Biz Buzz: Dubuque native launches clothing line; Galena distillery earns acclaim; new massage studio opens

Biz Buzz shares business tidbits from around the tri-state area. This week, we highlight developments in Dubuque and Peosta, Iowa, and Galena, Ill.

To Dubuque resident Jackson Takes, operating his business is about more than selling a product. He also hopes to break the mold and offer something new in a marketplace defined my monotony.

“In this day and age, so many of the products out there — whether it’s art, or movies, or clothing — are just these regurgitated concepts that are meant to be easily digestible,” he said. “With my business, I want to create a brand that is built on originality and dedicated to authenticity.”

Takes hopes his clothing business, notHYPE, delivers on that promise.

He launched the business in 2018 and focused more intently on it after graduating from Santa Clara University and moving back to Dubuque.

Takes has a hand in every aspect of the business, from designing the clothing to operating the website. In many cases, he sews the actual clothing; if not, he works closely with the manufacturers that do.

Takes rents a pair of spaces in the basement of the Schmid Innovation Center, 900 Jackson St., where he sews clothing and conducts the business end of notHYPE.

Even the manner in which he sells the products differs from the norm. Instead of making them available on a daily basis, he sells “collections” of his clothing during specified 24-hour events, usually occurring once every other month.

His latest collection appeared on Halloween — featuring everything from high-top sneakers to embroidered jackets. The next product release — inspired by the natural beauty and Native American heritage of the Point Reyes cape in California — is slated for release at some point around Christmas.

Takes enjoys the sense of buildup and anticipation that precede his big releases.

“There are so many companies that are out there pushing their products every day over and over until you take the bait,” he said. “I wanted to do something different.”

Interested residents can learn more about the company and upcoming releases by following notHYPE on Instagram or visiting


A national reader poll placed a Galena business among the top 10 whiskey distilleries in the nation.

Blaum Bros. Distilling, 9380 U.S. 20, ranked no. 6 in the Best Craft Whiskey Distillery category of a USA Today readers’ poll.

The distillery was founded in 2013 by brothers Mike and Matt Blaum. To the owners, the recognition was unexpected.

“It was a big surprise when we first saw it, but we are very honored and excited,” said Matt.

Mike Blaum, meanwhile, said he enjoyed being part of a poll that shined light on the little guys in the industry.

“It wasn’t a list of the big, corporate-owned distilleries worth billions of dollars, and I thought that was one of the nice things about it,” he said. “It was a lot of smaller distilleries that typically don’t get that kind of recognition.”

The impressive national showing marked a bit of good news in a year filled with changes related to COVID-19.

Mike Blaum acknowledged that the past seven months have been marked by never-ending changes.

“We’re doing the best we can to follow the guidelines, understand them and implement what we are supposed to do,” he said. “People’s safety is our top priority.”

As the distillery heads into the winter months, the Blaums are providing a variety of options for their patrons. They have heated outdoor seating and have installed vinyl curtains to keep the heat in those seating areas.

The distillery can be reached at 815-777-1000.


Thanks to a little sibling synergy, a new massage therapy business will soon be opening its doors in Peosta.

GK Massage will welcome its first customers on Friday, according to owner Gretchen Kintzle.

The studio will operate within Very Good Chiropractic, a practice that is located at 8554 Kapp Drive and operated by Kintzle’s older brother, Hans Gaul.

“It works out great for us and gives us the opportunity to work as a team,” she said.

For Kintzle, this will mark her first time owning a business. And while she admitted that her first entrepreneurial endeavor does come with some stress, she emphasized that the job seems like a natural fit.

“I have always wanted to do this,” she said. “I love helping people, whether they are coming in to relax or coming in to heal. I want to create a calming atmosphere and help people with whatever they are coming in for.”

Kintzle said GK Massage will provide 30, 60 and 90-minute massages. She will offer a variety of massage techniques, ranging from Swedish to deep tissue.

The massage studio will be open by appointment. It can be reached at 563-543-3010.