Domestica
DOMESTICA | 505 E. GRAND AVE, DES MOINES, IA 515-523-0240 (TXT OR CALL)
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{Get to Know} Vitae Design Collective

We're not sure how we got here, but it's already mid-November! To get in the holiday/giving/sharing spirit, we decided to feature another East Village shop, Vitae Design Collective. We've known Alyssa, Melissa and Julie for a while, and it's hard not to say we like their style. Vitae is a peek in the cool-girl's closet--they feature the items you've always wanted but needed your girlfriend to reassure that you could pull it off. The shop carries upcycled clothing from local designers. The accessories are handcrafted too (did I mention they have a sweet collection of boots? I was hooked).

Get to know these ladies a little better + what their shop is all about. Maybe next time you visit Domestica you'll have time to swing by some other EV shops.

Des Moines East Village, Vitae Design Collective 

What are your names? Alyssa Bowers, Julie Punelli, Melissa Speridon

Where is your shop? 400 East Locust Street, Suite 4, in Des Moines' East Village

What do you love to do in your free time? Alyssa- play with my 3 dogs, gluten free baking, yoga, learn to play the mandolin, geneaology, spending time with my husband and family. Julie- thrifting and spending time with the grandkids. Melissa- I don't think Melissa has free time, her two little girls keep her pretty busy. Its very true :{ 

What are your three favorite items to make?  Melissa- Dresses, dresses and more dresses (and occasionally a handbag). Julie- She loves baking. She makes a mean kaloua coffee cake, but she's damn good at reconstructing anything under the sun too.


If you could create anything for Vitae Design Collective, what would you make? Alyssa- home accessories.  I've done a few items in the past, wall hooks and dish towels but would love to expand the line when I have more time.  I've had requests for shower curtains and table cloths. Melissa- Mens wear would be my first choice because we are seriously lacking in it, then I'm with Alyssa on housewares. Dish sets would be fun. Julie- She's always talked about starting a shoe line. 

What is one thing most people don't know about Vitae?  The most asked question about Vitae is: Are you a vintage store? We are not a vintage store, we do have a small amount of vintage but over 90% of our store is locally and independently made clothing and accessories.  

 Des Moines East Village, Vitae Design Collective

And, just for fun… (Answered by Alyssa)

Buildings or Trees? I think we would all say trees. We would much rather be outdoors than stuck inside, unless it's snowing.

Dresses or Jeans? Julie and I will dress up on occasion but most of the time you will find us in jeans.  Melissa hardly ever wears jeans.  You will spot her in dresses 360 days out of the year.

Shop Online or Offline? Melissa and Julie shop offline.  I'm about 50/50.  I love shopping in the East Village but when I'm sitting at work on a slow day it's hard not to check out Etsy.  

Thursday Night or Saturday Night? Saturday nights for all of us.  We're usually closed on Sunday's at Vitae, except during the East Village Bazaar and around Christmas, so on Saturday night there is nothing to think about at work and we can all relax at home or go out with friends.

Paintings or Prints? I think we are all 50/50 on this.  We all love art and each have different styles in our personal collections.  If it catches our eye then it doesn't matter if it's a painting or a print.  Unless the painting is way out of our price range... in that case we'll go with a print.

Chocolate or Strawberry? Alyssa- chocolate

Mac or PC? Alyssa- Mac

Facebook or Twitter? Alyssa- facebook

Kids or Pets? Alyssa - Pets

Candy or Cupcakes? Alyssa- candy

Heels or Flats? Alyssa- flats

Night Owl or Early Bird? Melissa- early bird but not always by choice

Coffee or Tea? Alyssa- tea