It wasn’t long ago that Bella Hair Salon and The Funky Zebras Boutique operated separately in their respective Ames locations, the latter along South Duff Avenue and the other in the heart of Somerset. Just last month, however, the two local companies split the difference, joining forces at a new location just off Grand Avenue.
According to North Grand Mall General Manager Lori Bosley, the two unique businesses officially opened their new joint door for customers just weeks ago inside Building F, which sets to the east of the mall itself.
Store Co-Owner Marcy Nelson thinks the shopper-friendly environment in the north Ames area should help the hybrid concept maintain continued success. “We still have amazing traffic flow,” Nelson explained. “And it really allows us to be surrounded by other retail. This is more of a destination area for people. An area where people are coming to shop. We’re close to other stores, including Wal-Mart, and even some restaurants. Plus, we’re amongst residential housing, so it’s a much more ideal spot for where most of our customers are located.”
For those that aren’t familiar with The Funky Zebras Boutique and its specialties, Nelson emphasized the individuality present at each specific location, including the Ames store. “There are other Funky Zebras, but we’re not a franchise,” she noted. “So, it’s basically like a “use-of-name” thing, so we all can market together. I think what makes our store unique is that our products are our personal choice. What you find in our store may not be available in another [Funky Zebras] store. Each person that owns a store puts in their own items. It’s unique to that individual and that person.”
As far as what a customer will find when visiting the north Ames Funky Zebras site, the key is variety. “We offer a large array of apparel, from Extra Small to 3XL,” she said. “We also have a lot of accessories, shoes, bags, jewelry, and skin care products.”
Bella Hair Salon also figures to enjoy an uptick in new traffic with the store’s recent opening. Additionally, according to Store Co-Owner Morgan Strohman, adding a boutique to the salon’s already established customer-base cannot hurt things. “I’m just really excited to bring something new to Ames and to have the boutique and salon together,” Strohman said. “I’ve loved being a part of Somerset for the last five years, but it’s exciting to be a part of the North Grand Mall community now. We’re more centralized in north Ames, and we have much more visibility.”
Strohman believes that this unique partnership was a perfect match from the beginning. “This was a direction I had always been looking for with Bella Hair Salon,” she noted. “My vision was always to have a boutique and salon together. I was definitely happy to seize this opportunity. I know Marcy through doing her and her family’s hair, and our families have known each other. I knew that we would be able to do this together.”
The Funky Zebras Boutique and Bella Hair Salon are located at 2925 Grand Avenue, Suite 102 in Ames. For more information on the boutique, visit www.thefunkyzebraames.com. Both establishments can be reached at 515-292-7000. In addition, both the salon and the boutique can be found on Facebook.