A business that started as a hobby in a basement has become a small business on the square in Adel. This business thought of an idea, called the Encourage Adel campaign, that is supporting other local businesses in the community.


Damon Holland, along with his wife Dr. Elizabeth Holland, are the owners of Iconic Apparel Iowa, LLC. The business was officially established in 2016, after making team uniforms for his own recreational teams, friends’ teams and their friends’ kids’ teams.


In 2017, they realized Iconic Apparel was outgrowing their basement, kitchen, den and their laundry room. In 2019, after a major renovation, the property at 105 N 9th St. on the square in Adel, became the business’s new home.


“Encourage Adel was an idea that started where most great things do, in our kitchen while doing the dishes,” Holland said. “I was complaining about something for the 100th time and Elizabeth stopped me and asked me if I just need to complain or if I need help fixing something.”


This statement, Encourage Adel, was to emphasize and build upon the positives in doing something about a need rather than just talking about the need within the community.


Iconic Apparel has started a benefit for local businesses through their Encourage Adel campaign. They are producing Encourage Adel shirts and window clings. They will be sharing the profits with other small businesses, of your choice, within the Adel community.


To participate in the benefit:Visit https://encourageadelbenefit.itemorder.com/ on your computer or mobile device.Pick out a shirt that you like (unisex, women’s, and youth sizing).Pick out the color of the shirt.Choose the business you would like to support with your purchase from a dropdown menu.Once you receive your shirt, snap a picture and share it on social media.


There is a location to write in a business that is not on the list, as well as a direct donation button. Each shirt costs $20 plus tax and clings cost $10 plus tax. $10 from each shirt purchase and $5 of each cling purchase, will be going to a business of choice.


The shirts will be produced and shipped weekly, so there may be a delay in receiving shirts. There are two different Encourage Adel logos, designed by Suzanne Talley, on a variety of shirt colors. The shirts are made with a soft ring spun cotton.


“Suzanne Talley is one of the most clever, dynamic, creative, intuitive and compassionate people in our community,” Holland said. “The day she walked through the door, Iconic Apparel transformed from a really good idea, into a reality. She is invaluable and brilliant.”


Each week, a check will be sent to the businesses that were supported. Lincoln Savings Bank, in Adel, will help with the processing and mailing of checks.


“We hope that, even more than the few dollars it may generate for the businesses in the community, our Encourage Adel campaign gives them a sense of purpose and connectedness,” Holland said. “We want to show these local businesses that our community truly needs them, and to hang in there.”


It was in 2008, when Holland and Elizabeth first had butterflies in their stomachs walking around the square and parks in Adel. They saw the small-town charm, quiet neighborhoods, fantastic schools, but they also saw potential. They noticed parks that could be updated, buildings that could be renovated, shops and restaurants that could be added.


“The thing that transformed our infatuation with Adel from a crush to pure love, was not that it was perfect in the literal sense, it was the flaws also. We loved the diversity of ideas and philosophies,” Holland said.


The Holland family made a commitment to become more active in Adel by pushing for growth. They are raising 3 boys, living in a 100-year-old home, providing affordable rental spaces to tenants, offering veterinary services to pets, and improving the diversity of businesses on the square, all here in Adel.


“Please, please, please support your local business. Now more than ever, you can understand how these businesses impact your community,” Holland said. “We are all very connected. We will never be able to actually ease the financial burden that our local businesses are going to face when this is all over, but we can pick up their spirits.”