Boat House Apparel launches on campus

Boat House Apparel, created by ISU alumna Laura Bjornstad and Mary Kate Knabel, junior in apparel, merchandising and design, hosted a pop-up shop at Creative Spirits in west Ames on Feb. 22. At the show, the designers revealed an exclusive “Like a Cyclone” workout tank design.

Riley Dunbar

Mimosa mocktails, giveaways and an exclusive muscle tank set the scene for Boat House Apparel’s launch at Iowa State. Laura Bjornstad, founder, owner of the brand and alumna, and the Boat House Apparel Style Council hosted a pop-up shop Feb. 22 to bring the brand to campus.

The lake-inspired apparel brand is centered around Lake Okoboji and features high-quality chic designs that capture the essence of the lake lifestyle.

Bjornstad is an alumna of Iowa State and recently moved back to the Okoboji area after working in corporate fashion.

“I wanted to bring my career and experiences back to Okoboji and with it being such a small community, I knew I had to build my own business,” Bjornstad said. 

Mary Kate Knabel, junior in apparel, merchandising and design, helped bring Boat House Apparel to Iowa State. After finding the brand through social media, Knabel reached out to Bjornstad and the two came up with the idea to create a Style Council. The Style Council is made up of eight women in the apparel, merchandising and design program. The council worked with Bjornstad to come up with the pop-up shop.

“Laura has been awesome to work with because of how open she is to our ideas,” Knabel said. 

The council hopes to gain exposure for the brand through the event.

“It is a boutique price point and we want people to know about it,” said Taylor Evans, junior in apparel, merchandising and design and Style Council member.

The event kicked off at 11 a.m. with a brunch bar of mimosa mocktails, donuts and bacon. Guest were encouraged to enter to win a “Boji Babe” sweatshirt or an exclusive pair of Stella and Dot earrings. A photo booth was set up in the back of the room with props to allow guests to easily promote the event on Instagram. The Style Council was on hand to help guests pick out pieces at the pop-up shop.

“I think this event is really cool and a lot fun,” said Nicole Bell, sophomore in apparel, merchandising and design. “I like the boathouse style and I think it’s cool that they are incorporating it in to ISU.”

The event also launched the “Like a Cyclone” exclusive muscle tank designed by the Style Council. The council is working to get the tank into local stores in Ames. 

“Our motto is “always smooth sailing” so look to us for a Midwest, lake-inspired, high-quality, fashion forward clothing brand,” Bjornstad said.

For more information, visit Boat House Apparel on Instagram @boathouseapparel, Twitter @boathousestyle or Facebook: Boat House Apparel.