July 28, 2015





People ask the generic questions throughout your life depending on what stage you are at. First, they started something like how old are you? who is your favorite teacher? what is your favorite class? what do you want to do when you grow up? where are you going to college? what is your major? ...I have been asked so I will tell, and will continue to share with you the new and the latest tips, tricks and "tuels"! 

I've been at the Shops of 509 since I was a sophomore in highschool! I started as a barrista and waitress in Perk Central, then made my way up to Special Moments dusting and unpacking new freight! Little did I know I found my passion greeting and helping customers find just what they are looking for, and maybe even more! Alice must have seen something in me, and brought me across the hall to introduce me to Merle Norman Cosmetics. 

I started washing brushes and dusting shelves, which is how I began to learn about the products.


(Picture taken in 2009 on Ridiculous Days - Ellen,  Laura Greteman and Megan Eischeid)


My favorite class in high school was art. So applying make-up and understanding the concepts of contrast, shading, and blending came natural. What I found and still find the most rewarding thing about being a "Merle Girl" is seeing the reaction of a customer and how happy they are leaving the store feeling more confident in themselves! For me, that is what it has always been about at the Shops at 509 from a new look to finding the perfect gift for someone!

                                     (Pictured - Ellen and cousin Sarah Fangman)


Back to the story line...I went to Iowa State University and graduated with an Interior Design degree in 2014! My last 2 years at Iowa State and after graduation I worked at a custom cabinet shop where I was able to see my designs come to life from kitchens to bathrooms to closets! But as I sat behind a desk I found myself missing something. It took me a while to realize what I was missing, but I found it! I missed the Shops at 509 and the customers! I'm now able to utilize my design and love for color in so many different ways in store displays, some of the buying at Special Moments, and in Merle Norman make-up! 

        (EllieJo LaFaver and I presenting our sophomore year residential design project at Iowa State University)


I'm excited to share with you some tips, tricks and "tuels" from the Shops at 509! I will be blogging about my favorites from the store, anywhere from make-up tips to recipes for entertaining.


Stay tuned!


-Ellen Tuel







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