By Colson Thayer, Editorial Intern | West Des Moines Chamber of Commerce
Abby Sharp needed a change. For some, a change might be a new hobby, a new hairstyle, the end of a bad habit. But for Sharp, her change was a complete career shift. For many years, she worked in landscape architecture until her mother-in-law took her under her wing at Heart of Iowa Market Place. Sharp purchased the business in March 2020, and has been the owner ever since.
“Heart of Iowa is the all-things-Iowa souvenir and gift shop,”
described Sharp. Nowadays, the business focuses on custom corporate gifting for Des Moines based companies and from around the state. Employee babies, employee milestones, client appreciation are among some of the many reasons customers come to Heart of Iowa.
The business focuses on small Iowa based products. The most popular items are food: hot sauce, BBQ sauce, and Almost Famous Popcorn. “We’re really proud of the vendors that we carry and the vendors that we support,” said Sharp.
In just over two years of owning the business, Sharp has been asked to open other locations throughout the state. However, nothing compares to the business community of Valley Junction. “I wouldn’t go anywhere else,” she shared. Sharp described the community as very supportive. Valley Junction is also very unique and diverse in its range of businesses. Sharp pointed out that right across the street from her business is an antique shop and a plant store.
She also spoke about the developments and changes going on in Valley Junction, “I’m really excited about where it’s heading.” The variety of events going on in Valley Junction is very advantageous to Sharp as a business owner. Events like the Valley Junction Farmers’ Market and Jingle in the Junction bring people to the area to support local businesses.
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