Angela Poldberg, owner of MARNē dreamt of owning her own local boutique for years but it wasn’t until she held her first pop-up shop event at Art Terrarium in 2018 that she took the plunge to consider making this a permanent career change. Fifteen pop-ups later and MARNē is now in a permanent location in the East Village. Learn more about Angela and her journey below!
For years, I wanted to have a women’s boutique with affordable fashion for the women of Des Moines. From my experience I knew where to go buy cheaper goods that would sell fast. Fast forward and you’ll discover that MARNē is NOT that place. Our mission is to provide a shopping experience that does not have a negative impact on the environment, animals or the people creating these goods. This change stemmed from a life choice of becoming vegan. This lifted the veil I’d been wearing for years on both the food/agriculture industry as well as the world of fast fashion. It’s dirty, unethical and down right toxic to our planet.
As for what we offer the local community, MARNē is a women’s clothing shop with a variety of unisex basics as well as apothecary goods. We focus on ethically made clothing, accessories, shoes & body care.
I had been eyeing this space for years. I spoke to the current tenant in 2018 about the future of the space. It wasn’t the right time for either of us but I circled back several times this year. We decided to share the space from Sept of 2019 until their lease was up in Dec of 2019 and now we call 350 E Locust St, #101 our storefront home!
I’m still small enough that I can “do it all” – although that is also the hardest part of being a local business soloprener. I certainly have had loads of help from friends & family along the way, shoutout to my husband who’s a champion to MARNē’s success. I do have one contracted employee, Grace, who’s been AMAZING for when I’m in a bind. She’s a fashion student at Iowa State with an interest in sustainability. A great fit for the day that I can eventually hire someone on.
We are very active online and have a website, instagram and facebook presence. I will say, without social media, I’m not sure what we would do. It has been pivotal to the success and sales that we see each day. I also love to host events in the shop to collaborate with other local small business owners.
At MARNē we are friends and not foes with other local businesses. Des Moines NEEDS more local shops and all we can do is support one another. At our store, we do this by participating in pop-ups and other collaborations with other small businesses as much as possible. In the future, we hope our space can also be used by other small businesses!
We try to buy as much from other East Village vendors as possible. Coffee dates, lunch runs and dog treats are something we frequently purchase at neighboring businesses. We know how important every dollar is so if we can move our money to others in our community, we’re going to do that.
I love knowing the people that live and work in my neighborhood. Unlike a shopping mall, the people that walk by my store every day live here. They are walking their dogs, grabbing a coffee or getting dinner with friends. That’s special to me. A wave to those people and their pups makes me happy.
When in doubt, Google it out. I’m not kidding. I should have trademarked this phrase years ago.
I LOVE THE OUTDOORS. My husband and our two Australian Shepherd dogs love going on outdoor adventures. Camping, hiking, off roading… all the things.
My name is Emily Steele and I teach local business owners how to be the legends they are and build an irresistible and profitable local brand.