Stocking shelves with new and recycled duds since 1971, Ragstock fortifies wardrobes with a storefront brimming with new and recycled men's and women's clothing and accessories. In addition to mainstream garments, stores sling eclectic outfit accouterments such as neon suspenders ($9.99) and thick-rimmed spectacles ($4.99+) that allow shoppers to evoke the air of literature professors without blithely quoting Joyce.
Gander Mountain Academy updates its lessons in gun safety, handling, and marksmanship with virtual shooting technology that was once only available to military and law-enforcement agencies. The ladies-only basic fundamentals class gives women a foundation in the mechanics of handguns and how to use them safely. Students start by winnowing down the right type of gun for their needs, be they self-defense, hunting, or reclaiming the garage from infestations of gremlins. Next, instructors with callused trigger fingers explain the safety rules of handguns, compare ammunition options, and demonstrate proper grip, stance, and trigger control.
The whimsical rhymes and quirky cartoons coloring most greeting cards are occasionally amusing, but their stock sentiments and broad jokes engender little intimacy. Pear Tree Greetings curates a deeper connection by stocking an online store with hundreds of customizable greeting-card designs, nearly all of which are constructed from 100% post-consumer materials. Uploaded photos personalize traditional cards or unconventional booklets shaped like strings of holiday lights, which landed Pear Tree in the pages of the Wall Street Journal. Cards come printed on a 100-pound matte card stock that can be coupled with magnets, napkins, and address labels celebrating birthdays, graduations, and weddings. Since there’s no charge for double-side printing, graduation announcements can easily detail party logistics and wedding invitations can list the funniest things to shout when the officiant asks if anyone has objections.
Owned by Iowa residents Lisa Barillas and Twyla Tindall, Lyla's Boutique supplies well-known brands to Iowa's multifaceted fashionistas. The boutique stocks a bevy of pants, tops, skirts, and dresses from prominent labels such as Miss Me, Free People, BCBG, BB Dakota, Sweet Pea, Judith March, Level 99, and Vintage Havana. Covering colorful styles from hand to toe, Lyla's also houses a range of purses and functional, form-fitting shoes. Popular wearables currently include a braided-chain-and-jewel necklace and earring set ($32), Kinsie Girl Oliander wedges ($49), !iT Jeans ($69.95), and the wildly inspiring Free People zebra dress ($128) (see pictures of select clothing items here.
In 1991, a team of mechanics drew from a decade of auto-racing experience to found Badboyscustom Cycles, dealing sleek two- and three-wheelers and roaring choppers, and renting out trikes and spacious RVs. An ASE-certified senior mechanic and a small-engine specialist assemble, repair, and customize vehicles with well-practiced skill, from servicing the engine of a powerful trike to attaching a California sidecar to a growling motorcycle or bike with baseball cards in its spokes. An expansive 26,000-square-foot storeroom unfolds a bounty of gleaming chrome and glistening leather, with models from manufacturers such as Honda, Yamaha, Hyosung, and Big Bear Choppers. Spacious add-on cargo holds turn lone-wolf biker rides into drifting road trips, and RV rentals outfit campers with all the comforts of home.
At the indoor and outdoor riding arenas at Dakota Stables, instructor Donavin Prescott conducts lessons for all experience levels in Western, and English riding styles, running through basic techniques, such as grooming and tacking, as well as more advanced skills. Outside the ranch, guides lead visitors on trail rides exploring local parks and coordinate longer weekend trips or hands-on camps for children aged 8–18. The stable also provides training and boarding services.