A new downtown Marshall store is looking to bring custom creations to the public. At the same time, the proprietor is hoping it will provide a bit of social interaction.
Emily Moses had never considered herself a crafty person until a few years ago. The 31-year-old was working in prenatal health care at a hospital in Iowa; there was a gift shop in the mother and baby unit that was in jeopardy of closing. The department was looking for someone to turn it around to keep it open.
Moses was tabbed to take over the gift shop. While working on the unit, she decided to start customizing apparel for newborns.
“I said, I can put all the information on a onesie like the weight and length and date,” the Marshall resident said. “And then I saw it was tough to get plus-sized mom stuff; that was a huge thing getting shirts with Mama on it or Mom.”
Moses used this knowledge to start an online store where people could order customized shirts in a variety of sizes and colors.
“That’s the majority of what I’d sell online because it’s plus-size and affordable,” she said.
The online shop will now have a brick-and-mortar store, Raising Four, at 214 W. Main St. The name of the store is a nod to her four children who range in age from 11 to 11 months. Moses plans to open Thursday, May 27 and regularly be open Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday. She will also have availability by appointment.
“If someone wants to browse the store or make an in-person order, it doesn’t take me very long to go from my house to the store,” the storeowner said.
One of the reasons for opening the store was to provide Marshall and the surrounding communities a place to shop for customized apparel and other items, such as mugs, picture frames, koozies, bags, hats and signs, without having to travel too far away.
“For me, it’s fun,” Moses said. “(Customized items) should be something celebratory like announcing becoming a big brother or big sister or a family reunion, things like that. It’s a fun thing to have and it shouldn’t have to cost too much.”
The Marshall woman prefers to use her Cricut machine to make the content that is put onto apparel and other items, which are purchased through various vendors, creates each customized piece. According to her, the device makes it easier to create custom items. She has the ability to make items on-site for walk-in customers or can be done through an online order.
In addition to customized shirts, Moses does have a stock of ready-to-purchase shirts with words and phrases she created or people can stop by to buy a plain shirt. She also carries merchandise from other clothing retailers, which makes up about half of her inventory.
The business owner is open to suggestions from the community if there are certain items they would like to see regularly available for purchase.
“I want input on what items they would like to see in the store so they don’t have to leave town to buy it,” she said.
Moses is also hoping Raising Four will provide an opportunity for her to meet the community. When she, her husband, and children moved to Marshall last year, it was at the time when school buildings were ordered close for the remainder of the academic year. Community events were canceled and public spaces such as the parks and library were closed.
“I’m looking forward to being able to socialize again,” said the mother of four. “And this is kind of my escape. … If you want something customized, I can do it.”