Business

Mix Home Mercantile owners aim for 'affordable' mix

Emily Hughes makes a dried flower arrangement at the home furnishings and interior design business Mix Home Mercantile,
Emily Hughes makes a dried flower arrangement at the home furnishings and interior design business Mix Home Mercantile, 565 Cameron Way #106, she operates with her husband Scott Marks in North Liberty, Iowa, on Wednesday, March 4, 2020. (Jim Slosiarek/The Gazette)
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NORTH LIBERTY — North Liberty feels like home to Emily Hughes and Scott Marks. Thanks to their new business venture, more families can be feeling at home in and around town, too.

They opened Mix Home Mercantile in December.

The store offers a mix of furniture, home decor items, rugs and gifts.

“It’s an affordable mix that’s more unique than at the big-box stores,” Marks said.

Hughes, who has worked as an interior designer for more than 20 years, also offers consultation services at an hourly rate.

“She does everything from simply making your bookshelves look pretty to designing the whole interior of the home,” Marks said.

“I like the creative side of this, merchandising, changing things around in the store,” Hughes added.

Marks got his start in the furniture industry many years ago delivering water beds. Most recently, he worked as a buyer for a chain of furniture stores.

“With both of our knowledge combined and our contacts, we just thought it was the right time to do our own thing and open the store, especially with the growth in housing in this area,” Marks said.

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“We mix a lot of different styles, vintage and modern, old and new, high and low,” Hughes said of their store. “We like to help our clients visualize design ideas with what we have in the store, so everything in here is for sale.”

Some of the pieces in the store are handcrafted, and some of the art was created by Hughes herself.

“We want to make this approachable for people,” Marks said.

“People will grab a coffee at Cafe Muse next door and come in to look around,” Hughes said. “We want people to stop in and linger and take it all in.

“Even though we do so much online shopping, people still enjoy a boutique shopping experience.”

Marks added that the store’s location was strategic.

“We are excited to be right in the middle of the Corridor so we can serve clients in North Liberty, Iowa City and Cedar Rapids,” he said. “We are serving the people we see out and about every day.”

Hughes noted that 99 cents of each item sold is donated to the Alzheimer’s Association.

As they settle into their new business venture, the couple are excited to host in-store events as well, including wine-and-dine activities.

“We want to see people mingle and connect here,” Hughes said.

Know a business that could make for a really interesting “My Biz” feature? Send an email to michaelchevy.castranova@thegazette.com.

At a Glance

• Co-owners: Emily Hughes and Scott Marks

• Business: Mix Home Mercantile

• Address: 565 Cameron Way, North Liberty

• Phone: (319) 626-2160

• Website: mixhomemercantile.com

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