Betty J's Mercantile

Betty J's Mercantile Specializing in cultural giftware as well as Iowan craft, greeting cards, and quilting fabrics.

Betty J’s Mercantile specializes in Fair Trade and cultural giftware; as well as offering Iowan artisans’ craft, greeting cards, and contemporary quilting fabrics. Located one block west of the Newton Square in the big yellow house. Come visit Betty J’s where, “Fabulous Comes Home.” Parking in rear.

Woohoo!  We will be OPEN for this holiday event with all the other amazing stores Newton offers!
11/06/2023

Woohoo! We will be OPEN for this holiday event with all the other amazing stores Newton offers!

49 day until Christmas, so why not start your shopping in downtown Newton during the Holiday Open House.
Silverado Jewelry Nancy's Canned Creations
Book Trader Tan America Wild Willow Market
Choices Relics, llc The White Daisy
Crazy Redhead Quilting The Farmer's Wife - Newton, Iowa
Daughters Boutique Color Bar & Beauty Salon Varieties
EarthWise Pet Newton Betty J's Mercantile
Forbes Office Solutions Nostalgia Wine & Spirits
Thyme & Grace - A Makers Boutique and Bakery Bun in the Oven
Geisler Penquite Gift Shop- Centre for Arts & Artists- Newton, IA
Jan's Yarn Barn
Mattingly Music, Book & Hobby MOJO Cycling of Newton
Fine Things Reclaimed 1st Ave

Look who is on the Holiday Back Roads Junk-it Trail!  Us!  This will be our first event for Betty J's Mercantile and loo...
11/06/2023

Look who is on the Holiday Back Roads Junk-it Trail! Us! This will be our first event for Betty J's Mercantile and look forward to sharing this shopping experience with many other terrific stores! See you on the trail.

The Holiday Map is ready!! Grab your copy at facebook.com/groups/backroadsjunkittrailmap 🎅🎄

Thank you Newton and surrounding areas for the support and love this week during our first week of opening!  We have met...
11/04/2023

Thank you Newton and surrounding areas for the support and love this week during our first week of opening! We have met so many great people and businesses; and pray that we keep the loyalty alive within you. We want to be your #1 destination for unique gift giving, fabric, and Iowa craft.

Now we ask a favor. If you shopped or visted Betty J's Mercantile this week, please leave us a review on Google. This helps us to spread the word of Betty J's, especially bieng a new page and business in town.

Please follow this link to leave a Google review:

https://g.page/r/Cck-Cii8KOI7EBM/review

Thank you and we will see you next week!

Post a review to our profile on Google

11/04/2023
Saturday's post is themed, "All things Cardinal."  These products are a "one-time chance" as they will not be restocked ...
11/04/2023

Saturday's post is themed, "All things Cardinal." These products are a "one-time chance" as they will not be restocked until after the holidays, if re-stocking is possible. They are a mixture of Fair Trade items with local/area craft.

We love our Cardinals, as well as The Newton Cardinals. We know we are in the right place 🙂

Open 10 to 3 Saturday. See you soon!

Good morning!  What a wonderful shopping day as it is "Fabulous Friday" at Betty J's Mercantile!  What does that mean???...
11/03/2023

Good morning! What a wonderful shopping day as it is "Fabulous Friday" at Betty J's Mercantile! What does that mean??? There is no better day to shop than Friday!

Today's product/artist highlight is Sobremesa out of Tunisia. These are colorful assorted round and square dishes handmade and painted. They are microwave and dishwasher safe as well.

Who made this product? The Tunisian artisan studio Dishes & Deco was founded in 2009. This studio grew out of a love of Mediterranean dishes and the desire to bring them to European and American markets. The result is a variety of colorful mandala-like patterns and bold stripes. Inside the 8,000 square foot studio, over a dozen artisans hand paint each line, dot and stroke of glaze onto the white clay dishes.

The small dishes are $10 each and we also offer the cutting board. These are a "one time" deal so when they are gone, they are gone. Perfect housewarming gifts and hostess gifts.

Come see us today! Open 11 to 6.


Tonight, we thought it would be fun to share some before and after photos of the main shop.  This demonstrates the amoun...
11/03/2023

Tonight, we thought it would be fun to share some before and after photos of the main shop. This demonstrates the amount of work and change we have completed from 3 months ago. Sometimes it seems like time was standing still, but then we look back and realize, we really moved forward.

This community has been a blessing and very motivational to us. Coming from a hostile small business environment in Ottumwa to open arms here in Newton, we feel blessed everyday and count our lucky stars that we chose this community to grow in. We cannot wait to share more of the house with you as time allows for further renovations.

As Janet Jackson sings, "It's all for you." Have a great night and see you tomorrow at 11!

Each day as we move forward, our goal is to highlight a vendor/artisian that we host at Betty J's Mercantile.  Today's h...
11/02/2023

Each day as we move forward, our goal is to highlight a vendor/artisian that we host at Betty J's Mercantile. Today's highlight is Backyard Candles.

Backyard Candles is an eco-friendly candle company located in San Diego, CA. The name Backyard Candles comes from the belief that we all share a collective backyard. Their goal is to represent ALL backyards and in every form. Hence, their candles are inspired by the elements. Earth, Air, Water, and Fire. They believe in doing everything we can to protect this earth, which is why we use up-cycled coconut shells, recycled wine bottles, and reusable glass, ceramics, concrete, and tins. Their waxes (soy, coconut, and beeswax) are completely natural and clean-burning when paired with our cotton and cedar-wood wicks. They use phthalate-free fragrance oils and therapeutic-grade essential oils to create our true-to-life aromatic fragrances. The coconut candle packaging consists of biodegradable plastic wrap and a recycled label. We have coconut half shell, cup, and bowl options. The half shell and bowl options float in calm water. They offer 52 "backyard-inspired" indoor fragrances, numbered to match the weeks in the year, and 4 outdoor fragrances for keeping mosquitos away.

The best thig is 5% of the profit from every sale is donated to help protect and clean up the planet.

Betty J's Mercantile offers the entire selection of their scents and cannot wait to share them with you.

Wow!  What an amazing opening day here at Betty J's Mercantile.  We want to thank all the local businesses that stopped ...
11/01/2023

Wow! What an amazing opening day here at Betty J's Mercantile. We want to thank all the local businesses that stopped in to welcome us to the community, as well as made some purchases. We also want to thank the Quilt Retreat group of ladies from the Des Moines area for taking the time to check us out on our first day. We look forward to opening tomorrow to see some new smiley customers. We humbly appreciate your support and look forward to sharing more of Betty J's Mercantile with you. Here are a few more photos of the store.

The time is here Newton, Iowa!  Betty J's Mercantile officially OPENS at 11:00 am!  Our hours for the Holiday season are...
11/01/2023

The time is here Newton, Iowa! Betty J's Mercantile officially OPENS at 11:00 am! Our hours for the Holiday season are as follows:

Wednesday - Friday 11 to 6
Saturday 10 -3

or by appointment!

Come check out our amazing selection of Fair Trade products, as well as our "Iowa Room" filled to the rim with Iowan craft. For the quilters, we have the back section of the store dedicated to you!

We are excited to meet all of you and please say "hi" when you walk in. We are curious to who our loyal followers are :)

See you at Betty J's Mercantile where, "Fabulous Comes Home!"

Parking is behind the house with designated signs.

Less than 24 hours until our doors OPEN!  We open at 11:00 am, but if Matt is up (which he will be, as he did not partak...
11/01/2023

Less than 24 hours until our doors OPEN! We open at 11:00 am, but if Matt is up (which he will be, as he did not partake in any goulish events this year), he will hang the OPEN flag early! It's like Christmas Eve around here!

Newton Iowa we are gasping at this beautiful hand-painted pillow by Messy Missy's!  Only 1 for now but we are open to ta...
10/31/2023

Newton Iowa we are gasping at this beautiful hand-painted pillow by Messy Missy's! Only 1 for now but we are open to taking orders! Just beautiful!

As promised...we are so excited to host Harvest General Store, LLC  out of Baxter, IA.   They specialize in making freez...
10/31/2023

As promised...we are so excited to host Harvest General Store, LLC out of Baxter, IA. They specialize in making freeze dried goodies and more in thier licensed commercial kitchen. They have unique products and people love thier high quality products!

My personal favorite is the cream sandwiches. They also offer fruits like strawberries, bananas, apples, veggies like seasoned green beans, sweet corn when it’s available, sometimes beets. They also just made a cereal bar with honey bunches of oats and strawberries and have a oatmeal bar with applesauce and yogurt in it. Those are healthy snack alternatives!

As you can see they are much more than just a "candy" outlet. That is what makes them unique and special to Betty J's Mercantile. We cannot wait to try them all.

Between having a commercial kitchen, many quality checks, packaging and selling only the best of their product (the ones that don’t make the cut are not sold or are misfits), to perfecting their process and packaging, they are always working their hardest to bring YOU the best freeze dried products around!!

Word on the street is that these products don't last long due to thier popularity. The just dropped off a fresh batch ready for our opening tomorrow at 11 am!

Hand rails being installed on this chilly day for your safety!  Please use them as being an older home, not all things a...
10/31/2023

Hand rails being installed on this chilly day for your safety! Please use them as being an older home, not all things are level. You can see we also have done some sidewalk repair to create more of an even path to our door!

Another Iowa artisian (not too far from here...Baxter) has joined the "Iowa Room" group!  Official announcement will be ...
10/30/2023

Another Iowa artisian (not too far from here...Baxter) has joined the "Iowa Room" group! Official announcement will be made tomorrow after we stock all the goodies (hint, hint)! Word has it...their items don't last long! Go Iowa!

This year’s customs!  Large lighted is $325.  Medium lighted is $125.  Small non-lighted are $75.  Tree is sold already....
10/30/2023

This year’s customs! Large lighted is $325. Medium lighted is $125. Small non-lighted are $75. Tree is sold already. Please msg me for additional information. Made by yours truly.

Whoa!  We really cannot count...only 2 more days till OPENING on November 1st!  Time is finally here.  Very hard to beli...
10/30/2023

Whoa! We really cannot count...only 2 more days till OPENING on November 1st! Time is finally here. Very hard to believe, but here we are almost to November.

For the holidays, Matt is known to make custom artificial arrangements and wreaths. He is best known for his wreaths. There will be a few arrangements/wreaths for sale this year, but once they are gone, they are gone. With the move and renovation, time has not allowed to arrange as he liked.

Here are a few examples of his past commissions.

Only 4 days till our doors open!As we are home cleaning the house and store today, we are reminded that we live here at ...
10/29/2023

Only 4 days till our doors open!

As we are home cleaning the house and store today, we are reminded that we live here at Betty J's Mercantile. The logistic today is living.

Please be respectful of the store, we well as our residence while shopping at Betty J's. It's sad that we have to remind the public, but at our last location, customers tried to explore the upstairs and backyard several times to see the space we live in. We are just normal people who live in a space like you. I know its sounds interesting, but its not.

Please be respectful of our dogs. We foster and not all furbabies are created the same, just like people. We have dogs with special needs, so please ignore a hoot and hollar if they are disturbed. For the most part, they are very respectful of our store and keep quiet throughout the day.

Until construction is finished on the main level, the doors remain locked to the rest of the house. We are working on several rooms and still will be experiencing contractors on the job for several months to come. Once the house is ready to show and fully operatable, we definately promise an "open house" with a tour.

We are so excited to share this opportunity with Newton and the surrounding communitites. With the store being our residence as well, we have to outline these policies for everyone's safety to enjoy and experience where, "Fabulous Comes Home!"

Last year at our former location in Ottumwa!  What a night!
10/28/2023

Last year at our former location in Ottumwa! What a night!

These are just too fun not to share!
10/28/2023

These are just too fun not to share!

5 Days!  Time is getting very close until OPENING!   Tonight we will share our ad that will appear in Jasper Living.  Th...
10/28/2023

5 Days! Time is getting very close until OPENING! Tonight we will share our ad that will appear in Jasper Living. Thank you to the Newton News for helping to create this stunning layout!

Again, we are so humbled to be in this community and appreciate all the warm welcomes!

Carl never sells his quilts!  Wow, I am shocked!  Now is the time to sn**ch one of these beauties up!
10/27/2023

Carl never sells his quilts! Wow, I am shocked! Now is the time to sn**ch one of these beauties up!

Time is drawing near!  Only 6 more days to go until opening!  Today's logistic is you the customer!  We are humbly grate...
10/27/2023

Time is drawing near! Only 6 more days to go until opening!

Today's logistic is you the customer! We are humbly grateful for the positive response from the Newton community and the surrounding areas! We have met so many wonderful people here and are very proud to call Newton and Betty J's Mercantile our home. We cannot wait to open our doors for you to experience Betty J's Mercantile and meet in person! Please say "hi" when you stop in and let us know if you are a Facebook follower. It's our goal to thank each and everyone of you! We appreciate YOU!

One of the benefits of buying for the store is seeing some of the amazing products from overseas!  These two winged frie...
10/25/2023

One of the benefits of buying for the store is seeing some of the amazing products from overseas! These two winged friends just arrived from India and are hand carved and painted. They are the guardians of the shop! I can special order these if there is any interest. Pricy but worth it!

We made it!  ONLY 1 MORE WEEK until OPENING!  These last 3 months have flown by with all the rehabilitation and setting ...
10/25/2023

We made it! ONLY 1 MORE WEEK until OPENING! These last 3 months have flown by with all the rehabilitation and setting the store! WE do think this version of our store is the BEST! After being in business for 3 years now, we have made many changes, advanced, and grown! We have gone from a simple notepad for receipts to an entire inventory system that now scans!

Today's logistic centers around pricing! In the past, we allowed discounts and several negotiations, due to the fact that we carried mainly antiques. Going forward, Betty J's Mercantile will not be discounting or negotiating prices. The prices are firm and will not be discounted. Now that we have a consignment Iowa Room, we allow the artists to choose their pricing strategy. This is their ownership as they put the work into creating your purchases.

We will not host any special sales going foward. We have learned from the past, that sales really do not generate additional sales. A true shop, buys smart and offers the right amount of goods, so overflow is not an issue. It has taken us over 30 years in the retail industry and being a "buyer" to learn this strategy. Boy, that was a learning curve.

Being a Fair Trade shop, we also do not determine pricing. This is the ownership of the crafters who hand-made their crafts for you.

Once in awhile, Carl will run a fabric sale and all sale annoucements will be made via this page. I wouldn't hold out for a sale to purchase your fabric, as they are far and few. Our yarn will remian 50% off until gone. We will not carry yarn going forward, as their is a fine store across the street that specialized in the yarn industry, Jan's Yarn Barn.

Of course there is always an exception to every rule. WE WILL NEGOTIATE on our remaining antique collection that is in the store. Like we mentioned, our first and second locations specialized in the antique industry. We have changed and grown; now our collections stay with us. If you see something, just ask. We want to make room to offer additional giftware products!

We are kinda like a CarMax...what you see is what you get, and don't wait for a discount to appear. We want you to enjoy the store and not worry if a sale is going to appear in the following weeks. If you love something, then it's the time to buy.

Below are photos of the sequence in the series of our locations. As I was posting, I noticed the 360 degree turn. We started out in a big yellow house, and we ended up in a big yellow house! How interesting!

Here we go, here we go, go, go!  Only 8 days left until opening!  Today's logistic is our "Iowa Room."  Our front room o...
10/24/2023

Here we go, here we go, go, go! Only 8 days left until opening!

Today's logistic is our "Iowa Room." Our front room of the store is dedicated to Iowa artists and thier craft! This room profits go directly back to the artists (minus BJ's commission). So far we are hosting 5 artists with products ranging from bath/body to beautiful canvas paintings, as well as greeting cards, painted furniture and so much more. The products in this room will forever change as the artists create new goods to share with the store. One reason to stop in several times throughout the months!

We welcome:

Missy Sharer Pieters from Messy Missy's
Sandy Harrington Durr from Soaring Creations
Shary Branderhorst from Blessed by Design
Dee Thorpe from Pleasantville, IA
Bozz Prints from Des Moines, IA
Marshalltown Evening Lions nut & candy fundraiser

Please stop in and admire (and purchase) these artists' amazing crafts.

We cannot wait to share this beauty with you!  Calling all Cardinals!  This beauty has options for off/on lighting and g...
10/24/2023

We cannot wait to share this beauty with you! Calling all Cardinals! This beauty has options for off/on lighting and goes for $375!

Some of our beautiful lamps that we will be presenting!  Did we mention that Matt loves his lighting???
10/24/2023

Some of our beautiful lamps that we will be presenting! Did we mention that Matt loves his lighting???

Oh, Oh, Oh, we cannot hold on to these photos any longer...drumroll...here is a sneak peek of Betty J's Mercantile!We ar...
10/24/2023

Oh, Oh, Oh, we cannot hold on to these photos any longer...drumroll...here is a sneak peek of Betty J's Mercantile!

We are taking shape quickly!

Opening November 1st!

Yikes...single digit numbers!  DAY 9!  The countdown continues, as do our hopes to have our sidewalk with railings and h...
10/23/2023

Yikes...single digit numbers! DAY 9! The countdown continues, as do our hopes to have our sidewalk with railings and heating (yes, we have no heat yet) completed by then!

The logistic for today is one that we hate terribly. The credit card fee! To keep our costs down, we do charge a 3.8% cc fee to help compensate our provider's fees. As we all know, the fees are hefty these days (they keep climbing), so we share the expense with the customer. We have researched several other alternatives, but this option seems to be the best avenue. We have considered incorporating the fee into pricing, but that would dock everyone and we like to keep our prices down.

We have lowered our prices from our other store to help compensate for this cc fee. With cash, there is NO FEE! So cash is alway best, but we do take credit cards. While on the topic of payment...WE DO NOT ACCEPT CHECKS. We are located between several banks, so ATMS are very near.

We hope this is transparent and does not keep you from experiencing Betty J's Mercantile. We humbly appreciate your support in every aspect of our growth!

Part of being a small town business is giving back to the area communities whether they are near or far.  This holiday s...
10/23/2023

Part of being a small town business is giving back to the area communities whether they are near or far. This holiday season we chose the Marshalltown Evening Lions to host and support their Holiday Candy & Nuts Sale.

They adopted this holiday fundraiser from the Tri T and Hospital Axillary. It is the same candy and nuts, as well as the same price from years past.

Funds raised are directed towards money to install a wheelchair swing in two Marshalltown parks; currently there are none. They are selling delicious candy & nuts to make this great cause for community pruposes.

This year, you don't have to drive all the way to Marshalltown to experience these delicious treats! Betty J's Mercantile has them right here in Newton throughout the holiday season.

Please let us know if you would like to order additional bags for your holiday gift giving needs! We can arrange special orders and possibly delivery.

The newly installed live edge ledge custom made by C&C Rustic Furniture out of State Center, Iowa.  She’s a beauty and m...
10/23/2023

The newly installed live edge ledge custom made by C&C Rustic Furniture out of State Center, Iowa. She’s a beauty and made to perfection! Please support your Iowa artisans and their craft!

We are at the 10 day mark!  ONLY 10 DAYS until OPENING!  Yay!Today's logistic is a piggy back off of yesterday's logisti...
10/22/2023

We are at the 10 day mark! ONLY 10 DAYS until OPENING! Yay!

Today's logistic is a piggy back off of yesterday's logistic of "Fair Trade." Being a Fair Trade store and one that supports local/area artists, we DO NOT accept exchanges or returns. The majority of our items are hand-made or specialty ordered, and are usually a one-time experience. We sometimes cannot re-order an item, therefore exchanges or returns inhibits our inventory process.

Please be understanding of this operation, as this fair trade trait and hosting Iowan artisians is what makes us unique. Look over your purchase, make sure it is what your heart desires, and know that your purchase is made with the highest standards of artists and traders.

New outdoor lighting installed the last few days with new foundation paint and landscape mulch.  We love taking care of ...
10/22/2023

New outdoor lighting installed the last few days with new foundation paint and landscape mulch. We love taking care of this old beauty and bringing her back to life!

New vendor alert out of California!  These are so, so, so cute and very appropriate for Newton, IA!  Fingers crossed the...
10/21/2023

New vendor alert out of California! These are so, so, so cute and very appropriate for Newton, IA! Fingers crossed they arrive before opening November 1!

Well I cerntainly cannot count!  What happened to day 12?  I guess it all depends on how you count it down.  This is act...
10/21/2023

Well I cerntainly cannot count! What happened to day 12? I guess it all depends on how you count it down. This is actually day 11, not 12. because OPENING DAY is Nov. 1 and would be considered Day 0, not Day 1. I better get working!

Today's little logistic of Betty J's Mercantile centers around the term Fair Trade. Many are unfamiliar with the term so I will explain as Betty J's is a part of the Fair Trade program.

As defined in the International Fair Trade Charter, 2018:

Fair Trade is a trading partnership, based on dialogue, transparency and respect, that seeks greater equity in international trade. It contributes to sustainable development by offering better trading conditions to, and securing the rights of, marginalized producers and workers – especially in the South.

Fair Trade Organizations, backed by consumers, are engaged actively in supporting producers, awareness raising and in campaigning for changes in the rules and practice of conventional international trade.

With this being said, many of our products are only a 1 time deal. Many of our vendors work only with thier hands, as well as creative minds; and DO NOT MASS produce as BIG BOX stores and their vendors do. There maybe a few imperfections here and there, but they are made with skill and love from under-developed countries.

This usually results in a higher price range than the Wal-Mart(s) out there due to shipping and costs to receive these products into the USA. Many of our products have to pass U.S. customs and fees/surcharges are added on top of the merchandise cost itself.

Please let us know if we can answer any questions on Fair Trade. In the shop, if an item is "Fair Trade" we put where the item is from on the tag. Whatever the item may be, it has a story. :)

This beautiful Buffalo leather bag has been sold, but the good news is, we have another one on the way.This is a Fair Tr...
10/20/2023

This beautiful Buffalo leather bag has been sold, but the good news is, we have another one on the way.

This is a Fair Trade product and not always available. We always suggest if you like it, buy it. It's not a guarantee we will always be able to have one. Plus we are known to carry things only once or twice in order to bring new and different product in.

The moral of the story is...if you like it, sn**ch it up quick before the item finds another home :)

Address

309 1st Avenue West
Newton, IA
50208

Opening Hours

Wednesday 11am - 6pm
Thursday 11am - 6pm
Friday 11am - 6pm
Saturday 10am - 3pm

Telephone

+13198001234

Website

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Big Yellow

This house is a preserved living legacy of the Cory/Storm/Maynard family. I am the proud 2nd owner of this gem in central Iowa, 15 miles north of I-80. So far, my research has the house being established circa 1898 for the sum of $394,000 by the local lumberyard to show off the fine woods the craftsmen could utilize to build houses. After the house was built, the lumberyard hit rock bottom and the residence remained vacant for 2 years until Thea Storm (Maynard) presumed ownership and made the home her primary residence away from her city of Chicago. Thea and her husband, Henry, adopted and raised one daughter, Marilyn, who married Melvin Cory and was gifted the property. The house remained in the family until November 2019, when I purchased the craftsman style home from her kids with untouched original woodwork and stained glass throughout. My goal is to restore the home back to the 1900’s with a twist of color and modernization, while removing the 1950’s renovations that were completed.


Comments

Very unique store.
So many amazing finds at the new Big River Fabric & Gift Co. at 223 E. Main Street! Their grand opening continues tomorrow 10am-4pm. For every $20 spent get entered to win a gorgeous Turkish lamp!
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