Tag Archives: InBox

Top 10 Shopping Destinations in Downtown Iowa City

24 Oct

NOTE: These are in alphabetical order and are not rated individually because they all offer something unique!  Click here to go to the map and find out where each store is located in relation to each other.

Active Endeavors: located at 138 S Clinton Street. This store is targeted to the outdoor enthusiast, selling winter apparel, hiking boots, sleeping bags, etc.  They carry brands such as Patagonia and The North Face.  (Don’t know which brand one to buy?  Check back in a couple days for my next post comparing Patagonia and TNF jackets.)

InBox: located at 114 S Clinton Street.  The owner buys some of her apparrel from U.K. brands–you know what that means, they are always on top of trends!  Don’t be afraid to try on a fringey shirt or holey leggings, you may surprise yourself and will be ahead of the pack in terms of fashion.

Iowa Book: located at 8 S Clinton Street, right across for the Old Capitol building. Haven’t you heard the commercial?  “Iowa Book… It’s a one of a kind book store.”  Yes, yes it is–tons of Hawkeye gear including the Victoria’s Secret line.

Catherine’s: located at 7 S Dubuque Street.  Catherine’s is a bit more pricey than the rest of these stores so I’d only go here for nice quality designer jean–they carry 7 For All Mankind, J Brand and Hudson Jeans.

Cheap & Chic: located at 105 S Dubuque Street.  This store is actually owned by the same people who run Catherine’s just down the block.  Always check this place before Catherine’s as they sell some of the same things here…FOR LESS!  Definitely a place to go for a reasonably priced cute shirt.

Dulcinea: located at 2 S. Dubuque Street.  This corner store always has a variety of dresses in stock.  If you’re looking for anything from a babydoll dress to a floor length dress check here.

Lorenz 2.0: located at 109 S. Linn Street. Two words: Shoes galore.

Raygun: located in the pedestrian mall at 103 East College Street, this funky shop makes funny T-shirts featuring Iowa.  For example a popular one is: “Iowa City: all of the creativity went into its name.  You can also have them print your own designs.

Silver Spider: located in the Old Capitol Mall at 201 S Clinton Street #154.  JEWELRY JEWELRY JEWELRY! This place has it ALL.  No joke, anything you could want is at this place.  And don’t forget to add an inappropriate magnet to your bag when you go to check out.

Textiles: located in the Pedestrian Mall at 109 S Dubuque Street. This store targets a bit of an older crowed i.e. not college students, more like college students’ moms.  But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t pop in to check out their Hobo International handbags and belts, they also always have a huge stock of scarves!


Scarves: Infinity vs. Traditional

7 Oct

I just bought a scarf from InBox a couple days ago–had to take advantage of that 25% of sale! Anyways I’m totally obsessed with it. It’s an infinity scarf; basically material in the shape of a donut that you put around your neck!  (Also called neck warmers, circle scarves, and loop scarves).  This has been a trend over the past couple years, but has really become mainstream this year.  The brand of my infinity scarf is Cheap Monday.  Inbox carries this European brand, which is really cool.  It’s pretty awesome that Stevie has the power to bring these looks to the great state of Iowa when they’re in style. (Opposed to coming “in style” in the midwest after the east and west coast have been there and done that).

Jocelyn EXCLUSIVE Short Rabbit Infinity Scarf: Brown
I saw this rabbit fur infinity scarf from Intermix featured on Shopstyle.com today.  It gives you an idea of how you can play with texture to make your scarf pop from your outfit.

I’ve found that infinity scarves are so easy to throw on over a coat or jacket.  They’re very simple and can look very elegant especially in a solid color.  Although with traditional scarves you have choices of how to wear it (knots, looping, tying, etc.) it’s nice to not have to fuss about it.  You don’t have to worry about traditional scarf ends flying up in your face in windy weather (embarrassing!)  It’s always a little awkward trying to strap down fluttering ends when in public.  The infinity scarf sits like a necklace, pretty snug to your neck, so it’s hassle free.

Inbox and Lyla’s Boutique had infinity scarves in stock the past couple fall seasons, so if you’re in the Iowa City area check out those stores.  Nordstrom is always a great place to look for variety, and you can order offline, so that’s another store to keep in mind.  When buying an infinity scarf look for chunky thick ones, that will be sure to keep you warm.  I really like this Michael Kors fax fur infinity scarf, or “neck warmer”.  The texture will add a lot to any outfit, and stand out from a jacket.  Because it’s an infinity scarf, it has less material than a traditional one, so the fur won’t look like it’s too much.  I also really like the Hunter Herringbone circle scarf–it’s a two toned black and white wool weave.  Can’t go wrong there!

Another plus–if you purchase a circle scarf that has a long width, it doubles as a hoodie.  It can protect your head against wind, light rain and snow just like a sweatshirt hood would.  Here is an example:

Photos courtesy of SKhatshop.com (This site prices these around $20!)

Podcast Interview Featuring Stevie Tummey

6 Oct

Hey Everybody!  Here is my first podcast.  I decided to interview Stevie Tummey, an Iowa City native who opened her own business in downtown Iowa City–a women’s clothing store called InBox.  The boutique brings great styles and brands to the area, so I wanted to learn a bit more about how Stevie started her business and how she gets the best, newest trends into her store.  And of course, tying in the ‘This vs That’ theme of my blog, by finding out how she chooses between articles of clothing for her window displays.  You can follow the script below while listening to the podcast!  Enjoy!

Laurie Lehman: Welcome to my first podcast of ‘Laurie’s This vs That’, I’m Laurie Lehman.  Alright, so I’m here today with Stevie Tummey, 27 year old store owner of InBox, downtown Iowa City–Say hello Stevie!

Stevie Tummey: Hello!

LL: How are you doing today?

ST: I’m doing fabulous.  We’re having a 25% off sale today so it’s brought in a lot of traffic and that’s exciting, and it’s beautiful outside!

LL: I’d like to ask you a few questions on how you started up and decided to open your own business

ST:  Well, I’ve always had a passion for fashion and have been in retail for the past 13 years.  So, my first job was in this exact location Preferred Stock Iowa CIty was also a clothing store.  I have worked in retail or sales for several years and I love boutiques and I love to shop and I decided that the time was right with the economy being so down, that most businesses when they start can make it through anything.

LL:  When did you decide that you could actually start up the business on your own or how did you get the funding for it?

ST:  So, I decided that; I was in California for about a year hanging out, living my life and was interested in opening my own business.  And I saw the real estate prices in California compared to Iowa City when I would come back to visit my family and so at that point I realized that I would probably be able to you know the lease of a place and such in Iowa City, so then I have always been good at saving money. So, I’d saved up a lot of money and I also then went to a private investor and got a personal loan for the business.  So, that’s how I started the business on August 5, 2009!

LL: Would you mind describing the process you go through on your buying trips, to get your clothes?

ST: Depending on what time of year it is, I really enjoy traveling and sometimes I take my husband and daughter if we’re going out to L.A. and it’s a far trip then I’ll take them.  And, we will take a flight and go out and there’s a fashion district and fashion mart and we go shop all day long for like eight to ten hours days.  It’s very stressful because it’s not just fun shopping it’s actually for the store and it has to be stuff that other people want to buy and wear so it puts more pressure on me as opposed to just going shopping for a pair of pants for myself.  So that’s one way I go on a buying trip, the other way is; Chicago has a fashion mart, a merchandise mart, so I go there, a couple times a year I’ve taken the manager of the store Allysa Mullen she has gone with me before and we have a lot of fun there.  We just usually go down for the day, leave really early in the morning and stay all day and see our favorite brands and then come back home.  And, the third way I buy is, I have emails that come to me from my favorite brands, so I’m a frequent buyer on their line so they send me emails with new products and I buy it online.

LL: Do you go anywhere else besides Chicago and L.A.?

ST: I’ve been to New York or buying trips and my goal is to be able to take a trip to Europe to go buy.

LL:  Well, as you know my blog is actually a fashion blog that’s called ‘This vs That’, and it’s where I take two fashion accessories, two articles of clothing, or two different brands or even ideas and compare and contrast the two and I kind of pick the winner each time I post.  And I was just wondering if you could kind of talk about your window displays and how you decide what to put in there.  Would you rather put jeans on more so than a dress, or vice-versa?

ST:  So, our window displays we try and change weekly.  We also try and put new merchandise in the window.  Colorful stuff definitely helps, sparkly stuff, most often times we go with a theme.  Maybe every (we call our mannequins girls) so every girl in the window is going out.  We like to accessorize them a lot and I really enjoy putting jeans on the mannequins because they give people a great idea but dresses, I think, look better.  And it’s more fun to shop for dresses, because usually it’s an occassion that you’re shopping for as opposed to jeans who no one really likes to try jeans on.

LL: Yeah, I’d have to say that I usually would pick up a dress, or be more attracted to a dress in a store window than jeans.  I’m not really looking for that in boutiques.

ST: Right.  So, that’s how we do it.  We also have a professional merchandiser come in and she helps guide what we want, with our concepts, and she makes it come to life and is amazing.

LL:  Alright, well thanks for being a part of my podcast today.

ST: Yes

LL: There you have it, that was ‘Laurie’s This vs That’ podcast, I’m Laurie Lehman

Podcast music: Love & Hate Relationship by MonSteReo