Des Moines: East Village

We’re just running all around the great state of Iowa lately.
A few weeks ago we went to see Little Feat at the Hoyt Sherman Auditorium in Des Moines.
Before the concert, we made sure we had time to wander around the East Village,
a neighborhood we’ve been hanging out in for several years. It’s great to see how it’s grown.
The beautiful remodeled buildings house all sorts of creative shops, restaurants and lofts.
(Found Things, which I wrote about earlier, is in this neighborhood.)

Wander through the amazing plumbing store and then head down the street to eden,

the first store we discovered in the neighborhood years ago.
We called it the soap store. Lots and lots of great soap!
But much more than that–Eden carries brands and products you won’t find at any other store in Iowa. It’s a must if you like things that smell fantastic and do great things for your skin.
LIke Kiehl’s, Diptyque, and Tocca.
Jennifer Hansen opened the store in 2003. She and her husband are just about ready to move into a bigger spot around the corner they’ve redone themselves.
Jennifer told a little story in one of her email updates recently:
People often comment about how eden has a great European feel. I’ve never been abroad, but I love that idea and the organic, bohemian vibe that is created in my mind when I think of Europe.
You may have noticed a little business card under the glass at our counter at eden. Here’s the story behind that…
A few years ago my mom was going through some of my grandparents things (my grandpa had recently died) and ran across some of their travel memorabilia….passports and a few token treasures. One thing my Grandma saved from her travels was an old business card from a store in Paris where she bought perfume. I cried when my mom called me to share the news.
The store was called eden.

Paris is calling me.
I must see if eden is still there…around the corner by the opera house.

In addition to all the luscious treats, Jennifer’s eden offers handmade treasures too.

The toys, strollers and baby care goods are excellent!

Stop in and say hi to Jen, she’s full of info about the city too.

We enjoyed a stop at the fantastic Gong Fu Tea.

Around the corner is the beautiful From Our Hands gallery.
Ann Harmon, the owner, has gathered sculpture, glass, pottery, and paintings from many
midwestern artists in this colorful space.

The t-shirts at Smash were a highlight!

Seriously, did you know Iowa was this cool?
**For even more info, Grace at design sponge has a great city guide (by Annie from yolksy) about it too–it went up a day or so after our visit.

1 thought on “Des Moines: East Village

  1. Seriously, I did not! It's fabulous! I need to get out more.

    What a great post. I love towns like this. That first store looked fantastic. I could definitely drop some serious bills here.

    The buildings are my thing though. I love old restored brick buildings (like my house).


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