Be Inspired Studio was voted the #1 Gift Shop in the Cedar Valley for 2012 as part of the KCRG and Hoopla A-List contest. Knocking out 35 other nominees in the category, Be Inspired Studio won the majority of the votes.
"I am excited. I think we will get a lot of advertisement out of it because we will get posted on their website as the winner for a whole entire year, which is great," said store owner Jill Deklotz. This was the first year that Deklotz signed up to participate in the contest and she is glad that she did.
The store, which is located at 302 Main Street in Dysart, features home dcor and other gift items, but there's much more. "We do home dcor, florals, furniture and gifts. We do home visits and go into homes and help them decorate their rooms, offices, or things like that. Otherwise it's a flow of people that come through and buy, but our biggest business is house visits" said Deklotz.
Here, display pictures showcase the rooms set up within the studio that give customers ideas on how to decorate their homes at Be Inspired.
The store front features a seasonal display showcasing the home dcor at Be Inspired Studio and the majority of the store is set up like a home. "We have the living room and the bedroom. Each room is set up like a room in the house so people can actually visually see the different ways that you can set it up. You can't have a feel for home dcor unless it's set up like a home and you can actually see it," said Deklotz.
Having worked in home dcor for 13 years, Deklotz is no rookie to the business. The Be Inspired Studio in Dysart has been operating for 3 years but for 10 years prior to that, Deklotz, a resident of Shellsburg, Iowa, worked in home dcor in Cedar Rapids.
Tammy Cannavo, from Marion, Iowa, is the floral designer at Be Inspired Studio. They worked together in Cedar Rapids and when Deklotz made the move to Dysart, she hired Cannavo. Deklotz kept a lot of her clientele from the Cedar Rapids area but has been delighted to see her clientele expand in the Dysart area.
"I'm actually better located here because I get the Cedar Falls and Waterloo areas and all of the surrounding towns. Cedar Rapids is also one of my biggest areas of business. We do a lot in La Porte City, a little in Vinton and even Belle Plaine. We travel everywhere and will go anywhere," said Deklotz, "The town of Dysart is very welcoming and accommodating. It's a fun town. There are so many fun things to see."
One of the busiest times of year for the business is during the Christmas season. In 2007, Deklotz and Cannavo started a Christmas tree decorating program. That year, they decorated eight Christmas trees, but in 2011 they decorated 40. Business has been continually expanding at the studio.
"It's something fun that we offer that is huge for all ages. Some of the older ones don't want to decorate a Christmas tree anymore and they sit and watch us do it and others are too busy, so we do it for them," said Deklotz. In addition to decorating Christmas trees, they also decorate stairwells and mantles.
Each month, the businesses within the Brick-a-Brack building, where the studio is located, host an event. From beach parties, garden extravaganzas, to BBQs, there is always something going on. If there isn't an event in the building, there will be a city wide event that they participate in. Deklotz is always planning something for her studio.
In addition to the benefit of advertising received from being nominated the #1 Gift Shop in the Cedar Valley, Deklotz is also invited to attend an awards banquet on May 31 at Riverside Casino in Coralville, Iowa. This is the first year that a banquet has been held for the winners.