Ally Van Iten, owner of House of Colour Des Moines


Ally Van Iten House of Colour Des MoinesDes Moines Mom recognizes that moms wear a lot of hats. You are a mom, wife, friend, diaper changer, nose wiper, meal planner, lost toy finder, the list goes on and on!

This summer we are thrilled to feature some local moms who are thinking outside the box and making a difference in our community through the businesses they own, organizations they are involved with, and work they do. Check out the rest of the series and read profiles from previous years here.

My husband and I are originally from the Chicago suburbs. This is our third time living in Des Moines, and we’re likely here to stay! We love it more every passing year. Our kids are Emmy (11), Mack (10), Archie (7), and Charlie Bennett (6). I stayed home with our kids for years to support us through several moves (6 in 8 years) for my hubby’s job as a bridge builder. In 2019 I launched a franchise in Des Moines called House of Colour, and it has been a fascinating ride of learning to balance motherhood and work. 

I find the biggest challenge of motherhood is “being present.” 

There are endless distractions for me as a mom. My job can be really rewarding, I always want to offer my staff and clients the best version of myself and my work. But when I overextend and pour all of my energy and time into my job, I am depleted in the evenings and weekends. When I’m depleted, I check out!
I am learning to create margin and space in my life. I have enlisted help from my husband Mike, a counselor (supposedly I’m addicted to chaos! uh-oh!) my small group, and friends. This focus on margin is interesting as my kids love being active, and we’re starting to navigate the world of club sports! I seek God constantly and beg him for help as I make choices for myself, my marriage, and my children that honor our desire to live a slow-paced lifestyle. We say no to a lot of things, even great opportunities, but gain so much when we learn to cheer for and uphold what matters most to the six of us! 

When and why did you start HOC Des Moines?

I opened House of Colour in 2019. After struggling with postpartum depression after each child, I realized how important it was to create a life with simple moments of joy.
We all get dressed every day! That should be fun. It can be so freeing to look at your body and not feel shame, but to learn: how do I dress what I ACTUALLY have, and how do I make that a less frustrating experience?
As a client of House of Colour myself, I felt like my confidence and even energy changed when I wore my colors and saw how easy it was to buy this color instead of that one when picking out a t-shirt.
I knew I needed to start this business and help others feel happy when they look in the mirror, shop, and get dressed. The first step in our process is color, and then style analysis. We also offer additional services to support every budget and lifestyle! 

The best part of being my own boss is giving opportunities to other women.

I never knew when I started this franchise that I would eventually help a friend as she started a hair salon, hire staff to do color and style analysis, create job opportunities on our team for admin, sales, and customer service. I love sitting down with people and hearing their dreams, and partnering with them in a creative way.
For instance, there are companies that are making clothing and accessories “by season.” There is such a market there and I can support those businesses by encouraging our clients to shop with them. I get to say, “look at you! Look at how great you’re doing,” and share that with our following. It is such an honor to be in a space that is entrepreneurial, and now I can be a cheerleader and coach for some of those other businesses that are popping up across the Des Moines metro. 

The hardest part of running my own business is the multitude of tasks!

House of Colour is a new franchise in the US. That means a lot of the infrastructure hadn’t been built here when I was launching my business. As I grew, I constantly had to pause my business and personally grow my back-office to support the volume of clients and their needs. I never knew what a CRM was, how to manage inventory, the best marketing campaign, or the right POS software for our team. Through trial and error, I learned about those things and implemented them but it all was at a personal cost. I stopped sleeping and experienced anxiety for the first time as I tried to manage all of these things. I felt lost, because the parts of my business I loved most (seeing clients and being with people) were the things I no longer had time to do. I have since learned this is a struggle for many entrepreneurs!

What did you wish you knew when you started?

I wish I was more patient to grow slow. I wanted to try everything at once and I exhausted myself! I also waited too long to hire people to support me, and do the things I didn’t know. I wish I had gotten connected to some “experts” early on in regards to my accounting and admin. Now I know how to say, “I am not good at that, who can help?” Instead of trying to take on parts of my business that aren’t my strengths. Thankfully, I am surrounded by amazing, gifted women and constantly lean into them for advice and support. 

What do you love about raising a family in Des Moines?

I love that Des Moines is a city with small-town values. There is such an emphasis on supporting local businesses and celebrating all the great things Iowa has to offer. We love being outside and going to the farmers market or biking trails near our house in Johnston. There is so much development and always a new park to explore or restaurant to try. We are thankful Iowa has welcomed us, and can’t imagine living anywhere else!  

Quick Takes: 

Favorite local restaurant: Main Street Bakery 

Best place to take kids: Ledges State Park

Favorite summer activity: Swimming at the aquatic centers around town

What are your hobbies? Reading, gardening, and yoga

How/where do you relax? I love doing anything outside and try to spend as much time soaking up the warm weather!

If your life had a hashtag, what would it be? it’s fine, everything is fine! (said with a manic look in the eye that communicates: everything is clearly NOT fine). 

Connect with House of Colour Des Moines




movers & shakers series Des Moines MomKnow a Des Moines mom we should feature? Let us know! Email [email protected] with details and we will be in touch.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here