Phoebe’s Dressing Room, Dubuque

In 2001, Dana and Jeff Huettman moved from Columbus, Ohio to Dubuque, Iowa after Jeff took a job with McGraw Hill. A little over two decades later, Phoebe’s Dressing Room opened in the historic old main area of downtown Dubuque.

Phoebe’s Dressing Room aims to provide a unique shopping experience for every customer who comes through their front door. Whether they are seasonal visitor or a shopper who visits every week, Dana Huettman goes above and beyond to ensure that every customer is seen and valued. Doing so has provided The Huettman’s with an overwhelming amount of support. Locals in the community often stop by and share words of encouragement. Fellow business owners have also shared their time and wisdom with Phoebe’s Dressing Room.

“[Other businesses] have shared our social media posts, and in all ways just showed up! It’s been huge and a driving force for Phoebe’s Dressing Room,” Dana shared with the Iowa SBDC.

Phoebe’s Dressing Room is the second business Dana has managed. The first business closed unexpectedly, but it provided Dana with many key learning experiences. It taught her how to deal with ups and downs, the quiet times, and the days when life isn’t all roses and sunshine. It showed Dana that all of these are needed for a business to find success.

Accomplishing a large feat is often accompanied by doubt, but Dana credits perseverance, dedication, and a daily routine for the success of Phoebe’s Dressing Room. Every day, Dana arrives two hours before opening to prepare for the day. She cleans, processes inventory, prepares shipments, and gets any special promotions ready. Dana has learned how to be slow and methodical, as there are many considerations when operating a small business.

With the help of Jay Wickham, the Northeast Iowa SBDC Director, Dana was able to develop a successful business plan. The Huettman’s were very pleased with the grand opening of Phoebe’s Dressing Room and the work that made it happen. Dana is looking forward to the upcoming fall and holiday seasons.

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