West Branch's historic Main Street is a charming and quaint business district located just off I-80 at exit 254 (just 6 miles from Iowa City). It's home to unique small businesses and boasts an abundance of Iowa history. There's plenty to eat, shop & explore in West Branch but what makes it extra special is the people you'll meet here.
West Branch Community Development Group is pleased to highlight our local businesses with the Meet Us on Main Street series featuring Q&A's with business owners that make our Main Street so special. Today, it's our pleasure to lift up Jacey Drollinger! Jacey is the owner, designer and junker extraordinaire behind A Beautiful Purpose. Here's our Q&A with Tracey:
Tell us a little about your background. I am an Iowan native that has a wandering spirit and an old soul. I have always been involved in the arts and love pushing the boundaries when it comes to design. I first started my business 10 years ago selling handmade crocheted hats, scarves & purses on Etsy as a way to supplement our income and feed my passion for being creative. I really began to dive in and explore my love of history and antiques after I did my first market in Geneva, Iowa, about 8 years ago. I realized then that I could combine my love of design and art with antiques.
I joined forces with Sharon Richardson Wilson who owned The Wild Thing in Muscatine and started selling in a small booth. I continued to travel and setup selling at markets in Iowa. It wasn’t long before I realized the need for my own space to continue growing. I found a small 500 square foot storefront in Tipton where I opened up my very first shop. Shortly after opening I began traveling outside of Iowa doing really large markets. This path helped push me even further in opening up my creative mind & soul. After 3 years in Tipton I had outgrown my space and really needed a bigger storefront. I began searching and found the perfect space on Main Street in West Branch!
Where can we find you? A Beautiful Purpose is located at 108 West Main Street.
What motivated you to start your business? My motivation actually came from a pivotal moment in my life when I was completely broken and searching for who I was and what my purpose was. One day while driving I began sobbing uncontrollably so I pulled off onto the shoulder. It was there in that moment that God spoke to me. There in front of me off in the ditch was a discarded dresser. It was pretty beat up and needed work badly. The owner obviously though it was not worth fixing and to them it was ugly and useless so they tossed it like trash. This was exactly how my heart was feeling.
Through my tears God said to me, “You feel just like that dresser. Broken, useless, discarded, worthless, ugly. I am here to tell you that you are NONE of those things. You and that dresser are still beautiful and worthy of so much more! Everyone is broken in some way or another. You are not trash and neither is that dresser. Both of you are waiting to bloom. To become a better version of what you though you were. You both still have a beautiful purpose in life.”
That is how it all started. My journey isn’t done and honestly never will be. God continues to push and show me ways to bloom and shine even brighter!
How long have you been operating? We have been in business 10 years.
What inspires your work and what sets your business apart? I find inspiration everywhere I go. It’s in everyday life. It’s in the messy moments and the beautiful sunsets. It’s found in the past & the memories we hold, both good and bad. Inspiration is simply a thought or idea that makes us stop and think. That is the beauty of inspiration.
This is not your typical antique shop. I push boundaries in design and really try to tell a story when I create vignettes with the found pieces I gather. I want everyone to walk in and be inspired by the beauty of these objects. History tells a story and I want to convey that through design.
Describe the products/services you offer. We are a curated antique boutique that specializes in primitives, antiques and vintage items.
What are a few of your top-selling items? Each found piece calls out to the person who finds it in the shop. That is the beauty of antiques. We all have a unique and different style and that shows when customers come in and their face lights up with excitement when they gather their favorite things.
What brought you to Main Street West Branch? After living in Tipton for 20 years and having the shop there for 3 years I wanted to be a part of a community that truly worked together for the betterment of everyone. Shortly after we we moved the shop to West Branch we bought land and built our home here. It is a growing community that is still grounded in its rich history.
What are your plans for the future of your business? The beauty of my business is that it can go with me where ever I am. I may start traveling and doing the larger markets again. Or maybe I will continue to look into purchasing my own building for my business. The journey is just beginning. There are still many chapters to be written.
Fun Fact: I have a bearded dragon. Her name is Gyn. She has an attitude and is sassy just like me!
Meet Us on Main Street to visit with Jacey and Eat, Shop, Explore at Exit 254!