|Name The Village
Business Type Retail
Location Washington, Iowa
Owner/Manager Cathy Lloyd
Products Sold & Niche Developed
The Village generates new business activity among residents, giving potential business owners a chance to experiment and learn at a small scale before growing larger.
How it got started
An old department store building with over 15,000 square feet sat empty for years. Cathy Lloyd saw the opportunity to partner with the building owner who was renovating the second floor.
Who it serves
Customers include residents and tourists who drive for the experience of shopping in the unique setting.
The first floor was converted to a retail complex consisting of small boutique-type shops surrounding a central courtyard. The shops are designed with wood façade fronts to resemble a turn-of-the century Iowa village. Each features traditional clapboard siding, awnings and window boxes, and each shop front is different. Additional smaller vendors occupy tables and push carts in the central courtyard. A wall is lined with bookshelves, operating as a mini-bookstore. Another wall is used to display local art for sale.
Lloyd rented the main area from the building’s owner, divided it at her own expense, and collects rent from the individual merchants.
Reviewed by Emily Lutz, UW-Extension CCED