Des Moines Parent Spotlight: Heather Ann Roe
Heather Ann Roe is a local mom and owner of a little gem in Des Moines, Iowa KIN. If you have been to the East Village you may have wandered in or by her incredible shop. She is sharing how her business came to be and one of the best parenting tips.
Give us a little background of your family and personal life! How many kids do you have? Have you lived in Des Moines all your life?
Hi! I’m not a native Iowan — I met my husband in Chicago. We were both teaching at the same high school. Before that, I lived in San Diego, Florida, and Michigan. My husband grew up here in Des Moines, and he had accepted a job back here in Des Moines when we met. He charmed me during my initial visit to him here by cooking tater tot casserole and taking me to the Iowa State Fair for corn dogs. A stranger ran down the midway to reunite me with my fallen flip flop while riding the sky ride. Iowans are so kind!
I have two children — Silas is starting 2nd grade and Goldie is 4 and starting pre-K. My husband’s name is Cale.
What is your business, and what do you do?
I am the owner of a shop called KIN in the East Village. KIN is a store with custom and vintage jewelry, apothecary and mystical goods. The shop holds workshops and events like tarot readings, crystal basics classes, chakra balancing and more.
Why did you become a small business owner?
I think it was inevitable that I’d have a brick and mortar. I grew up with a father who loved specimens and turquoise jewelry, and a mother who loved to go picking antiques. I went to lots of antique shows and gem shows from an early age. I learned a lot about vintage and antique jewelry and I worked for awhile buying scrap for a jeweler. The thought of all of that history being melted down for the gold and silver made me sad.
I opened an Etsy store called Kin Vintage before my first pregnancy, and it was a successful business I could do from home as a new mom. Etsy had just started and it was interesting to ride that development wave. I LOVED having my online shop, but it’s a lonely existence to work from home. You have to put a lot of effort into structuring your days. I had a very rocky pregnancy and fourth trimester with my oldest child, and I started dreaming of a brick and mortar.
Realizing I was missing connection even more with adult humans and that helping people find jewelry they loved in person would be more fulfilling for me, I shuttered my online store and concentrated on prepping the brick and mortar. I went the opposite way of modern business, haha. I found a space for the shop in 2017, and it happened to be in the East Village, which is one of the places that made me fall for Des Moines. Now I have the best of both worlds, a brick and mortar, AND an online shop, plus my children get to see the work and time and energy it takes to run a business firsthand.
Where is your favorite place to take your children to play indoors?
Where is your favorite place to take your children to play outdoors?
Parent’s day/night out. Describe your perfect parent only day/night out in Des Moines.
Dinner at an Italian restaurant (we have so many good ones) a walk along the river, and a nightcap at Black Sheep.
What are some tips on juggling parenthood, working, and personal life?
I’m not great at this since my business is so new, still. I’m still trying to figure it all out. Many days I’m driving the struggle bus. Having the help of my very supportive and patient husband is key; he takes on much of the household duties as well as working full time.
I bring Goldie to the shop when we can’t figure out a play date. It’s getting easier as she gets older but it’s still a delicate dance right now. My mother will come to stay with us for extended periods of time and that’s when I’m able to get away for a friend date and catch up on my errands. Because Costco is a chore even without kids!
My husband and I are consciously working towards finding and keeping a better balance to keep our marriage healthy, as starting and running this business hasn’t allowed us much quality time together for the past couple years. This year I’m combining a work trip with a brief getaway for us both. Balance is hard and it’s my number one struggle.
What is your number one parenting tip?
We like what Andy Andrews says about “Don’t just raise kids. Raise kids who become great adults.”
Teach them how to think, not what to think.