Rustic Swan, Ankeny

Dawn M. Elwell started her business, Rustic Swan, in November of 2022. She saw an opportunity to help families create more of an income while also giving them a place to create and share their art with others. Rustic Swan is an indoor farmers market located in Ankeny that helps over 50 families in the area. They take time to help these artists while they are busy at work or taking care of their families by promoting their art in store.

Rustic Swan was created off the passion that Dawn holds to helps others and to be creative. She says, “The need has been overwhelming and the talent in the area is more than people realize”.  Starting Rustic Swan has been a big help to the community in more than one way. They have raffled off pieces and donated the fund to Ankeny School district and have been providing art classes that anyone can come to. Dawn also stated, “The passion these artist have for their talent and for sharing their talent is what makes Rustic Swan so successful”.

Dawn reached out to the Mid Iowa SBDC to discuss the opportunity to lease an empty building. She had an idea of what she was looking for and through working with the SBDC she was able to talk about making her vision a reality. The Regional Director, Jenica Johnson, suggested that they worked through creating a business plan to ensure her prospective revenues could support the costs of purchasing and renovating the building. This process led to Dawn being able to turn in a business plan that she loved. She says, “The SBDC was compassionate, helpful and extremely encouraging as they helped my dream come true.”

Regarding to the future, Dawn is hoping to expand into the other half of the building that they are in now, in order to reduce the number of people on the wait list of getting into the market. “I am passionate about helping people and will do anything I can to help those around me,” says Dawn.

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