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COMMUNITY

Photo shoot supports small businesses, diversity

Comfortable clothing line brings people together

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Moms and creators joined for a recent photo shoot to bring together small businesses and showcase an apparel line focused on “comfort and versatility” from a local photographer.

Local photographer and designer Jenna Lambertz organized the shoot July 19 to feature real moms with various body types from Carroll and surrounding areas to feature mom-inspired shirts from an apparel line she started, Olive + Magnolia, which presents wearable messages for all ages and body types.

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Olive + Magnolia, an apparel line by Jenna Lambertz, has mom-inspired quotes on a collection of shirts, including this one modeled by Kayla Wegner. The sayings on the different-colored shirts included "Mama, raise them kind," "Hey Ma" and "Raise them with love."

The event, held at Schettler’s Garden, also was a way to expose small businesses and what they do by having them involved in the photo shoot, either by taking photos, doing makeup or styling outfits that incorporated Lambertz’s shirts.

“I just wanted to have a way for people to come together and still support small businesses with COVID,” Lambertz said. “It was hard for a lot of those businesses … (whose) business thrives off of people-to-people contact.”

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Jenna Lambertz owns Lambertz Photography & Design LLC and the Olive + Magnolia apparel line. She and other small business owners, along with local moms, got together July 19 for a photo shoot.

One of the businesses that helped out with the photo sessions was Plus One Media, owned by Mariah Koster, a “longtime friend” of Lambertz. Koster helped out with makeup for the moms and captured drone footage to put together a video of the event. Ashlee Brus Photography, @ashleebrusphotography on Instagram, also helped Lambertz by taking photos of the moms.

Koster and Lambertz grew up in Carroll together and remained friends through college, even being roommates for some time. After they graduated from Iowa State, Lambertz spent two years in California before returning to Carroll.

“It’s really awesome to see somebody come back that’s young, that’s really, really strong and powerful and can start something like this and bring a bunch of strong women together,” Koster said.

Koster’s business offers photography, marketing and more. The services can be found at plusonemediainc.com and @plusonemediainc on Instagram.

Brenna Bakke — @bbakke2 on Instagram — from Zyia Activewear and Ellen Tuel from Ellen Marie Beauty — @ellenmariebeauty on Instagram — were the other two makeup artists for the moms.

Tuel said she was “super excited” when Lambertz reached out to her via Facebook, because collaborations sometimes can be difficult to do. She also has two daughters, so she was able to chat with the other moms about their children as she did their makeup.

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Some moms held their children to keep them occupied while they got their makeup done. Ellen Tuel, one of the makeup artists for the day, is a mom as well and chatted with the models about their kids while she worked.

“It just gets your word out there,” she said about the photo shoot’s impact on small businesses. “And I would say supporting local (businesses), supporting each other, is huge, especially in the time we’re in right now.”

The moms in attendance wore green, blue and cream-colored shirts from Olive + Magnolia with mom-related sayings such as “Raise them with love,” “Hey Ma” and “Raise them kind.”

Kennedy Gray, a Halbur resident, was one of the moms photographed during the shoot. She has a 3-year-old son named Asher and got to know Lambertz by working with her at the Carroll Area Child Care Center.

“I especially love it with working at the daycare — the comfier the better,” she said of Lambertz’s apparel. “So I love that her clothing line is comfy, but she also makes a statement with it.”

Lindsy Larson from Glik’s (@glikscarroll on Instagram), a women’s boutique, styled Lambertz’s shirts with her boutique’s skirts, shorts, pants, shoes and more, along with the moms’ own items. Larson said she was going for a “summer vibe” and met individually with the moms at the boutique to pick out their outfits.

After the outfits were chosen, Larson organized them and bagged them up to bring them to the shoot. Glik’s offered a discount to the moms who wanted to keep all or part of their outfits afterward.

“I think it’s cool for Carroll and the community,” she said of the photo shoot. “Jenna did awesome; it’s a lot to put all this together. She did really good lining up different photographers and makeup artists and the whole works. I feel like it makes the moms feel extra special.”

Jade and Journey Dirks — sisters and friends of Lambertz — were at the photo shoot and talked about the importance of community interaction for small, local businesses.

Jade owns the boutique We The Dreamerz in Carroll and Ames and is working with Lambertz for a shirt collaboration, which is still being developed. She said some days are good and some are bad since the pandemic slowing the world down.

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Jade Dirks and her nephew, Callahan, played with toy blocks together just inside the Schettler's Garden garage.

“It really is about the community support, I would say,” she said. “And then realizing that a lot of these bigger businesses, they have prepared and have funding for situations like these. But it’s us little guys (whose) budgets are a lot smaller. So we really rely on our community members and people coming into the shop and wanting to support us right now.”

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Journey Dirks helps her 1-year-old son, Callahan, walk by holding his hands and guiding him along. Dirks was one of the moms in Jenna Lambertz' photo shoot July 19.

Journey was in the photo shoot with her son Callahan, 1. She also has a daughter Charlotte, 2-and-a-half. She said everyone was trying to keep some social distance throughout the day because of the new coronavirus, though only Tuel wore a mask for the day.

“I definitely haven’t taken my kids anywhere; they go to daycare and stuff, but I don’t bring them out in public,” Journey said. “And I wear a mask when I go into the grocery store and things like that.”

Lambertz said she was happy with how the day went, adding that any opportunity for moms to dress up is nice. A perk she mentioned about working with other moms is that they don’t have to excuse their children for “acting like children.”

“I just let them run, honestly,” she said about how she handles children not wanting to stay still while being photographed. “The whole purpose of these ones with their (children) is not to be posey-posey. I just wanted to see real-life moms. You’re going to have kids that throw tantrums and have fits. I like to be able to capture how, as a mom, you soothe and help the issue.”

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Jenna Lambertz and Lindsy Larson try to keep young children's attention while taking photos July 19. Lambertz is a photographer and has an apparel line, which Larson helped style into outfits with items from her boutique, Glik's.

Throughout the day, the moms laughed with one another and shared stories about their kids, and they got to keep their mom-inspired graphic tees afterwards.

“I am so proud of (Jenna); I’ve seen her accomplish so many things throughout the years that I’ve known her,” Koster said. “And she’s such a go-getter, and I know that everything she puts her mind towards, she accomplishes above and beyond.”

Lambertz can be found on Facebook at Lambertz Photography & Design LLC and oliveandmagnoliaapparel, and on Instagram @lambertzphotographydesign and @oliveandmagnoliaapparel.

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