Meet Us on Main Street: Manda Frauenholz
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 Manda Frauenholz, the crafting queen and owner of Izzy's Treasures which hosts DIY classes and is home to an eclectic mix of merchant booths that provide a one-of-a-kind shopping experience in West Branch.
Tell us a little about your background. I'm a West Branch graduate and have a Masters Degree in Teaching. I worked as a para-educator for 15 years but I felt like teaching in a school setting wasn't quite my calling so I began teaching crafting classes to people of all ages.
Where can we find you? Izzy's Treasures is located at 105 S. Downey Street - it's in Heritage Square just steps away from Herbert Hoover National Historic Site. You can find us online at www.izzystreasures.com and on Facebook and Instagram at @izzystreasureswb. The shop is open Tuesday- Saturday 10am-5pm.
What motivated you to start your own business? I have always wanted to own my own upcycled crafting store. When the opportunity came around for me to open Izzy's it just felt right. I also wanted something that was more flexible and outside of the public education realm.
How long have you been operating? Izzys opened in 2017, we are in the 4th year.
What inspires your work and what sets your business apart? Each of my merchants inspires me every day. I love being able to provide a space for people to share their passions with the world. I think what makes us unique is the shop features 28 different merchants. We have an eclectic mix of crafters, artists and antiques that create a one-of-a-kind shopping experience.
Describe the products/services you offer. We offer classes on different crafting mediums (ie: knitting, crocheting, needle felting, painting furniture) and we sell a wide variety of craft items, antiques, vintage items, gifts, jewelry, buttons, art, records, decor, comic books and cards.
What are a few of your top-selling items? Our new "retro" items and records are always popular!
What brought you to Main Street West Branch? I grew up in West Branch and as an adult wanted to come back and raise my son here. It's a great place to be!
What are your plans for the future of your business? The goal is to provide year round classes on a wide variety of mediums and have guest teachers every month.
Fun Fact: I can make a wool hat from start to finish! Including cutting the wool off the sheep to washing, spinning, and knitting the hat.
Meet Us on Main Street to visit with Manda and Eat, Shop, Explore at Exit 254!