New shop opens in Guttenberg Starving Artists: Purposefully made, carefully curated

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From left, Molly Moser, Stephanie Svoboda, and Emily Sadewasser will welcome customers in their new store, Starving Artists, starting Saturday, June 24. (Press photo by Shelia Tomkins)

By Shelia Tomkins

Sisters Emily Sadewasser and Molly Moser have teamed up with Vinton, Iowa native Stephanie Svoboda to create Starving Artists, an eclectic shop featuring handmade artwork, fun antiques, and one-of-a-kind designs. The storefront will open for business at 222 S. River Park Drive, Guttenberg, on Saturday, June 24, with a grand opening set for Friday, July 14. 

Svoboda and her partner, Jake Mizell, moved to Guttenberg with their young daughter in January to be nearer to family. “I have grown up with parents that collect all things old and vintage, finding beauty in the old things that tell a story. I am so happy to have my parents help us fill our store with carefully curated antiques that tell a story,” said Svoboda. She earned an associate’s degree in graphic design and has worked with clients in 36 states, as well as with brands like Target, Kohl’s, CBS and many more. Starving Artists will also be the home of Colorful Perspective, Svoboda’s design, print and marketing business.

Sadewasser, a Guttenberg native who returned to the area after earning a B.A. in photography with a minor in art history from the University of Northern Iowa, is employed full time as the director of the Guttenberg Chamber of Commerce. She and her sister have often tossed around the idea of going into business together. “We work together on lots of projects in our professional lives and because of our common interest in community betterment, but we’ve always wanted to work more closely in a creative way,” said Sadewasser.

Moser graduated with a B.A. in studio art, a minor in business and a certificate in museum studies in 2010. She currently works as a writer for The Guttenberg Press and as the gallery and studio manager at Guttenberg Gallery & Creativity Center. “I am thrilled about opening Starving Artists,” Moser told The Press. “Since we decided to start the shop, I’ve dedicated every spare minute to making things. It’s what I love to do, and this new venture is providing both an inspiration and an outlet for that passion.” 

All three owners of the new business are wannabe stay-at-home cat moms, binge-watchers, connoisseurs of snacks and adult beverages, and travel addicts loving small-town life along the Mississippi River. “After being away from Iowa for nine years, and now living in Guttenberg, we feel so blessed to live in such a welcoming community with its scenic beauty and a place we finally make roots in,” said Svoboda.

The partners say their inventory will continuously evolve as they grow. Some of the little wonders shoppers may find include petite succulents planted in driftwood and vintage vessels, hand-painted signs  that can be purchased in-store or made to order, snarky cross stitchery also purchased in-store or made to order, soft and colorful felted wool orbs, delicate paper flower garlands, ink washes on bone, painted rocks, notecards, metal stamp jewelry and letterpress, whimsical dream catchers, and other one-of-a-kind designs, all displayed on refinished vintage fixtures that have been carefully curated and are always for sale. 

Eventually, the trio would also like to offer essential art supplies for area artists. “We almost always have to go out of town to purchase our creative tools,” they explained. “Let us know what you need most so that we can get an idea of what we should stock.” 

Between the three business partners there are six cats (and a solitary dog), so naturally they plan to feature some feline-themed items in their new shop and that inventory will expand with time as well. 

Starving Artists will be open all year long on Fridays from 12 noon to 4 p.m., Saturdays and Sundays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. For more information, pictures of inventory items, and to stay on top of sales and events, like the Starving Artists page on Facebook at Starving Artists 222 or visit 

“We hope our work delights and captivates our customers,” say the partners. “We are so excited to get started!” 

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