Joining forces

Several businesses open up in downtown building

T-R PHOTO BY SARA JORDAN-HEINTZ Messy Missy’s studio and gallery, as well as seven other local vendors, have recently opened up in a building located at 103 E. Linn St. All deal in some type of artistic or craft endeavor. Pictured is vendor Asherdee Taft of Taft’s Crafts/Cheryl’s Place, making a Christmas wreath. All vendors have different business hours, and operate independently of each other.

It’s the start of a new chapter for Messy Missy’s studio and gallery, as well as for seven other local businesses.

That’s because these entities have joined forces and set up shop inside a building located at 103 E. Linn St. All have their own concepts, product lines and business hours.

It all began when Melissa Sharer-Pieters decided to obtain the building, as a new location for her business, Messy Missy’s, which had previously been based out of the Meadow Lane Mall.

“I’m renting the building from Becky Deimerly, and we talked about bringing back a market concept to the space,” Sharer-Pieters said. “I love the space. It was my first choice originally for where to operate my business, so when the opportunity came along to move in, I took it.”

The building harbors 7,000 sq. ft. — half of which Sharer-Pieter uses for her shop, with the other part of the building divided into vendor booths.

“In about a week’s time, we filled all the booths,” she said.

The other businesses are as follows: 7th Street Salvage, Griego’s Thrift and Collectibles, Read-A-Book Nook, Shirley’s Crochet (using two booths), Taft’s Crafts/Cheryl’s Place, Knits, Sew Fine, and an unnamed seventh vendor.

Sharer-Pieter said it was important that all the vendors had some type of art or craft component to their concept.

“I was looking for anyone who is a creator,” she added.

The new digs will allow for Messy Missy’s to host larger painting groups and hold more inventory.

“Previously, I could accommodate parties of only 15-20, and now I can have 40 or more people,” Sharer-Pieter said.

The nature of the space also adds to its charm.

“I love the old brick and beams, and the natural sunlight coming in has a good feel to it, making it easier to paint,” she said.

The vendors are also excited about this new opportunity.

“It’s a good price for renting our space, and it’s good to be with other vendors,” said Wendy Siefken, co-owner of Read-A-Book Nook. “We started out as just a display window at the Marshalltown Mall, and now have more space here.”

Asherdee Taft of Taft’s Crafts/Cheryl’s Place noted the convenience of being anchored in one locale instead of having to frequently pack up inventory to take to craft shows.

“Everything my mom and I make here is handmade,” Taft said. “We bring stuff to work on in our booth.”

Looking to the future, Sharer-Pieters said she plans on adding a lunch counter to draw folks into the space over their lunch hour, set to open in the spring/summer of 2018.

Messy Missy’s is open Tuesday-Thursday, from 11-5 p.m. and Friday and Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., and by appointment. At least one of the seven vendors is open daily. All hours vary. Messy Missy’s may be reached at: 641-691-5205.


Contact Sara Jordan-Heintz at 641-753-6611 or