MEET ERIN, THE WOMAN BEHIND BEL BOUTIQUE & THE LOOCKE
Erin Thwaites is the owner of not one, but two amazing boutiques in the heart of Dover. Follow them by clicking the links below! Visit them in person at their addresses :)
@BelBoutique , 28 Loockerman St, Dover, DE 19904
@TheLoocke , 123 Loockerman St, Dover, DE 19904
“First and foremost I am a Momma and wife and my family is my world! I live to enjoy moments with those I love most. I absolutely love what I do for a living while relishing in being home or on adventures with my fam!”
Since the Journey Journals are now available at Bel Boutique, I thought it’d be super rad to get to know the awesome woman behind the 2 boutiques I’ve been fan-girling over for years!
What businesses do you own? What do they sell?
I own Bel Boutique and The Loocke. Bel is a jewelry and gift boutique that offers cute unique items for women, men and children while The Loocke is a fashion focused boutique carrying clothing, shoes, jewelry and accessories for ladies.
When were they born? How did you get the idea for them?
I have been dreaming of Bel Boutique and even chose the name when I was about sixteen! I loved the idea of having a cute local boutique on the historic Main Street of my hometown.
Did you always know you wanted to run a business? If so, how? If not, when did you know?
I knew from the time that dream of my own boutique sparked in high school. I had my mind set on running my own business, and can’t imagine life any other way.
What is your favorite part of running a business?
I love that I work for myself. I love that I get to be creative and innovative and do things the best way I have found works without being bound by larger company rules and standards. It is what makes a unique, and something that cannot be replicated in the marketplace.
What made you take the leap?
I had been working and planning on Bel Boutique since high school, and had a well developed business plan and had done a lot of research. I was working a job as a loan processor at a bank, not making much money. I decided I was better off not making much doing something I was passionate about than working a job I didn’t love and not making much money! I had just turned 26 when I opened Bel.
How long did it take you to go full time?
I went all in. I quit my day job, lived in my sisters finished basement and opened the shop full time from the get. I had the advantage of lots of support from my family.
How do you balance being an entrepreneur and your personal life/family?
This is a BIG one. There is AWLAYS more work to do. I could just go nonstop and find more things to better the business. My brain never stops wondering to thoughts about the shops. I value my time with family and friends. I have learned to do my best to cut it off (which any entrepreneur knows you can never truly do, ever), but I do my best. Being a brick and mortar retail store brings a lot of demand for time and overhead. I could absolutely not own two shops successfully without the team of hard working amazing women that work with me. I say with me and not for me because we are a team. They are the reason I can confidently be away from the shops or concentrate on certain aspects of the business because they are simply rockstars. They truly care about our customers and the success of our stores and I am so very fortunate to have them.
What are some of your favorite motivational quotes?
“Create the things you wish existed”
"Do the best unit you know better, then when you know better, do better” -Maya Angelou
If you could tell your pre-entrepreneur self one thing, what would it be?
Don’t sweat the small stuff. Figure it out and keep going. Things that got me super stressed in the beginning I have learned were not as big a deal as I made them out to be.