Ladies Expo in Ames attracts all ages, showcases local business


Photo: Kelsey Kremer/Iowa State Daily

Krista Harvey, from Studio 7 Salon, puts volumizing powder in Chandra Peterson’s hair, senior in political science, during the Ladies Expo on Tuesday in the Great Hall of the Memorial Union. A variety of businesses, like Studio 7 Salon, were on hand for the expo.

Torey Robinson and Matt Wettengel

Women of Story County assembled at the Memorial Union’s Great Hall Tuesday night to relax, learn, mix and mingle at the second annual Ladies Expo.

The expo featured 37 vendors from throughout the community looking to gain exposure and entice the female population, and also had seminars from local businesses sharing goods and services and various entertainment acts.

“The purpose of this event was just to get a nice event for Story County and the surrounding areas, just to have a good time for all the ladies of the area,” said John Greving, an organizer of the event. “[Our goal was] just to create a good time for everybody. It’s something that Ames didn’t have and we thought we could really do a good job of that.”

The Ames Tribune partnered with the Memorial Union for the showcase because it provided an ideal environment to hold such an event, Greving said.

“We wanted something that was a little bit elegant and a little bit classy — the ISU MU does a good job of that,” Greving said.

Ticket sales neared 280, and the offering of $5 advanced tickets for ISU students helped attract more students and community members than last year, said Laura Helmus, Memorial Union Hotel manager.

Promotional giveaways and curiosity attracted attendees of all ages. 

“I had never been before and I was curious to see what it had to offer,” said Judy Kuhn, ISU graduate and retiree in Ames.

For some, it turned into a learning opportunity.

“I came with my roommate for a lot of the free goodies and door prizes that were advertised, but I ended up learning a lot about different places in the area,” said Melissa Jakubauskas, graduate student in apparel, educational studies and hospitality management.

“Events like this are important so women can take time out of their day to get to know the community around them,” said Chandra Peterson, senior in political science. “It’s a safe, comfortable environment to get to see the different services businesses have to offer.”

Businesses in attendance ranged from salons to weight loss services. The event was an effective way to gain exposure and make new connections within the community, said Linda Thomas, owner of Wild Birds Unlimited.

“[We’re here tonight] because it’s a good way to meet new people,” said Kristin Harvey, owner of Studio 7 Salon. “We just opened up in a new location, so it’s a good way to let people know we have all these new services.”

Men weren’t excluded from the event.

Shy of a Dozen, an ISU student men’s singing group, performed four songs for the crowd. 

“We like to sing at any kind of event,” said Tom Hales, student director of the group and senior in music. “Even if we are the only guys.”