Poyer: Let’s talk shopping locally


Courtesy of Flickr

Columnist Sarah Poyer discusses shopping locally in Ames. Pictured above is a building on Main Street many years ago. 

Sarah Poyer

Editor’s Note: This piece is a part of the series “Let’s talk.”

I am not from Ames; instead, I am from a bigger town about two hours east, Cedar Rapids. Cedar Rapids does not have a quaint and cute downtown as we do here in Ames. The downtown we have here in Ames is just one of the best things about this town that is home to our university. 

I work downtown and have gotten to spend a great deal of time down there. I have found some lovely places where I think more people should be spending their time! 

First off, Heroic Hair and Heroic Ink are amazing places to get your tattoos, piercings, haircuts, colors, waxing and massages done. The customer service at these two places is wonderful. I have had piercings, tattoos, haircuts, colors and my nails done, and I have had an amazing time each time. One great thing about Heroic Hair and Heroic Ink is their hours; they have diverse hours so college students can get into them. Another thing I appreciate is their online booking capabilities. Check these places out if you want to get your next tattoo done or a haircut! 

The coffee shops in downtown Ames are also great locations to check out. I have been to Cafe Diem and Vinyl Cafe, loving both of their drinks. Vinyl Cafe has a great vibe, vinyls are collected along the walls for you to shop, and the specialty drinks are wonderful. The number of syrups they have available to mix into your drinks is so cool. They also have a decent number of outlets in the cafe for college students who want to do their homework. Cafe Diem has a cool vibe, with merchandise available to you as you walk up to the register. They also have food options for sale, which is nice for college students who may be looking for a place to have a long study date. I do not recall seeing many outlets in the shop, but I was also not looking for them. Nonetheless, it is a great place to grab a scone and some coffee! 

General shopping is also a huge hit in downtown Ames. We have a modern-day apothecary, resale store, book store and chiropractic center for healing arts, all on Main Street! Our modern-day apothecary, Life Distilled, has some amazing finds that I have included in my self-care routine. The owner is a wonderful woman with lots of knowledge she is willing to share. She has essential oils, locally sourced tea, honey, crystals, diffusers and other really fun stuff to add to your collection. 

Dog Eared Books is another one of my favorites. I love reading. If you ask my parents, I have too many books. When I was younger, my mom said she would never tell me no when purchasing books, but I think she might be regretting that now, considering the book collection I have. Dog Eared Books has a wonderful collection of books, coupled with other really fun things. I have gotten magnets, coffee cups, journals and stickers there. I love stopping into Dog Eared because I never know what I will find. They even serve some delicious coffee and have a cute little nook upstairs. I love to grab a cup of coffee and head up to the nook to work on some homework. 

Ames has an amazing downtown, full of little local shops that you could spend hours browsing in. The coffee shops downtown also provide a great off-campus location for someone to do some studying at. Next time you are bored on a weekend or day off from school, I recommend heading downtown. Find a new place to look around and shop locally.