Iowa City commodity owner enrolls in master’s program at UI Tippie College of Business

Simeon Talley, owner of Iowa City personal care and wellness store Basic Goods, will enroll in the MBA program at the University of Iowa’s Tippie College of Business starting next fall semester.

Isabelle Cervantes

Simeon Talley, owner of Basic Goods, poses for a portrait in his shop, Friday, March 4, 2022.

Simeon Talley, owner of Basic Goods in downtown Iowa City, has founded restaurants, cafes and music festivals, but now he’s starting a new chapter at the University of Iowa Tippie College of Business.

In the fall 2022 semester, Talley will enroll in Tippie’s Master of Business Administration program for business leaders. He said the decision came when he recognized he was capable of doing more.

“It’s something that can help me create more value for my business, for this community, but it can also create more value in the world at large,” Talley said.

Commodities opened in 2020 in the early stages of the pandemic. At a time when many businesses were struggling, Talley’s store was able to expand, he said, by taking over office space previously leased by Rep. Dave Loebsack, D-Iowa.

Talley said he’s not worried about balancing his studies with store management because the UI program is designed for business executives to fit their schedules.

He said managing his schedule will also be possible through his staff.

“I had really great staff,” he said. “I leaned on them and I leaned on them a lot. And they are the ones who, in many ways, keep the store running. »

Talley said he hopes to use what he learns and the connections he makes at Tippie College of Business to eventually turn Basic Goods into a household name.

Talley said part of the reason Basic Goods has a passionate customer base is the progressive and inclusive approach it takes to running the store.

“They are really supportive and [the] the encouragement they offer, it’s really very rewarding and it gives me energy,” he said.

Talley’s store aims to sell natural and eco-friendly products, he said. It includes refill stations for everyday items like hand soap, dish soap, and shower gel.

Tucker Shepard, an employee of Basic Goods and Daydrink, the cafe inside Basic Goods, said he loves that the store brings personal care and wellness products to Iowa City — something that he normally sees in big cities like New York or Los Angeles.

“Some of the candles are also a lotion product. You burn it and smell it, and it also turns into this oil that you can rub on your hands,” he said. seen these in many places.”

Talley added that he makes a point of prioritizing inclusivity, selling many products made by people of color and women.

“They build products for the future, not necessarily for the past,” he said. “And it’s just interesting to me, personally, and something that I enjoy. So, I kind of wanted to bring that to the store as well.

Sam Uditsky, a retail associate at Basic Goods, said the store feels like a community space where customers can walk in and get what they need, while being able to interact with other people.

“I think it’s just space that Iowa City needed,” she said.

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