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Mar 28, 2013

DelVal business alum opens a Doylestown location at age 24

At just 24 years old, Nicole Beltz '11, a graduate of Delaware Valley College’s business program, is taking over the location in Doylestown where Chico’s, a women’s clothing store, used to be and turning it into a space for boutiques.

“When I came to DelVal I really felt connected with the town,” said Beltz. “Which is why I wanted to open up the business here. I worked only for a year out of college before I went on to run a business. I really had it in me, the business mind. If it wasn’t for DelVal I wouldn’t be in Doylestown doing this.”

She said her senior project helped her develop the skills she’s using to open Serendipity.

“Small Business Management was also a really helpful course for me,” said Beltz.

The Main Street store, which is about 3,200 square feet, will open April 1 and its hours will be 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. On Friday, April 5, Beltz will be having a grand opening event for the community.

Residents can stop by for food, drinks, and music from 6-9 p.m. and meet with the boutiques who will be using the space.

Her business venture, Serendipity, will host about 18 different boutiques. Visitors will be able to purchase: furniture, clothing, home décor, accessories, and even find out about interior designers. Designers will have spaces with information and home décor products for sale.

The appeal for the boutiques is that Serendipity handles all of the transactions, so they just have to maintain their spaces. In exchange for handling transactions, Serendipity gets a percentage of each sale.

Beltz was able to finance the project at such a young age by developing a solid business plan that other businesses were willing to invest in. She said the town has been very supportive, which has helped with the process.

Some fellow DelVal alumni are among the boutique owners she’s working with. One of the DelVal alumni she’s working with, Dana Marston, sells milk paint, which is used by people who repurpose furniture. Marston also has her own design business, Circa Dee, which focuses on repurposing items.

Two other DelVal alumni, Brock Jones ’11 and Alyson Groff  ’11,
have a vintage boutique together in the new space.

Ryan Miller ’13, Beltz’s boyfriend, is a current DelVal environmental design major who is minoring in business.

He is helping to get Serendipity up and running.

Beltz and Miller started communicating with the owner of the property in November.

Serendipity is a second location to a store Beltz already has in Avalon, N.J. She’s been in retail for about six years and wanted to move back to the area.

“I wanted to be part of the Doylestown community after going to DelVal,” said Beltz. “We proposed the idea to the property owner back in November. He was waiting for the right idea to go in with such a large space.”

Beltz’s proposition was just what he was looking for.

“He loved the idea,” said Beltz of her proposition. “He really liked that DelVal alumni were incorporated in the plan.”

Beltz has had her Avalon location for about a year and has been successful with it.

“I bought the first location from someone else and wanted to expand,” said Beltz. “Our Avalon customers, a lot of them are permanent residents of Bucks County, so Doylestown works well for us.”

Some of the boutiques renting spaces include:

The Painted Home, an interior design company from Ambler, Pa.
D.C. Interiors, an interior design company from Glenside, Pa.
Chilcote & Richards, LTD an interior design company from Kimberton, Pa.
Sweet Magnolia, a Glenside, Pa., home décor company
Shop Mamie, a Wilmington, Del., clothing company

She recruited boutiques through word of mouth and online tools.

So what has it been like getting a Doylestown storefront ready to open at just 24?

“It’s been fun, very hectic, a good learning experience,” said Beltz.

For the latest news about Serendipity "like" the store on Facebook at facebook.com/SerendipityDoylestown.

One of the boutiques at Serendipity.