Willow on Grand, Des Moines

In the heart of Des Moines lies Willow on Grand, an exquisite event venue that has become a beacon of celebration in the community. The visionary behind this venture is Taylor Boesen who, a decade ago, laid the foundation for success with White Willow Events. Recognizing the growing demand for exceptional event spaces, she decided to embark on a new venture, and in February 2022, Willow on Grand officially opened its doors. 

“The idea for Willow on Grand was a natural evolution of our brand. Starting White Willow Events a decade ago laid the groundwork and expanding into the event venue space felt like the perfect next step,” she reflects. 

The journey to success, however, was not without its challenges. The meticulous prep work preceding the construction of Willow on Grand proved to be the most demanding phase. Yet, with unwavering determination, the team pressed on, and the result was a magnificent venue that exceeded all expectations. 

“Our team is the heartbeat of our success. Week after week, they come together to orchestrate flawless events, ensuring that every celebration at Willow on Grand is a memorable one,” she emphasizes. 

The most surprising aspect of this entrepreneurial endeavor was the overwhelming local support. From hosting neighborhood meetings to facilitating business events and weddings, Willow on Grand has become an integral part of the Waterbury Neighborhood.  

“Watching the building take shape, winning over the doubters, and seeing how much everyone loves and enjoys Willow on Grand has been our biggest triumph. The local support has been wonderful!” Taylor exclaims. 

“This building exists because the Small Business Administration, along with Lincoln Savings Bank, believed in my vision and helped me bring it to fruition,” she acknowledges. 

The Small Business Development Center (SBDC) played a pivotal role in this journey. The owner expresses deep gratitude to Jenica Johnson at the Mid Iowa SBDC, whose support and guidance were invaluable. “The support I received from Jenica at the SBDC made all the difference. She answered my endless questions, made my concerns her own, and helped me understand and navigate the process. This would not have been possible without her help,” she affirms. 

Looking to the future, the vision for Willow on Grand is clear – to continue flourishing in the event industry and host countless more celebrations. The venue’s commitment to the community is evident through its nonprofit rate, offering a space for those in need, and hosting charitable events that contribute to the well-being of the Des Moines community.  

In reflecting on the journey, Taylor would like to share a piece of advice for aspiring entrepreneurs: “Don’t give up!” Willow on Grand stands as a reminder of what strong community support and the endorsement of organizations such as the SBA and SBDC can do. It proudly represents the power of perseverance and the fulfillment of a cherished dream.   

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