The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

October 18, 2013

Business owners opt for some color

By Amy Kent Herald Staff Writer
The Clinton Herald

---- — CLINTON — Driving through Second Street in Clinton has become quite a sight as of late, making it hard not to notice the array of colors that have taken over several local businesses.

Which is exactly why it is being done — to get noticed.

Amy Holm, owner and operator of 2nd Time Around, a clothing consignment store on Second Street, started the new downtown theme by painting the outside of her store a vibrant purple, with pink accents.

“I wanted people to notice that we were here,” Holm said. “I like to be unique and fun so I wanted my business to be unique. Plus, I don’t like to be the same as everyone else.”

Several other local businesses in the downtown are now following in the footsteps of Holm and have done a variety of things to make them stand out from the monotony of brick in the downtown district.

Kevin Goddard, a newcomer on the block, didn’t exactly paint his store a certain color, but to go along with the theme of the inside, he created a camouflage facade at the Outdoor Sporting Den.

“We did it to draw attention to our store,” Goddard said. “Something to set us apart from other businesses on the block.”

The colorful spectrum stretches further than the 300 block of Second Street, where Holm and Goddard’s businesses are located, and has now influenced other business owners to venture into painting their buildings.

Hump’s Midway Lounge and Sports Bar recently painted the front of the building to represent its love for the Iowa Hawkeyes and to join in on brightening the downtown district.

“Not a lot of people knew that we were here,” Bar Manager Lynn Lozano said. “We wanted to clean it up and make it look nice and a lot of people have noticed.”

Also on the list of colorful businesses, is a new Mexican restaurant, the Tequila House at 200 S. Second St. The bright orange and neon green make for a strong eye-catcher when traveling on South Second Street, which is exactly what these businesses are intending to do.

Paula VanZuiden, a regular customer at 2nd Time Around, has noticed the changes in the downtown district and thinks they are a wonderful addition to the growing shopping area.

“The colors outside are what drew me in here in the first place. Now I come here about once a week,” VanZuiden said.

It is that type of attitude that Holm had hoped to get out of painting her building front, and so far it has made a big impact on her sales numbers.

“It’s really a wise marketing strategy,” Holm said. “Had I known that my sales would go up, I would have done it a long time ago.”

Goddard has also seen an increase in traffic since decorating the outside of his building, and hopes that more business owners take inspiration from Holm and the rest of the colorful buildings on the block.

“There are still several empty buildings along Second Street,” Goddard said. “If people start moving in and fixing up their buildings like we have, then maybe the area will start getting busy again.”