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From Novice


Nacho Average


Preparing For Winter

Fall in Love

with Fashion

Paint the Town


DSM Living highlights four women who have survived cancer themselves and are giving back now to those in need.

Bra’s for the Cause

Katie’s Crusaders Strands of Strengh

Can Do Cancer



Curl up this autumn with DSM Living Magazine. Our October issue is filled with the latest Fall Fashion trends, how to prepare your home for Winter and products made right here in the heartland. Download for

pop-out tap see hidden text in the article


move though different features in the article



Available for iPhone, iPads and Android Tablets

what’s inside...


From Novice

To Niche

Homemade Harvest

Avoid the


Rush wallet on your


B Boone Scenic Railway


Autumn Destination:

Howell’s Farm

Paint the Town

Pink e g a r e v A o h c Na

s o c a T



Preparing For Winter





Fall in Love


with Fashion


While so many apps make your photos look better through filters and lenses, Over takes it a step further by allowing people to put beautiful typography over their pictures. Here are some tips on how to use the app to perfect your favorite shots.

Get Artsy with Objects! Take a photo of an object that you can use as a letter to a word. A seashell can easily become an “O� in another word that captures your day on the beach. Adding a filter before can also make the photo express even more of your mood.

When Mari Doan first bought a camera that went beyond point-and-shoot, it ended up in storage for a year. Fast-forward to today. Not only does the Mari D Photography owner know how to use her camera but she has carved a niche for her business with it, too.

From Novice

To Niche


hen I first walked into Mari Doan’s apartment, I assumed there would be wall-to-wall backdrops like the studios we all have been in for senior portraits. I was surprised when I saw a modest corner dedicated to her photography, but one look at her photos show that talent and passion don’t require a separate facility to shine. Mari Doan, a self-proclaimed hobby addict, first experimented with photography after finishing her MCAT and getting into medical school at Des Moines University. She bought a camera and ended up putting it away for a year from some initial intimidation. “It’s all these knobs, buttons, and numbers… I didn’t know what to do with it”. But something brought her back to it.


elf-taught through trial and error, Mari went from hobbyist to having paying clients. Her success came from talent, passion, and finding her niche: fashion and pageant photography. “A lot of girls are missing that around here”, Mari says. She notes that the pageant world is very small and supportive, which may have been why word of her photography “went around like wild fire” when she became a sponsor for Miss Iowa in 2011 and 2012. That word of mouth made it easy for her to get clients and she keeps them by only taking assignments she loves. Mari doesn’t do baby photos or event photography because she doesn’t want to. Fashion and pageantry, on the other hand, is what she likes to do, which she says gives her an advantage over the other photographers. Mari’s passion for pageant photography led to some other life experiences. After

photographing pageant titleholders and crown hopefuls for some time, Mari was encouraged by Rebecca Goldsmith (Miss Iowa USA 2011) to go for the title of Miss Iowa USA herself. She competed for the first time last year and it resulted in a rewarding experience. “It changed my confidence with interview coaching and everything, with walking on stage in front of everyone, especially in bikini, it brings out a lot of confidence in you”. Not only did it allow Mari to understand her clients better but she added another activity to her hobby. In the short-term future, Mari will be busy as she pursues her career to become a doctor of podiatric medicine. In two short but demanding years, she will be licensed to do surgery. While she may put down the camera for a bit now, she said she plans on picking it back up after her residency.

“When you love what you do, it shows in your work. It makes your work look 10 times more amazing. If you want to enter into the professional world, you have to love your work in order to make it grow.� ~ Mari Doan

Smile! You’re on Camera

While you may still be at a point-and-shoot skill level, Mari had some suggestions on how to make your photos look better and have fun.

Apps Add That Extra Touch Mari loves apps like Instagram, which adds a filter to photos and allows you to share with friends. There are tons of apps for photos for your iPhone or Android. Some add functions to your camera and others allow for editing after you take the shot.

Make It Casual When we talked to Mari about being a professional, she laughed and said “I don’t even know if I would consider myself a professional. When I work with girls it’s really causal.” She says sometimes it can feel awkward being in front of the camera because you may not know how to ‘pose’, but throw on some music and just have fun with it!

Love What You Photograph “When you love what you do, it shows in your work. It makes your work look 10 times more amazing.” Like her professional advice, Mari says that your work will show best when you care about the subject. If you don’t, it can show so don’t feel obligated to take snapshots of anything you don’t care about.



WINTER: A COOL TIME TO CREATE HOT NEW SPACES While bears may hibernate for winter, there’s no reason why your renovation plans need to. In fact, as this month’s home pro explains, winter can truly be the coolest time to create hot new spaces for your home that you can enjoy come springtime.


Dave Helland of Helland Construction, is one of those who has firsthand experience making winter dreams become reality. “Winter construction is nothing to be afraid of,” he says. “There may be some days or weeks when we may be limited on what we can do, but overall, there’s plenty of time to complete projects in time to enjoy them by spring.” Helland says a wide variety of projects can be taken on during winter, including screened porches, new or existing deck work, house renovation, and more, including siding and new window installation. “We have tackled a lot of projects during the winter — even things like second story additions,” Helland says. “Sometimes people are surprised at all we can do during winter. But it’s actually a very good time for construction from a moisture standpoint, because it’s much easier to manage the effects of snow than a summer downpour.”

“Winter construction is nothing to be afraid of.” Spring sends new plants skyward. But, as Helland says, they’re not the only things on the rise that time of year. “One thing that seems to happen each spring is that material prices rise. Winter construction helps you save on those material costs before the spring rush.” Another advantage to winter construction is crew availability. As Helland points out, “Because many people wait until warm weather to plan and pursue their home projects, planning a winter project can mean you have easier access to the crews to get it all done.” “Everything I do with new construction is one-of-a-kind,” Helland says. “It all starts with the plan—the idea of what someone would like to see on their property. A great way we’ve had many people start with is showing us an idea they’ve seen online. We can incorporate the idea, draw up the plans, and get to work making it happen.” Above all, the key is to plan ahead. As Helland says, “If you want something done for spring, don’t wait until spring to do it.” Helland Construction has 17 years of experience with a wide variety of construction, renovation, new custom home development and commercial business work. For more information, you can write to or call Dave at 515-231-4622, or visit

Check Your

Winter Preparedness A few minutes preparing for winter now can save you hours and dollars later. Here’s a checklist to see if your place is set for Iowa’s upcoming cold season: REFRESH CAULKING - Replace cracked or missing caulking around windows and other seams to keep your house buttoned up tight against cold air and the elements.

MAINTAIN YOUR PAINT - Make sure your exterior surfaces are covered against the elements by touching up any bare spots. Also, ensure your deck is properly sealed with a fresh coat to boost longevity.

CLOSE GAPS - Head off possible water and bug infiltration issues by looking for any gaps around the exterior of your home that may have developed in the past year.

INSPECT HEATING SYSTEMS - Today’s homes are made tighter than ever, which means less fresh air naturally making its way inside. A pro should check your system once a year to ensure fresh air intakes are working, as well as overall operation.

KEEP WATER FLOWING - Avoid damaging ice dams. Check gutters, downspouts and places where roofs intersect with walls to ensure that these spaces are clean and ready to allow rain and melting snow to flow away from your house.

STOW YOUR HOSE - Your hose has probably been hooked to a spigot since last spring. Avoid having your pipes in this area freeze by disconnecting your hose and bringing it in for the season.

SHORE UP PATIOS AND CONCRETE - When you see cracks or openings between sections of concrete, there’s the potential for ice to accumulate and damage these areas with ice expansion and contraction. Clean out these areas and use a good sealant to keep water and ice out.

These ideas brought to you by: KRM Development Kaufman Construction 515-419-3680 515-225-6140



Check out last months

AT HOME WITH THE PROS INVEST A LITTLE TIME NOW TO SAVE A LOT LATER. In the months to come, you’ll be snuggled inside your warm home while another Iowa winter plays out. But what’s happening on the outside of your house? Is it prepared for the snow, sleet and ice to come? Now’s the time to take a few simple steps to make sure your home is ready to face the worst. Sure. We know the temptation is to say “there’s plenty of time to take care of that.” But while fall is just beginning, there’s no time like the present to give your house a head start to maintain and protect it. To read full article, download the September Issue of DSM Living magazine.

STAY IN THE KNOW WITH THE PROS Watch future issues of DSM Living for more news you can use to safeguard, maintain and enjoy your home for seasons to come.

Autumn Destination:

Howell’s Farm

The leaves are beginning to change as we leave summer behind. Fall is a

great time to head to a pumpkin patch, relax on a wagon ride, or get lost in a corn maze. All of these fun things can be done at Howell’s Pumpkin Patch in Cumming. Fred and Cindy Howell run the farm that has been in the family for six generations. Howell’s is also well known for their trees and flowers, and during the fall season people can expect beautiful mums to be spread over the acres of farmland. Here are some of the fall activities to do on the farm:

Pick out a Pumpkin Howell’s has wagons of pumpkins already set out but feel free to go out to the patch to pick one, too. While pumpkin carving is a classic activity, greenhouse manager Patti Kenworthy says “We have seen people paint them and cover it with glitter, glue other vegetables and grasses on, and cutting off the top of the pumpkins to place mums inside.”

Lose Yourself: “The corn maze is shaped as a man driving a tractor with a wagon that is pulling pumpkins,� Patti Kenworthy said. Try to find your way out with a friend or date among the corn stalks.

Pedal Go-Carts: “These pedal go-carts aren’t just for kids,” Patti Kenworthy told us. “These fun go-carts are a perfect way to spark some friendly competition with your family and friends.”

Find a Treasure to Bring Home One of the year-round staples of the Howell’s Farm is the gift shop. “We’re one of the only places with a lot of Thanksgiving décor,” Patti told us. Howell’s also has dried, hanging flowers and other fall decorations to spruce up your home and remind you of a fun, local getaway.


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time to cycle out those tanks and shorts for sweaters and leggings as we head into autumn weather. DSM Living met with Kelsey Greene of Francesca’s at the Jordan Creek Town Center to talk about the trends that will keep you looking as cool as the weather outside.

Fall in Love

with Fashion

PATTERN PLAY “We like a lot of pattern play so it’s all about things like the polka dots and stripes. Black and white is huge, especially different patterns of that, and even mixing it with brown. We’re going to have a lot of white this winter, and not a winter white but a stark white. Boots with more texture like buttons, lace, and zippers are going to be huge. Mod industrial is going to be big, where you put casual glam together with business. You could do something like polka dots and blazers, another big item for this fall.”

MIDWEST COMFORT “Midwest comfort is going to be big for us with knits, belts, and boots. Layering is coming back, thankfully! Long and layered will create a prairie hippie look that can be accented further through long necklaces or earrings, too. If you want to bring this type of layered jewelry look into the office, get your toes wet by stacking your necklaces because then you can take one off if you feel like it’s too much.”

COOL COBALT “I’m not somebody that does blue and black well but I’m liking the new, expanded monochromatic scheme of white, blue, light blue, cobalt, and black. Black and blue is going to be huge. You can add more to this look with layering and using legwarmers or tights. Even to my friend’s wedding, I am wearing a cobalt dress with an embellished belt and boots!”


c a N

e g a r e v A ho

s o c a T

The early stage of Sam Auen’s business was Taco Tuesday nights at the Cumming Tap. What once was a ‘menu’ of two items has now evolved into a downtown location for taco fanatics:


has been in the food business in one way or another for a while. He has worked under previous restaurants, experimented with his own Asian cooking, and created a blog where kitchen staff could vent about horrible diners. All of these experiences started to culminate when the Cumming Tap, having seen success from their steak night, asked Sam to create another food item for their Tuesdays. When it came to choosing what food, Sam said, “When you think of food on Tuesday, you think of tacos immediately. So, thanks Taco Tuesday”. The beginnings of the taco line-up were simple: braised pork or vegan chorizo (a type of sausage). On the first night, Sam sold enough to go back again and slowly built a following up at the Tap but online as well. While Sam “never thought about selling tacos, ever”, luck had other plans. A friend had already reserved a spot at the Downtown Farmer’s Market but needed to pull out. After offering Sam the spot, he decided to try it and the tacos were a part of the Farmers Market in 2011 and 2012. Eventually, this all led to the opening of the new store situated in the East Village.

As for choosing the catchy name Tacopocolypse “The first time it was brought up, it was a done deal. I knew it would be the right name for what was then just a little project. Turns out, it was!�

- Sam Auen


, 250 people rushed the store during lunch. The unique flavors and fast service are convenient for those that are downtown and need a quick lunch. There, people can choose from a variety of foods like the burrito of the day, nachos, enchiladas, and of course, tacos. One of Sam’s favorites is the bahan mi, Vietnamese pork, which he is proud of. “When you have people that are part of the community you modeled the food after coming in to get yours, it’s a small victory”. Sam has plans to get Tacopocolypse further integrated with downtown Des Moines. He hopes that in the next year there will be enough money to buy a mobile taco truck that would be able to serve on the street easily. “Thankfully”, Sam notes that “the city is moving in the right direction” in relaxing the rules for mobile businesses downtown, which makes it easier than setting up and tearing down each time businesses come to community events. He also wants to expand his self-described “vegan agenda” in the future with more meat-free options. As far as advice for others that wish to open their own businesses, Sam recommends “start small and keep as small as possible as long as possible. Expanding too soon can be a business killer”.

Sam’s experience having an Internet following serves him well on the business side. Tacopocolypse doesn’t hire anyone to do their social media but have seen a large increase of followers, and get phone calls for carry-out orders minutes after the burrito of the day is Tweeted out from @Tacopocolypse. So, if you want a taco ranging from mild to murderously hot, Tacopocolypse will be waiting for you in the East Village.

621 Des Moines Street Des Moines, Iowa 50309


Sunday Brunchpocalypse 11:00am to 3:00pm Monday thru Friday 11:00am to 10:00 pm Saturday 11am to 10pm


Homemade Harvest


One of the benefits of living here is the plentiful bounty of delicious products grown and produced in the state. If you keep your eyes open, and your taste buds ready, you can stock up on a wide variety of tasty foods that will make the winter months much more appetizing.


Proud Partner of Local Producers. Iowa Machine Shed restaurant is one of the many retailers that brings the bounty of area fields and farms to its gift shops and, in turn, the tables of its customers. As Machine Shed Brand Manager Michelle Hoaglin says, the reason is simple. “From the very beginning, our goal and foundation has been about honoring local farmers in the areas where we operate,” she explains. “We like to highlight local and regional vendors whenever we can.” As Hoaglin says, it’s no coincidence that the chain, which is now celebrating its 35th anniversary, serves as an important link between farm and table, “We stay true to that because we want to make sure that we continue to celebrate and highlight food that is fresh, local and made from scratch. That’s what we do in our restaurants. So we want to make sure that we’re supporting that same spirit in the products we make available to our customers.”

Machine Shed has six stores in the Midwest, including two in Iowa, one in Minnesota, one in Illinois and two in Wisconsin. And, as Hoaglin says, part of the reason for the chain’s success is encouraging a truly local flavor. “One of the biggest things is that we really operate each of our restaurants independently,” she says. “What is local and seasonal in Iowa may be completely different than in Minnesota. By sourcing as many products as we can regionally and locally, we stay true to the reason why we opened in the first place.”

IOWA ORCHARD Example of Excellence

One long-time producer that has been tantalizing local appetites since 1975 is Urbandale-based Iowa Orchard. With its extensive list of products, Iowa Orchard seems to be a living representation of all that is good — and good to eat — in Iowa. Here’s a taste:

TRADITIONAL BAKERY Apple Dumpling Rolls Homemade Pies Dutch Crumb Caramel Apple Pie French Chocolate Silk Pie Apple, Cherry, & Peach Crisp Turnovers Specialty Breads Coffee Cake Cookies

SWEET TREATS Caramel Apples Fudge


Dried Fruit Apple Cider & Spices Honey Cookbook Jams, Jellies, & Preserves Spreadable Fruits Sorghum Dressings Steak & BBQ Sauces Salsas Butters Mustards Relishes

Brian Etchen is one of the owners of Iowa Orchard—the business his father started nearly 40 years ago. Producing the quantity of food his operation does is definitely a fulltime proposition. In addition to family, there are three full-time employees, along with parttime fruit pickers and tour guides. Business is definitely growing. “We are one of the biggest pumpkin retailers here in the Greater Des Moines area. This time of year it’s not uncommon to see a families stop out, pick up six or seven pumpkins, apples, a couple of pies and some apple cider that we produce,” he says. Etchen is proud of the business his family his building, including using new ways of growing age-old treats. “Our new high-density growing system for our apples is fantastic. We’ve gotten away from individual trees. The high-density growing system uses a trellis, so it looks like a fruiting wall as it grows,” Etchen explains. “This approach helps the fruit get more light penetration. Also, the apples dry faster after a rainfall, they are more resistant to disease. It’s just a better way of growing apples.” If you’re looking to find Iowa Orchard treats, you might just find them at one of your favorite farmer’s markets. In fact, Iowa Orchard showcases its products at seven farmer’s market events each week throughout the summer and fall. You can also visit them at

Iowa Orchard 9875 Meredith Drive Urbandale, Iowa 50322


BEFORE opening Raygun in 2005, Mike Draper was selling t-shirts in Philadelphia while in college. When he moved back to Des Moines and opened the store, his shirts caught the attention of self-depreciating Iowans who liked to poke fun at stereotypes. Now, he has opened another store in Iowa City and Raygun sells much more than just shirts.

RAYGUN FOUNDER, MIKE DRAPER has some interesting plans for the future. He tells us that when Raygun one day makes him rich enough to swim through gold coins, he will turn his t-shirt store into a pharmaceutical company and hire an assistant that would have blocked our ability to interview him. However, such an assistant does not exist yet, and we were able to meet up with Draper to talk about Raygun. Those plans are (we think) sarcastic but match the humor and wit Raygun is known for.

DRAPER SAID, “Raygun makes their niche by purposely constraining our footprint of interest to the 12 states in the Midwest, and especially Iowa.” The store mocks preconceived notions that Iowa and other parts of the Midwest are boring through their designs and slogans. Draper said that self-deprecation pokes fun at the ideas that other people have of the state and not the state itself. It is funny for the natives almost as an inside joke but also for when people from larger cities come into the store and go, “oh my god, they know what we say about them”. That niche also doubles as exclusivity where the focus can just be on the culture of the area instead of trying to keep expanding out. However, their niche hasn’t stopped celebrities such as Rashida Jones, Adam Scott, and Ed Sheeran (who wore two different shirts during his concert at Wells Fargo Arena) from getting some Midwest swag.

“My favorite shirt might be “Des Moines, let us exceed your already low expectations.” Gosh, I wish they could make that the official state slogan”

Raygun has a large social media following even though Draper says they don’t do too much advertising online. They have fun posting things like #overheardinthestore on Twitter but overall focus their business much more in person. Raygun will cycle in and out new ideas but make sure that it fits their personality and what their core customers would want. As far as giving advice on what others should do that are interested in making their own company, or just advancing in their current one, Draper says to take a leap of faith and just go for it.

“It’s hard to do something part-time and do the jump into full-time. There is always going to be some sort of a jump, even sometimes for the next rung.”



Curl up this autumn with DSM Living Magazine. Our October issue is filled with the latest Fall Fashion trends, how to prepare your home for Winter and products made right here in the heartland. Download for

pop-out tap see hidden text in the article


move though different features in the article



Available for iPhone, iPads and Android Tablets

Paint the Town


During fall, the state of Iowa is usually divided between the colors of cardinal and gold or black and yellow. But, in October the color pink unifies the state. According to the Iowa Department of Health, 2,250 Iowan women will hear the words “You have breast cancer” annually. However, the pink lining of this diagnosis comes from the organizations and non-profits in the Des Moines metro that reach out to help financially and emotionally. DSM Living highlights four women who have survived cancer themselves and are giving back now to those in need.

Bras for the Cause

Katie’s Crusaders

Strands of Strength

Can Do Cancer

Breast cancer can change the shape of a woman’s body but Stacey Fox won’t allow it to change their confidence. Stacey is the owner of Stacey’s and also one of the co-founders of Bra’s for the Cause. As we walk around her store in Urbandale, she points to her bra section and says, “my passion is that 300-square foot room”. She is referring to her mastectomy fitting rooms where women can come to get bras specifically fitted for their breasts after surgery.

“You know your body and when you’re not feeling good. Don’t let life get in the way of getting it checked out.” Her mastectomy fitting rooms are private but also a powerful resource for those who have gone through breast surgery. Stacey’s has gone through the same Medicare certification that major hospitals have to go through to allow her bras to be covered by insurance. Since Stacey’s also has a bra store, they are able to give women any style of bra they would like, allowing them to still shop for the styles and colors that they want.

Stacey Fox also co-founded Bra’s for the Cause, an organization that raises money to provide mammograms to underserved areas in Iowa. The idea came from when Stacey’s friend, Dr. Christi Taylor, saw a woman in Colorado decorating a bra. When Christi asked what it was for, the woman told her it was to rally support for a friend. “Christi was a doctor and [I] owned a bra store, so we combined it to make money.” They knew they wanted a fun, fancy event for people to dress up for so they created a gala. In addition, people could decorate and submit their own bras. “My daughter and I make a bra every year,” Stacey says. They created their first, Stamp Out Cancer, to join the other bras on display at the gala. The inspiration behind each bra shares a story of survival or the willingness to defeat the disease. One bra that struck Stacey was a knitted style. The designer had told her, “Every time I put the needle in and the needle out was me taking out every time the needle was put into me [for chemotherapy]. By the time that I finished making the bra, I knew that I was over the cancer.” Stacey notes that Iowa’s large rural population, where self-employed workers may not have insurance, can be underserved for mammograms and prevention. However, there are prevention techniques everyone can utilize. “You know your body and when you’re not feeling good. Don’t let life get in the way of getting it checked out.” Giving yourself a monthly self-examination in the shower is a small but powerful way to notice if something seems different from month to month. Keeping up on mammogram and Pap smear appointments are also important, and for those that may not have the insurance for the tests have Bra’s for the Cause raising money for them. “Our organization is volunteer based and you can never have too many in my book”.

Visit for more details on the 2013 Bra’s for the Cause Gala

Hearing that you have breast cancer is devastating enough for yourself. For Katie Mangan, it also meant devastation for a young family as she was diagnosed at age 30 with two young daughters to take care of. Katie’s children were not old enough to financially help her but she was fortunate to have a strong network of other family and friends that came together to organize a 5K to help her out.

“I’ve never ran a 5K in my life but I did this and when I got half-way through I wanted to stop. But I thought, all these women are going through cancer and if they’re fighting cancer and sick, I have to finish.” They raised over $10,000; money that went a long way in helping with costs that she never realized could arise during the fight against cancer. Some of those unexpected costs include extra trips into the auto shop to address the wear and tear from driving to and from treatments. Basic repairs to a laundry machine or television set once may have been annoying but now add to more credit card expenses that loom overhead. Even being able to get dressed can be financially difficult after surgeries such as a mastectomy. “You have to get all new bras and new shirts to feel good about yourself, because you’ve lost a body part.”

Katie was so grateful for the funds that her family rose that she wanted to continue the 5K for others. Katie’s Crusaders was formed as a 501 3(c) non-profit to raise money for “crusaders” that are nominated by their friends or family. An annual 5K is held to raise money and awareness. Katie’s Crusaders has been adding more events, like a 25-mile bike ride and a “Strike Out Cancer” bowling event, to further help the families. So far, Katie’s Crusaders hasn’t had to turn away a nomination. For Katie Mangan and others affected by breast cancer, the support is emotional and heartwarming to hear some of the runners say, “I’ve never ran a 5K in my life but I did this and when I got half-way through I wanted to stop. But I thought, all these women are going through cancer and if they’re fighting cancer and sick, I have to finish.” The money raised goes back to the families as a check, where they can spend it where they see needed. About 450 people race each year and Katie hopes to see it grow in the future as well.

Visit for more details on The 5th Annual Crusader Run

Sometimes when we get up in the morning, the last thing we want to do is spend the time showering and styling our hair when the snooze button is so tempting. However, hair is something that those that have been diagnosed with cancer don’t take for granted. Deb Pulver, unfortunately, knows this all too well and how losing hair after radiation and chemotherapy can affect a cancer patient’s outlook.

“When they say you’ll lose your hair, you think it’s going to be okay. But you go in that shower and your hair is coming out and when you look in the mirror, you think ‘I’m sick’.” Hair often falls out as soon as 14 days into chemotherapy and unfortunately wigs are not covered by insurance plans. “When they say you’ll lose your hair, you think it’s going to be okay. But you go in that shower and your hair is coming out and when you look in the mirror, you think ‘I’m sick’”. Deb thinks that it is important to provide something that cancer patients could use to feel more confident: a high-quality wig. Deb Pulver founded and created Strands of Strength as a way to provide high-quality wigs to women that couldn’t afford them.

The organization works by having oncologist and radiologists give their patients a voucher to where they can go to local salon Studio 409. There, stylist Jack Morlan takes women into a private room where he can fit the wig specifically to the woman’s needs. Oftentimes, patients go prior to losing all their hair so he can create a wig for a seamless transition, as many patients may not want everyone to know they are ill. The private room allows him to help cut, shave, and fit the patient in privacy and the voucher lets them walk out of the studio with high-quality hair for no cost. Deb and her team are able to fundraise for this cause through an annual luncheon at Glen Oaks and from donations by salons and stylists in the area during “Salon Month”. The luncheon is $300 a plate, the price of a wig, for attendee’s to come and listen to a featured guest, participate in a live auction, and donate at their table if they wish. Dr. Tom Buroker will be speaking at the luncheon on May 14th, 2014. During October, Strands of Strengths asks stylists and salons to collect contributions at their front desk or donate a certain dollar amount per service to the organization. Deb stressed that Strands of Strength provides wigs to in-need women that lose hair through any cancer chemotherapy or radiation treatment, not just breast cancer. UnityPoint and Mercy each have donated $25,000 to the organization. Flynn Wright also generously did the literature and branding of Strands of Strength without charge, with TPI printing the literature for distribution. This type of collaboration is where Strands of Strength finds its strength and has been able to raise over $200,000.

Salon Week Participants New for 2013

Mercy Hair Salon Sahar’s Salon Classique Salon Lala The Beehive Salon The Sage Tree, Inc Trahvae Freraire Studio

2012 & 2013

AVEDA Institute Des Moines Bangz Beauty Brand Blondie’s Blush Salon Country Cutters Entourage Salon Estilo Day Spa Gibbs of Beaverdale Hair Affair Hair Mechanix Mazza & Company Hair Studio MODA Reflections Salon & Spa Rick Mosley Aveda Salon Roslin’s Salon Shear Style Studio 409 The Cutting Company Trixie’s Aveda Salon West Street Design

CAN DO CANCER It can be hard to realize how much cancer works itself into everyday life until someone realizes they still need to cook after receiving chemotherapy. Molly Suarez, a survivor of breast cancer, felt lost after her diagnosis, not knowing what to expect. One thing she hadn’t expected was how tired she would be for everyday household errands and tasks. She had the blessing of a friend that brought her and her family dinner after every single chemotherapy treatment.

“Friends and family rally initially after the diagnosis but then go back into their busy lives. But, cancer is a long experience”. Molly found it difficult to find a single resource that tackled all of the real challenges that those with cancer face. While one website would list medical concerns, it wouldn’t list how to go about getting a wig or breast reconstruction. Spending time searching all over was stressful and after Molly finished her treatment, she “reflected back on [her] experience and knew [she] wanted to do something.”


Molly created Can Do Cancer, an organization that provides four specific services for cancer patients. First, she gave back the gift of delivering dinner to patients and their families after every chemotherapy session. Secondly, the organization coordinates housecleaning services throughout treatment since most patients are too fatigued to do those chores. The third service is a website that combines all the information Molly felt she had to search for in one place. Lastly, the organization provides motivational support for patients. Molly described cancer as “an overwhelming time.” What we do allows people to just worry about getting through their day of treatment. The “patient partners” that are matched to each Can Do Cancer patient are breast cancer survivors that know what it is like to go through the diagnosis and treatment. Molly stressed that patient partners stick with patients through the whole process. “Friends and family often rally initially after the diagnosis but then go back to their busy lives. But, cancer is a long experience.” Chemotherapy alone can span over 4-5 months but many women don’t feel that the process ends then. While Molly was diagnosed back in May of 2011, it was just a few short weeks ago that she finally had her last reconstructive procedure. It is the shared experience that allows the partners to understand from start to finish that makes Can Do Cancer so unique. The organization raised some money through an accessory swap last year and is going to have its second big fundraiser on November 16th when it hosts a Trivia Night. The fundraiser will be $200 a table and will include a silent auction. The organization was founded last year and Molly said there has been great response to the organization and that all patients have been matched with partners. She hopes that in the future, patients will want to become partners too.

Visit for more details on the Trivia Night Fundraiser.



It’s not just a business... It’s a passion.

515.225.6140 |


When you look in the mirror this month, you could see some truly terrifying results. It’s time to put on your scary face. And you can do it with the help of experts like Veronica Dietrick, manager of The Theatrical Shop in West Des Moines. Dietrick took time to talk with DSM Living about what the most glamorous ghouls will be wearing for Halloween. Couples’ costumes magnify the mayhem. “I see couples continually becoming more

adventurous as they prepare their look for parties and fundraising events,” Dietrick says. “Some favorites that we see couples turn to quite a bit include a gangster and a flapper from the 1920s, Fred and Wilma from The Flintstones… even pairs like Ricky Ricardo and Lucy.” That’s just the start. “We also see superhero tandems, western characters and even things like farm animals,” Dietrick says.

The look that will not die.

As Dietrick says, there’s one costume favorite for couples that keeps clawing its way out of the darkness to remain more than half alive in the costume collage. “Zombies continue to be a big hit,” she says. “Couples just don’t seem to be as self-conscious as they used to be about dressing up like a zombie and going out into public. People are really having a lot of fun with it.” Dietrick sees growing creativity among her zombie clients. “We’ve seen people really add some fun twists by creating zombie versions of classic characters.” But what is it about the zombie look that seems to attract hordes of fans? “I think it has a lot to do with the flexibility and artistic idea of how the makeup allows people to transform themselves,” Dietrick says. “I think one of the factors that has really fueled that is all of the special effect extras that are available on DVDs — those segments that go behind the scenes and give a glimpse of how Hollywood productions achieve some of these amazing effects using makeup. For $15 to $30 in material costs, people are amazed at what they can achieve themselves.”

Other familiar faces

When it comes to selecting an individual look for Trick or Treat, there’s no shortage of tried and true favorites. In addition to characters from movies like Spiderman and Moulin Rouge, Dietrick says one that continues to add a touch of Hollywood to Halloween is those who want to tap their inner swashbuckler. “People just can’t seem to get enough of Johnny Depp as a pirate in the Pirates of the Caribbean series.” Dietrick says clown masks and costumes have also made a comeback. “In the past, some of the most popular clown costumes and masks have been on the creepy side. But we see a lot of Latino customers who are gravitating toward happy clown costumes.

Head-spinning DIY options

“One of the attractions for people today is the fact that they can achieve some pretty amazing results with some of the makeup options that are available.” Dietrick points out. “We have a line of professional and mid-line supplies and knowledgeable staff members who can really help people build and achieve their own remarkable results.”

BETTY HILL — REMEMBERING THE FACE BEHIND THE COSTUMES Veronica Dietrick sits in what appears to be an ordinary office chair. There’s just one important difference. This chair belonged to Betty Hill, the founder/owner of The Theatrical Shop who passed away recently. “Betty started this place in 1969. It started out with Betty selling a few items from her garage. It grew and she established The Theatrical Shop location here in Valley Junction,” Dietrick remembers. “A day doesn’t go by when we don’t think of her. We are really trying our best to live up to her standards.” Betty’s daughter, Debbie Westphal Swander, owns The Theatrical Shop today. The close-knit relationship she shared with her mother lives strong today in the work that continues to be done.

“My mom had a very strong vision. And I think she would be as entertained as anyone by what is being done,” she says. “Things evolve — maybe even beyond what she had envisioned.” As Westphal Swander says, Halloween and all that it represents isn’t just for children anymore, as more and more adults take part. “I think one of the big reasons for that is that, no matter whether we’re talking about teens or adults, we all have a lot of pressures on us … things like work, school and other stressful responsibilities,” she explains. “Whether it’s for Halloween or the rest of the year, the work we do here helps people pretend, transform and escape the responsibilities of life and experience a little bit of their childhood again.” Westphal Swander and the staff at The Theatrical Shop are building on a strong foundation. “We want to do more than just cherish what she did. We also want to extend the reach of what she accomplished. That is how you honor someone — by continuing their work,” she says. “We may not be curing cancer, but we’re helping people create joy. As Norman Cousins said, ‘Laughter is the best medicine.’ I believe that if you can have joy each day, you are going to have a much fuller, happier life.”




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WILD Not since 2009 has Iowa had an AMERICAN HOCKEY LEAGUE affiliate call this state its home. Whether you are a hard-core HOCKEY FANATIC or just a fan of $2 BEER NIGHTS, the Iowa Wild has something in store for you.

Usually when Iowans talk about ice, they are

referring to the frigid weather our state endures during winter. However, ice will be more than welcome this month when the inaugural season of the Iowa Wild can begin. The Iowa Wild is the American Hockey League (AHL) affiliate of the Minnesota Wild and while fans of the NHL team may have known the franchise for years, the local affiliate set up its franchise in Wells Fargo Arena in just months. President Todd Frederickson sat down with DSM Living at his desk, calm during what seems like a hectic last few weeks before the Iowa Wild hits the ice against the Oklahoma City Barons for the first game of the season. So, why Des Moines you ask? The Iowa Wild was previously the Houston Aeros last season. When a leasing agreement couldn’t be finalized, the team started their hunt for a new home. Des Moines is closer to Minneapolis than Houston but the city also was attractive for staffers to relocate. “I was first skeptical about moving to Des Moines, but I started doing research and it became very clear to me that there is a lot going on,” Todd told us. It must have been clear to many of the staff in Houston too because many of them relocated to be a part of the Iowa Wild, a move that Todd believes will set their franchise apart from Iowa AHL teams before them. Todd prides the Iowa Wild for being as professional as the national level, where the professionalism of the Minnesota Wild makes it “one of the best-run NHL franchises.”

Iowans are split mostly into Chicago Blackhawks, St. Louis Blues, and Minnesota Wild fan bases but may see an advantage in going green and white with the Iowa Wild in town. “Up to 88% of the players that play at the AHL level go on to play professionally,” Todd said, “and Minneapolis is a short drive to continue watching favorite players.” Even for those that just want to enjoy a fun game, the Iowa Wild season is sure to have plenty for everyone to do.

“Des Moines is a very community-based city. Everyone is a part of the greater community, and we definitely want to be a part of that community as well.” The game experience includes some theme nights that will be announced throughout the season, ranging from a fun night out to family friendly activities. On Fridays, the stadium will serve $2 beer and on Sundays, families can enjoy family 4-pack games. Todd stressed that even those that aren’t necessarily hockey fans should come, “The Iowa Wild is more than a hockey team, it’s an entertainment property.”

Todd and his staff are enjoying Des Moines but are making sure to get as involved in the community as possible. “Des Moines is a very communitybased city. Everyone is a part of the greater community, and we definitely want to be a part of that community as well.” The Iowa Wild is present at the Farmer’s Market and other events with their promotional staff. The team also wants to give back to the community as well. The opening night will feature a jersey auction where the proceeds will benefit ALS. So if you want to be a part of the action, be sure to be at Wells Fargo Arena on October 12th when the puck drops at 7:05.

RM ollins



owa holds many historic, picturesque gems. One of those is the sweeping grounds that serve as home to Rollins Mansion.


ere along the rolling hills of Fleur Drive, just south of downtown Des Moines, the mansion stands as a tribute to the elegance and grandeur of past architecture.


uilt from 1925 to 1927, Rollins Mansion was created by Ralph Rollins, who was owner of Rollins Hosiery Mills. It’s no coincidence that it’s stately walls may remind you of Salisbury House, another breathtaking example of building from the early twentieth century. That’s because Rollins and Salisbury House owner Carl Weeks were friends. Both spent a considerable amount of time studying English homes and Tudor architecture. In fact, Rollins acquired ship and ceiling beams from the 16th century in England and brought them back to America.


ollins Mansion also resides on the National Register of Historic Places. You can tour this rare gem. But that’s not all. It’s also available for private and corporate events, including weddings, receptions, rehearsal dinners, and more.

ROLLINS MANSION 2801 Fleur Drive Des Moines, IA 50321 (515) 657-7288

Avoid the



on your wallet When you play Santa during the holidays, do you fill your gift bag with too many presents and leave your wallet too empty? If so, you’re not alone. In fact, an analysis of Federal Reserve statistics and other government data shows that the average household credit card debt stands at $7,084. As Central Iowa CPA, Bob Joy says this shopping season there are steps you can take to enter the new year a bit more jolly this January when you get your post-holiday credit card statements. “In general, people get in trouble when they don’t plan, they don’t budget, and they buy on impulse,” Joy says. “As a result, too many of us put these purchases on credit cards and discover we just need to deal with the consequences later on down the road.” “Too many of us enter the holiday shopping season without budgeting to know what to spend and what not to spend,” he points out.

Make a list Joy says a great step is to start with a list of those you plan on shopping for. “Making a list allows us to write down things that we know people really want for the holidays. And when we have that information, we can start to plan ahead and budget to know how much we want to spend, and in turn, how much we need to try to budget,” he explains.

Check it twice Once the list is defined, Joy suggests research. “We hear a lot about Black Friday shopping. While there are obviously some good deals then, it’s often possible find equally good bargains by doing some online research and keeping an idea on the gift list throughout the year.” Despite the best plans, you may still find yourself reaching for your credit card. When that happens, Joy says, don’t forget your planning skills. “If you make a $1,000 purchase on your credit card and you’re making a minimum monthly payment of say $25, it could take you five years to retire that debt, and you would pay about $600 in interest on top of your original purchase,” he says. “So the main thing is that if you’re using a credit card, think about your plan for paying it off.” By planning ahead, budgeting, and shopping early, Joy says you just may experience another benefit. “Once all of the shopping and financial issues are out of the way, that clears the way to really enjoy the holidays themselves.”

Bob Joy is a long-time Central Iowa CPA. He specializes in tax accounting and Finanancial planning.



The urge to seek Halloween thrills and experiences on some level is as old as the holiday itself. And one of the most popular ways of doing that is by visiting a haunted house. There are two sides of haunted houses. First there are those for fun — places like the Ankeny Haunted Barn and Sleepy Hollow Haunted Scream Park. There are also those, some claim, that offer a real haunted house experience, such as the site where a series of murders occurred in Villisca in the early 1900s. In fact, the home conducts tours and even offers experiences where groups of up to six can pay for the opportunity to stay overnight in the home.

A resource so good it’s scary. If you’re looking to explore all the “haunts” of Halloween this month, you’ll have plenty of options. No matter what type of experience you’re seeking you have a better chance of finding it, thanks to Allen Huffman. In recent years, Huffman himself had been on the look for haunted houses to visit, but hadn’t had much luck. “I couldn’t find a resource anywhere,” he remembers. “So I decided to put together last year. So far, we’ve had incredibly positive feedback.” At the site, you’ll find a variety of listings, with a number of user-friendly features for each haunted house that is listed, including a map of the haunted house location, a calendar, including days and hours of operation and contact information. “As part of the site, we also list family events,” Huffman says. “Because we realize there are those who are looking for something family friendly where they aren’t being chased by someone carrying a chainsaw.” Whatever experience you’re seeking, good luck in your ghoulish pursuits!

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DSM Living - October 2013  
DSM Living - October 2013  

Curl up this autumn with DSM Living Magazine. Our October issue is filled with the latest Fall Fashion trends, how to prepare your home for...