Emily Salmonson

Fabulous People: Emily Salmonson

Emily Salmonson is the owner of The Green House, a plant-themed cocktail lounge in Iowa City. “We are all about comfort and hospitality at The Green House and strive to become a place for everyone to enjoy greenery all year round.” Learn about Emily Salmonson…

Hometown: Nevada, Iowa 

First job: My first real job was at a local coffee shop in Nevada. I was immediately drawn to the hospitality industry, especially the one-on-one communication and connection that comes with being a barista in a small town. It is not just about serving the correct menu item; it is about making human connection, learning about your customers and going the extra mile to provide comfort and service for them. 

Favorite ways to spend your free time in IA: My favorite thing to do when I am not at the Green House is spending time with my husband, Dan. We had been best friends and roommates for years in Iowa City before realizing that we should probably get married. Best decision ever. We continue to have a goofy, roommate friendship and love exploring new places, traveling when we’re able and ducking into local townie bars like we are still in our early 20’s. 

Your biggest accomplishment and why: My biggest accomplishment in life is definitely raising my daughter, Naomi. Being a parent, a mother is the epitome of responsibility and selflessness…and it is all day, every day, all the time so you have a daily reminder that you are living for another person, not just yourself. And it is completely rewarding to see a person you created grow and become their own person. It is awesome and incredibly fulfilling–and my daughter is definitely cooler than me. 

The biggest obstacle you overcame: I lost a pregnancy at a late stage about five years ago. It was unbearably difficult to come to terms with and took a lot of intentional healing to overcome. I consider myself a very strong, independent person, and I was suddenly unable to figure out how to feel like myself again after the loss. I didn’t know what to do or how to overcome the trauma. It took a lot of time and really changed me as a person. Fortunately, I was able to get professional help, along with just having an amazing partner to lean on. I can’t imagine not having those resources. I am very sensitive to others battling mental struggles, mental illness and I am a huge supporter of making mental health services more accessible for everyone who desires help. 

Someone who inspires you and why: I have a super fan who inspires me to be a better person–my mom, Jenny Read. She is my life-long hype woman. She is also hilarious. It is incredibly liberating to know that there’s a person out there who is unconditionally rooting for you and waiting to see the next cool thing that you do in life. As children, we perform for our parents (my own daughter tells me to “watch this!” multiple times a day). That mentality has followed me in life, and I’m always excited to share my accomplishments with her to make her proud. She’s great.

Advice to someone pursuing a career path in what you do: Surround yourself with people who believe in you. I have an amazing group of friends who provide constant support and enthusiasm for reaching my goals. You will have a lot of humans who will think they know your business better than you do, what you’re doing wrong, who are skeptical. Don’t listen to people who aren’t genuinely and consistently supportive of you. Lean on those who you know will be there throughout the process, who give you intentional advice, who realize your potential and who advocate for you. Also, make it a point to believe in yourself and your ability to overcome obstacles. 

Favorite quote: “Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible.” –Dalai Lama

Something someone would be surprised to learn about you: I am fascinated by UFOs. It’s a weird obsession. My goal is to see one, but so far everything I have seen in the skies has been identified!

What makes someone fabulous: I feel that a person reflects who they are inside by the way they treat people. A fabulous person shows outward gratitude, they’re unusually kind and sincere. Also, one common trait amongst literally every fabulous person I know– they are overly generous to their bartender/servers. You can really tell a lot about a person by the way they treat those in the service industry…it’s true!

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