Hannah Krause is comfortable in her own skin.
The 35-year-old mom-of-two owns East Village skin-care haven Eden, 418 Sixth St. in Des Moines, known in the eclectic downtown neighborhood for its dedicated following of regular customers who enjoy beauty products from elevated brands including Osea, Reflekt, Bioderma and Westman Atelier.
Krause bought the Sixth Street beauty boutique in 2020 after the original proprietor, Jennifer Hansen, died after a hard-fought breast cancer battle in 2017 at age 47.
This year, Krause has eased into public life and used her platform to extend beyond the East Village by emerging as an advocate for women’s rights. More than 300 people attended educational panels dubbed Iowa: Let’s Talk Reproductive Rights organized by Krause and a small group of other metro area stakeholders in November in the wake of Roe v. Wade being overturned by the U.S. Supreme Court.
Krause said she wanted to organize the panels to start an educational conversation and help women who, like her, needed to learn more because knowledge gaps on the issue were keeping them from speaking up. She added that the panels focused on two main objectives: the history of the issue and what other people could do to help.
“I think it’s absolutely because I have a daughter that I just felt very called to do something about it and I felt like the only conversations happening were really politicized, often felt divisive, and were pretty intimidating,” Krause said.
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Krause, who shares two children with her husband, convenience store chain CEO Tanner Krause of Kum & Go, is more than a one-woman show. “I sort of felt like I moved to Des Moines and just became the wife or, at that point, fiancé of someone,” Krause said. “That was a really hard shift for me because I’m a feminist. I am a leader. I’m someone who takes pride in the things I create.”
The Chagrin Falls, Ohio, native was raised by middle-class parents in the small suburb about 40 minutes southeast of Cleveland. It was a happy childhood, she said, that taught her about hard work and sacrifices.
After high school, Krause attended college at Loyola University Chicago on academic scholarships and landed advertising internships during her time there at the Chicago Tribune and monthly fashion magazine Cosmopolitan.
She said she fell in love with the “hustle and bustle” of media and immersed herself in the fast-paced world of media sales and scheduled college classes in the evenings so she could work full time at the Tribune during the day.
“I understood myself as someone who worked really hard for everything I had and to date before moving here, everyone I knew, knew me as such,” Krause said.
During her senior year at Loyola, Krause was set up on a blind date with a college boy from Des Moines just weeks before graduation.
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In 2015, the pair moved to Des Moines as Hannah Krause left her position at Food & Wine magazine, where she served as the company’s Midwest director representing around 10 states in a sole role, so she could join then-fiancé Tanner in his hometown as he started work at Kum & Go. The transition to Des Moines was tough, she said.
“I just kind of felt like ‘man, I’m going to have a lot of work to do to prove myself, that may be worth paying attention to outside of being someone’s wife,'” Krause said.
While looking for jobs in corporate America, Krause would visit East Village coffee shops followed by stops at Eden, which reminded her of Chicago.
“I’d always swing through Eden because the nicest people worked there. Jen was so sweet, and they just had one of the few shops with beautiful things that reminded me of the city,” Krause said.
Eventually, she offered to help on evenings and weekends, which Hansen accepted. Even as she had her first child and rerouted back to a career in corporate America with stints at a software startup and The Krause Group, Krause continued to retreat to Eden for work on occasional weekends.
For a few years, Jennifer’s husband John stuck around the shop running operations in the background after Jen died. As succession plans were being sorted out, Krause told John she wanted to buy Eden because of the special place it held in her heart. In July 2020, Krause announced she bought the beauty store after three months of negotiations.
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When Krause first bought the shop, all of its employees were on furloughs from the pandemic. Krause used the time to create a store website and revamped the shop’s social media pages with curated branding and aesthetically pleasing sneak peeks at the owner-operator’s life.
“It just needed a new life, it needed a much better social presence and we needed to leverage social media as an actual sales tool,” Krause said.
By the end of 2020, Eden retained its customer base and revenues doubled from the previous year. In 2021, every month was a record for the store, Krause said.
Six employees work at the store, three full-time and three part-time staff members, and Krause credits her tight-knit staff with helping to revitalize Eden as a sales success.
“We want people to feel very taken care of, so we try to be always kind but go out of our way to make people feel good, safe, and comforted,” Krause said.
She said that the specialty store shifted its efforts to sourcing cosmetics and beauty products from edited brands, such as Supergoop! and Josh Rosebrook, because they are hard to find elsewhere in Iowa.
Krause said she does her best to offer in-state exclusivity for products. Employees try to offer coffee or a glass of water to each customer for a luxury shopping experience.
“Being a small business owner, even if it’s of a lovely little soap shop, is by far and away the hardest job I’ve ever had. It’s such a hustle. It’s such a grind,” Krause said. “I hope I’m seen as someone that just cares and is very hardworking.”
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This story has been modified from its original to indicate that the address of Eden is 418 Sixth St. in Des Moines.
Jay Stahl is an entertainment reporter at the Register who does his skin-care routine at nighttime and is well-known for wearing Naturium lip balm.Please send any of your favorite local shop recommendations to [email protected] or Instagram.
Our Des Moines
Our Des Moines is a weekly feature on an interesting person, place or happening in the Des Moines metro, the kind of gems that make central Iowa a special place. Have an idea for this series? Contact [email protected].