Former Ankeny bridal shop Something Blue moves to Nevada, now … – Ames Tribune
It sounds like a match made in heaven when Katie Clement talks about the circumstances that led her to move her bridal shop, Something Blue, to Nevada from Ankeny.
She knew she needed to find a new location for her business once her previous lease expired.
Clement wanted to buy or build, so she started looking in small towns, hoping to connect to her roots.
After one of her employees asked if she’d ever considered Nevada, Clement started to recall her great experiences there.
She remembered the town’s annual Pizza Pie Looza celebration, which she attended with her sisters—walking in the Lincoln Highway Days parade with her grandmother, Teresa Garman, a longtime state representative, and knocking on doors with her as she campaigned. She even enjoyed going to Starbucks drive-in for ice cream.
She realized Nevada was her perfect match.
So she said yes to the address.
The bridal shop moved to its location at 516 K Ave. on July 21. The store was temporarily located in a small space on Nevada’s main street before it moved to the former US Bank building in the downtown district.
Clement grew up in the small towns of Clear Lake and nearby Jewell.
“I wanted to be in a small town my family could be a part of. And I wanted a place that is a growing, small business-centric economy,” she said. “I wanted to play a role in my community — that was a big thing.
“Nevada got put in our path.”
An intricate detail made the old bank building seem even more like a perfect match. Clement’s uncle John Coder used to work at the bank. His old office is now a fitting room suite for brides and their entourages hoping to say “yes” to a dress.
“We’re excited to be a part of this small town. The fact that we get to be a part of Lincoln Highway Days and I hope to have a parade in that — it’s so exciting,” Clement said.
Her husband Andrew is a chiropractor in West Des Moines and grew up in the metro area, but he’s on board hoping to fall in love with small town living.
Clement said she doesn’t want to be a number in a big town, and she doesn’t want their daughter Lennon, age 2, to be just a number in a big school system, either.
“I want her to be a part of a small town,” Clement said.
Clement is amazed by Nevada’s willingness to volunteer. She’s also inspired by the synergy among city officials and business owners.
“It’s essentially a powerhouse of people, and many of them are volunteers,” she said.
“It takes more than just the business owners — it takes the community around them to support the businesses and also to support the vision of the town,” Clement added. “It’s been a breath of fresh air.”
Clement seized a perfect opportunity to reinvent her business during the move, expanding on an original idea of the store.
“We started Something Blue in 2014 as a consignment shop for all of our wedding dresses and wedding decor,” she said.
The move transformed Something Blue into something new, offering only a selection of new dresses and nothing on consignment.
“We’ve been in business for nine years, and it’s like we’re starting over,” Clement said. “But the wedding industry has changed so much and we want to stay relevant.”
Clement has even noticed a change in wedding planning, shying away from the Do-it-yourself model of 10 years ago. Something Blue’s basement is filled with decor available to rent for weddings and other special occasions, such as baby showers and other parties.
“People were Mod Podging and there was so much burlap you didn’t know what to do with yourself,” she said.
For example, the Ames Main Street Farmers’ Market recently rented decorations for the Farm To Table dinner earlier this month.
“We want people to know that we’re here for more than just your wedding event,” Clement said. “We even have lux picnic sets if you want to treat someone to a special picnic.”
A colorful, sparkly selection of homecoming dresses is on sale for local students while the spring will welcome a variety of prom dresses. Something Blue even offers gowns and dresses for galas and mothers of the bride.
Tuxedo rental is available complete with a menswear-specific fitting room.
“Planning a wedding is like owning a small business for a year, and brides don’t always know where to start. So you may as well let us help you,” Clement said.
Clement can help with aspects like venues, florists and caterers. A pair of seamstresses are onsite for alterations. There’s even an office for a travel agent office, Alisha Maurer from License 2 Travel, to help plan honeymoons.
Ultimately, Clement is a relationship builder, nurturing relationships with her customers, employees, vendors and the community as a whole, she said.
“Being in a small town makes that relationship building so much easier,” Clement said. “And that was what I was yearning for,”
Something Blue is open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday; 1 p.m. to 7 p.m. Wednesday and Thursday; 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday; 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday. Sunday and Monday are by appointment only.
Ronna Faaborg is a reporter for the Ames Tribune. Reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org.