Aunt Hattie’s Fanciful Emporium was founded in 2009 in the heart of the historic downtown area of Le Claire, Iowa.
Donna Walley, the owner, wanted to create a place where women could bring their friends to shop, laugh and find
unique items most other stores don’t carry. She also convinced her husband, Wayne, to part with some of his
extensive collection of vintage beer signs and barware, so that “guys would have something to look at in the
The combination of humorous magnets and greeting cards, reproduction tin signs, pop culture items, vintage
collectibles, newer collector items, retro candy and toys, the “naughty box” for adults, “gum with attitude” and
“guy stuff” struck a nerve with shoppers as Aunt Hattie’s Fanciful Emporium was voted the “Best Gift Shop” in the
Quad Cities in the Quad City Times Reader’s Poll in 2012 and 2013.
“It’s enjoyable to have people come into the shop and laugh. We also make it a point to greet everyone who
enters the store and thank them for coming in because all of our customers are important to us. We want them to
have a good time and come back and see us. It’s also interesting to see the reaction of men, who sometimes want
to stay in the shop when their female companions are ready to leave,” Donna says, who is instantly recognizable
wearing her signature vintage cat’s eye glasses.