Biz Buzz Monday: Custom home decor store opens in downtown Dubuque

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Biz Buzz shares business tidbits from the tri-state area. In addition to this development from Dubuque, we will share other news in Tuesday’s edition.

A new home decor and custom gift shop has opened along Dubuque’s Central Avenue.

Butler Homestead opened last week at 1500 Central Ave. The family-run business offers a variety of pre-made and customizable signs, quilts, jewelry and carpentry projects, among other items.

The store is co-owned by couple Elizabeth and Ron Butler, of Dubuque, who have been selling their goods online and at area vendor shows for over a year.

“It got to the point where we couldn’t hold all this cool stuff in our house anymore,” Ron Butler said. “It’s been really awesome to have this spot where we can just put things and really show them off.”

Elizabeth Butler was the first to get into customizable orders several years ago, offering a variety of custom quilting projects such as T-shirt quilts or memory bears made from the clothing of customers’ loved ones.

During the pandemic, she further honed her sewing skills by making and donating over 1,500 cloth masks for front-line workers.

Ron Butler joined in later when a post about a neon sign he had made as a birthday present garnered popularity online and a subsequent slew of custom requests. He now makes the signs for both individuals and businesses, as well as a variety of woodworking projects.

The pair eventually combined their wares and started an online business.

“We just kind of mashed everything together, and here we are,” Elizabeth Butler said. “Whatever is requested, we’re generally ready to jump in and give it a try.”

As demand grew, the couple started looking for a brick-and-mortar location to accommodate all their orders and have a space to show off their pre-made items. The store also doubles as a consultation space for custom orders.

They selected the Central Avenue site for its corner-store location and proximity to Key City Creative, a community makerspace Ron Butler uses to make some of his projects.

The pair also noted the growing business community in the area, which has seen several recent additions in retail, service and restaurant offerings.

“The downtown area in general is just kind of booming right now with different stores popping up all over, and we wanted to be a part of it,” Ron Butler said.

The store currently is open 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday and noon to 6 p.m. Friday and Saturday, though hours could shift moving forward depending on customer demand.

Updates on store hours and additional information about custom orders can be found on the store’s website,, or on the store’s Facebook and Instagram pages.