Lansing Area Women in Business Fall Fashion Show benefits local entrepreneur scholarship

Fall fashions ... Leddia Tallman is wearing a fashion ensemble from Red Geranium at the inaugural Lansing Area Women in Business Fall Fashion Show. At left in the above photo, Kee High School vocal music instructor Ian Zahren emceed the event. Submitted photo courtesy of Riverside Studios Photography.

Nail fashions as well ... Kim Kozelka, owner of 2nd Hand Heaven in Lansing, makes her way down the “runway” at the Lansing Area Women in Business Fall Fashion Show. Donning an outfit from her own store, she is also showing off nail fashions created locally. Submitted photo courtesy of Riverside Studios Photography.

Helping a cause that may help her peers ... Lynzi Cade participated in the Lansing Area Women in Business fall fashion show, some proceeds of which will help establish a scholarship for high school or college students with entrepreneurial interests. She is pictured above wearing an outfit from Driftless Gypsy Boutique. Submitted photo courtesy of Riverside Studios Photography.

The Lansing Area Women In Business group will be working with the Eastern Allamakee Community School District (EACSD) to offer an entrepreneur scholarship in the 2021/2022 school year to a student endeavoring to begin a business either following high school or secondary education. The funds raised as a result of a fall fashion show event held Friday, September 17 at Coffee on the River in Lansing will help fund this effort.

In addition to helping establish that scholarship, the event was designed to showcase the offerings of Lansing’s Main Street clothing retailers and salons. Women’s fall fashions were curated and provided by the Red Geranium, Driftless Gypsy and 2nd Hand Heaven; Turf & Timber/Carquest Auto Parts and Welsh’s Farm and Home featured men’s work and outdoor wear. Hair styles and nail fashions were provided by Touch of Class (Jessa Kelleher and Allie Klein), Studio K, Simply Salon, Stylish Buffalo Salon and Polished on Main. Studio K, 2nd Hand Heaven and Lansing Fitness Center also featured items for sale or giveaway.

Some of the funds raised at the event went back to Main Street retailers in the way of gift certificate and gift basket purchases so that over 20 prizes were awarded to attendees throughout the evening. Items were also donated to the event for a “swag bag” provided to all who purchased tickets.

EACSD vocal music instructor Ian Zahren brought his teaching, theater and performance talents to the evening serving as master of ceremonies, describing the local volunteer models and their fall fashions. “Ian’s presence, talent and energy helped to make the evening an engaging experience for everyone with his knowledge and enthusiasm for Lansing as well as his improvisational skills,” said Fawn Brickman, a member of the Lansing Area Women In Business group.

Area business owner Nicole Winke Gentes, Mrs. Iowa American 2021, led off the line-up in fashions from Driftless Gypsy, and later presented her crown and sash. Winke Gentes is headed off to the Mrs. American pageant in Las Vegas in November, representing the state of Iowa.

“I had so much fun presenting the beautiful clothes and accessories from the Driftless Gypsy, and was happy to see so much support for the Lansing Women in Business entrepreneurial scholarship,” said Winke Gentes of her participation in the event.

Rounding out the evening for the standing-room-only audience was a variety of red, white and sparkling wines and house-made hors d’oeuvres from Coffee on the River. Food offerings included bruschetta, meat and cheese roll-ups, watermelon salad, and spinach and cheese tarts.

The Lansing Area Women in Business organization was formed in 2020 to bring together area business owners in an effort to support and promote one another’s business endeavors, and to benefit needs identified in the community. Annual events organized by the group include Sip of Lansing annually in October and Light up Lansing in December. The group is also focused on fostering young entrepreneurs in the community who seek to develop new businesses and products through their own efforts and innovation. Those interested in future events can follow the organization on Facebook @Lansing-Area-Women-in-Business.