come together and celebrate a little bit.”

Revival opened in 2003 and has participated in the Retail Open House for several years.

The retail store sells vintage, new and lightly used clothing, as well as other accessories and apothecary products. They have built a brand that encourages the empowerment of women and supports the ethical production of clothing.

“What I’m hoping to achieve is just seeing friendly faces, seeing a lot of our customers,” Davisson said. “I can see them in person after a long time without, you know, so I think that’s what’s most exciting about this holiday season.”

Other participating Iowa City stores include Catherine’s, Beno’s Flowers and Gifts, and men’s store Ewers. You will find other participating companies here.

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