Person: Mitch Dettman, owner
Place: The Full Kit (312 N Main St, Davenport, IA). As of writing, the store is open Monday-Friday from 11-7 and Saturday from 10-7 (closed Sunday).
Thing: A shop selling men's footwear, apparel, and more
Brendan caught up with Mitch recently to gawk at a windbreaker he saw on Instagram and learn more about Mitch's company.
[BI] What is The Full Kit and how did you get started?
[MD] It's a men's footwear and apparel store or boutique. I grew up in Davenport and in high school, I got a job at a local skate shop. I've worked in footwear and apparel ever since.
We started in 2001 in Iowa City as a small skateboard shop. However, wIth the town of Iowa City and my personal interests changing over time, I saw it as kind of a missed opportunity to only cater to the skateboarding crowd. The University of Iowa has around 30,000 students, so maybe 15,000 men...but of those, it seemed like around 20 rode a skateboard at the time. All those other people weren't coming in the door, so we branched out to sell a broader range of men's apparel.
[BI] What's one of the things that makes your store different from other clothing stores and the many e-commerce sites out there these days?
[MD] We take a lot of time to pick out things that will be unique to our stores - it's not typically stuff that you're going to find in other shops in the area. We'll often get just a few pieces of a particular item, so if you buy a sweatshirt, for example, you're going to be one of only a few people in the area who has it. Also, our selection varies even between our two stores, so if you see something on our Instagram that you really want, you better come in and get it because it will probably be gone soon!
[BI] Are you working on any special projects right now?
[MD] We're teaming up with a company in Des Moines that sells handmade leather goods to release a limited-edition leather wallet and keychain around Father's Day. The plan is to have them to do a pop-up shop where they'll actually make some items of these in-store, which will be really cool.
[BI] If someone walked in your store and asked for recommendations on what to do in the Quad Cities, what advice would you offer?
[MD] For food, I'd start with our block. Me & Billy is an awesome spot for food and drink and Oh So Sweet by Tiphanie has great baked good and sandwiches. I always talk up the local music venues, too. It's awesome to have places like the Redstone Room and Raccoon Motel within walking distance where you can catch live music almost every night of the week.
This interview has been edited and condensed.
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