Biz Buzz: Holistic health business opens; mall loses clothing store; Dubuque retailer to close

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

An alternative and holistic health business has opened a new location within Fountain Park in Dubuque.

Perfect Zen opened its doors at 2728 Asbury Road, Suite 500, in July.

According to owner Rachel Harwood, the business offers a variety of services, including reiki, sound massage and sound healing.

“A lot of the things I do work with the energy of the body,” Harwood said. “When we have a buildup of negative energy within us, it manifests in physical issues, too. My goal is to bring some harmony to the body.”

Harwood spent the majority of her life in Oregon before moving to Dubuque in 2006. A little over a decade ago, she began practicing reiki, a form of alternative therapy focused on energy healing.

She initially shared her knowledge with friends before starting a home-based business about four years ago. Eventually, she realized she needed a more traditional commercial location.

“It had grown so much just through word of mouth and sharing experiences,” Harwood said. “I viewed this as a great opportunity to get the business out of the home and offer more.”

Many offerings from Harwood might be foreign to customers, but she believes they produce powerful results.

Sound healing sessions, for instance, allow patients to enjoy the tones of singing bowls, tuning forks, drums and other musical instruments. Harwood believes these sounds balance the physical, emotional, mental and spiritual aspects of being.

At a time when many medical professionals are burdened by increased stress, Harwood has observed a steady influx of nurses seeking healing at her business.

“It goes to show that they are the ones on the front-lines of this, caring for other people,” she said. “I think it also demonstrates that this type of alternative care can be really beneficial.”

Perfect Zen can be reached at 563-663-7331. Appointments can be booked at


Another children’s clothing store in Dubuque’s Kennedy Mall has closed its doors.

The Children’s Place closed on July 27, according to mall spokesman Joe Bell. The closure came a little more than one month after the chain of children’s clothing stores announced plans to shutter hundreds of locations nationwide.

“This closure is not a reflection of what was happening in Dubuque,” Bell said. “This store had seen flat revenues nationwide for the past couple of years, and their profit margins were shrinking.”

The closing of The Children’s Place coincides with the end of a similar store’s run in the mall.

New Jersey-based Ascena Retail Group Inc. recently declared bankruptcy and announced that the Justice store in Kennedy Mall will be among a large number of locations to close across the nation.

Bell said the timing of the Justice and Children’s Place closures are not ideal, noting that many parents are in the process of doing their back-to-school shopping.

He hopes that another retailer will jump to fill the unmet demand.

“This could provide an opportunity for someone,” said Bell. “We are hoping that a regional or local business selling children’s clothing can jump in and fill that void.”


A Dubuque business combining sauna services and retail shopping soon will close.

Sweat N Boutique, 3340 Center Grove Drive, has started a store-closing sale and will shut by the end of August.

Owner Kim Miller opened Sweat N Boutique in July 2017. The business sold women’s clothing and accessories and provided access to infrared saunas.

Miller said clients ranging from ages 18 to 80 utilized the saunas and often raved about the improved circulation and reduction of aches and pains.

She said the COVID-19 pandemic played a deciding role in the decision to close the operation.

“It really took a toll on our business,” she said. “Plus, I think the two months when we were closed really made me realize how much I had missed being around my family.”

Even so, closing the business wasn’t an easy decision.

“The thing I’ll miss the most is the people,” she said. “The little talks we had and the friendships we formed.”

The business is currently open Monday through Wednesday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Thursday from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. It is closed Sundays. Sweat N Boutique can be reached at 563-845-7450.