116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
CORALVILLE - 'Destination shopping is a neat thing for women to do together,” Dori Slager said. 'It's fun to get out.”
It was Slager's own shopping excursions with a friend that encouraged her to open Fine Lines Decor and Gifts with her daughter, Molly Johnson, in May.
'My friend and I used to go around shopping at all the little stores and we'd always say, ‘We could do this,'” Slager recalled. 'Then she retired and opened her own shop, and I went by myself to the shops.”
Slager eventually recruited her daughter to go with her.
'I took her to all the stores I like to go to, and she said, ‘We can do this,'” Slager recalled.
'There was a need for a gifting and home accents and accessories store in this area,” Johnson added. 'The only options were big-box retail or high-end interior design or antiques. No one was doing the new-furniture aspect.”
Fine Lines sells a mix of contemporary furniture pieces, home accents, original artwork by local artists and gift items such as jewelry and a line of neighborhood candles.
'You won't find just one type of style,” Johnson said. 'We have a little farmhouse, a little industrial ...
The store does not offer interior design services, the owners pointed out.
'We are a cash-and-carry business,” Slager said.
'What you see, you can take home today,” Johnson added. 'Of course, we can order something in for you if you like.”
The mother and daughter, who often finish each other's sentences, said they have no trouble working together. Johnson, who used to be an internal auditor for a financial institution, handles the back-office functions, and they share responsibilities for buying, merchandise and customer interaction.
'We have similar tastes but some differences,” Johnson said. 'That helps us balance things and not get pigeonholed into any one style.”
With both women having experience in their multigenerational family business, Iowa City-based Slager Appliances, opening a retail store wasn't a huge stretch.
'The biggest learning curve for us was growing a business without an established name,” Johnson said. 'We intentionally kept the Slager name off the business.”
Instead, they are getting the word out through social media, print advertisements and an upcoming commercial spot. They also are talking about doing some shared marketing with other businesses in the area.
The store is located in a newer commercial development along Fifth Street in Coralville. With a couple interior design studios and specialty kitchen stores located nearby, Slager and Johnson said they would like to see the area become known as a home retailers' row.
'Like a little Galena,” Slager said. 'We're hoping the businesses complement each other.”
'We'd like to be known as a destination location to find unique items,” Johnson said.
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At a Glance
' Owners: Dori Slager and Molly Johnson
' Business: Fine Lines Décor and Gifts
' Address: 808 Fifth Street, Suite 6, Coralville
' Telephone: (319) 338-7142
' Email: email@example.com
' Website: shopfinelines.net