Business

UI student-led businesses opening in Coralville's Iowa River Landing this week

Foundry IRL will house eight businesses founded by UI students and grads

East Second Avenue in the Iowa River Landing in Coralville, Iowa, on Tuesday, March 7, 2017. (Jim Slosiarek/The Gazette)
East Second Avenue in the Iowa River Landing in Coralville, Iowa, on Tuesday, March 7, 2017. (Jim Slosiarek/The Gazette)

IOWA CITY — Foundry IRL, a joint retail space formed by eight University of Iowa student businesses, will make its grand opening to the public Friday in Coralville’s Iowa River Landing.

The businesses operating in the space are:

•Furniture and product designers Yiran Li Design and Vako Design

•Fashion designers Almvghty, Elevated Supply Co. and Kulture Vaccine

•Clothing accessory makers Conquer Accessories and Wanderlust Wraps

•Parametics, a cellphone repair shop.

All of the businesses are led by members of the UI Founders Club, a business incubator on campus, and already have a sales presence online. The group first announced plans for the shared space this August with support from Iowa City real estate developer Deanna Trumbull.

Vako Darjania, owner of Vako Design, said the Foundry IRL gives customers who prefer to shop offline a place to go.

“Because of the nature of the products we’re selling, it’s a good way to explore the actual retail,” he said. “Even though brick-and-mortars are dying out, there is still human psychology and a need for physical stores where people can touch and feel (products) before they buy them.”

The grand opening will run from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. Friday, Oct. 19 at 920 E. Second Ave., Coralville.

l Comments: (319) 398-8366; dan.mika@thegazette.com

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