In Community: Celebrating 20 Years of Revival

In Community: Celebrating 20 Years of Revival
To be in community is to be supported, loved, and carried through your best and your worst times. It is to learn, grow, and stumble only to be lifted by those around us, dusted off, and set out to start again. Without community, we cannot change, and we cannot learn. Revival has now been a part of this Iowa City community for twenty years – a long time by any business standard, but in the ever-growing online world, twenty years may as well be a hundred.
Revival began as a dream from owner Sheila Davisson, molded as a midwestern vision of her favorite second-hand shop in Brooklyn. As Sheila welcomed her community in, they grew her business. Customers and the community all brought small pieces of their lives and traded them for a piece of someone else’s. Slowly, we wove an intricate pattern of secondhand swaps through the city and now, throughout the country. Revival has been carefully curated as a place for our entire community to call home. It has a certain energy that draws in passersby to explore the shop, but also manages to find its community in the greater world.
Sometime after I began at Revival, I was going through my photos when I came across a screenshot I had taken in early 2017 of a bottle of an Ebb & Flow mist from Pinterest. I found it curious that it was a product I now sold at Revival and even more intriguing when I noticed the website in the search bar was none other than Somehow in the vast expanse that is the world wide web, I found that photo on a website from a store in a state I had never heard foreseen myself to live in. Yet, some part of the universe drew me here for school and settled me here at Revival. I’d like to think our community has similar coincidences that remind us just how special this space is to those who pass through.
As we look back on twenty years, more things have changed than they have stayed the same – both at Revival and in the world. We have moved (a handful of times), remodeled (a handful of times), weathered construction (again, MORE than a handful of times), but we are here and we made it. We made it because YOU our community carried us. You showed up after each and every change to welcome us back in our many evolved forms. Much as how a good friend urges you to change to help you grow, our community has come back to grow with us.
In our reflection on twenty years, we sought ways to honor the people who have helped this small, women-run business grow into the community staple we now have the privilege to call ourselves. We have so many powerful and impactful customers making a difference in the community we could run a series on them every day for a year – they are change bringers, boundary breakers, and powerhouse individuals that we feel privileged to know and call customers. Over the next month, we are so excited for you all to get to know these women in our community who have helped us rise and who we now have the privilege of showcasing. They inspire us, they motivate us, and most importantly, they change us. You’ll get to hear their stories and be as inspired by their work as we are.
Ophelia Flores-Carr: Brewer, Big Grove Brewery
Lauren Lessing: Director, University of Iowa Stanley Museum of Art
Lina-Maria Murillo: Assistant Professor, Gender, Women’s & Sexuality Studies, History, and Latina/o/x Studies
Ashley Howard: Assistant Professor, History
Audrey Wiedemeier: Executive Director, Iowa City Bike Library
Julia Despain, Lisa Stark, Claire Zabel, Sarah Nelson, & Marianna Cota: Grow Johnson County
These interviews and these photos belong to this community. You have helped us support these women. Thank you for helping us make Revival who we are. We wouldn’t be here without you.
Let’s Celebrate!
Maggy & Sheila