Being a girl from the Midwest is a special thing so sisters Marissa Hoffmann and Marah Odgers, formerly Droessler, wanted to create a brand to celebrate exactly that. The two sisters were already running a bridal boutique together, and were looking for a new business venture when they decided to take the leap with The Midwest Girl®. Their goal was not to just sell t-shirts, but to create a lifestyle brand that honors the traditions, and embraces the nostalgia, associated with being a woman from the Midwest.
In June of 2015, The Midwest Girl® officially started a mobile boutique. The sisters originally did not intend to open a brick and mortar location, but today Marissa says it is one of the best decisions they’ve made. She says the store is “totally the aesthetic of what our brand is.” The store opened in June of 2016 and has made a considerable impact on their company’s brand recognition.
Marissa and Marah first met Jay Wickham at the Northeast Iowa SBDC in April of 2016. Marissa says Jay was a good listener and really believed in their ideas.
“It’s unique to find people who are as passionate about your small business as you are,” she says. She added that the SBDC helped her and her sister dig deeper into the fundamentals of managing their brand, and asked “the really hard questions…They are really trying to help you grow…[the] SBDC is a very safe and empowering place that entrepreneurs can go and dream and feel that their dreams are being supported.”
Today, the sister duo are continuing to expand their business by making huge improvements to their website and beginning to work on a wholesale catalog. While they have faced challenges from copyright infringers and other classic bumps in the road that every entrepreneur faces, The Midwest Girl® remains standing, a celebration of everything that comes from growing up in the Heartland.