If you’re an Avalon or Stone Harbor beach-goer, you’ve probably shopped at Serendipity on Dune Drive. You may not know that they have two other locations, in Doylestown and Chestnut Hill, PA. And I’m sure you don’t know that the founder is 27-year old Doylestown native Nicole Beltz (pictured above third from left). Yep, 27 years old and operating three successful retail locations. Read more about her impressive journey below.
PP: Thanks for talking with us, Nicole! Let’s learn more about how you got started. What attracted to you to the retail business and when did the idea for Serendipity come to you?
Nicole: I have always worked in the retail business. From a young age I enjoyed creating items and selling them to friends, family, and neighbors. As I got older my passion grew into a love for retail. I worked numerous retail positions throughout high school and college. My love for the industry grew deeper, working hands on in the small business environment when I took a summer job at Global Pursuit in Stone Harbor; I got to experience all facets of retail trade. After graduating college, I worked corporate retail for one year before quitting and voyaging into small business for myself. Together, my mom and I took on a pre-existing business in Avalon, NJ and turned it into Serendipity. We took on a large storefront and began working with makers, creators, and boutiques from the tri-state area to outfit the space. September of 2013 Serendipity was established.
PP: Why the name Serendipity?
Nicole: The name Serendipity came from its meaning of making a desirable discovery by accident. Our variety is something sure not to be found anywhere else. Customers frequently quote they found something they weren’t even looking for.
PP: Love it! That has always been my experience shopping Serendipity as well. And how did you decide on your three locations in Doylestown, Avalon, and Chestnut Hill?
Nicole: Our three locations came about because they are all in towns we live, love, and now operate from. Serendipity began in Avalon: our summer oasis, we vacationed here since I was just a kid. Shortly after we opened in Avalon, I added a second location in my hometown of Doylestown. Two years later, Serendipity was opened in Chestnut Hill as a new adventure and has now become a home away from home.
PP: Very impressive! How do you hope to see Serendipity grow in the next couple years?
Nicole: As Serendipity grows over the years, we hope to have a bigger web presence and look forward to adding more locations in the tri-state area.
PP: What has been your biggest challenge since branching out on your own and how did you overcome it?
Nicole: The biggest challenge about being in business for yourself is being able to wear all hats! When you go into business yourself, you don’t realize how many tasks come along with that.
PP: Agreed! But that gives us much more opportunities to grow and learn about ourselves. What have you learned about yourself since starting Serendipity?
Nicole: What I learned the most about myself since I have been in business is that I am capable of way more than I ever thought I was and so is everyone else! If there is a goal—achieve it! Anything is possible with a little blood, sweat, and tears.
PP: Currently, you’re responsible for a lot of different tasks with running Serendipity. What is your favorite thing to focus on?
Nicole: My favorite task to focus on is working in the store with staff, customers, and merchandising. I love working with people and making them feel good about themselves whether it is a customer or an employee. I love merchandising because I love to make the store look special and inviting.
PP: You do such a great job with that! What do you think your high school self would think about what you’re doing now and how successful it has become?
Nicole: My high school self would be proud I didn’t settle and work for a huge corporate company. I have always wanted to be self-employed and be able to express my creativity. As far as I can remember, I have enjoyed small towns and living local. Now I am proud to be working amongst the people I have always been inspired by.
PP: Yes! That is so great. Finally, what is your favorite shore memory?
Nicole: All shore memories are great; I can’t pick just one. Overall the best memories come from the friends made down the shore! Friends from the beach stay with you forever.
Shop Serendipity Avalon:
2268 Dune Drive, Avalon NJ 08202
Shop Serendipity Doylestown:
33 S. Main St., Doylestown, PA 18901
Shop Serendipity Chestnut Hill:
8506 Germantown Avenue, Philadelphia, PA
Follow Serendipity Doylestown (@serendipityofdoylestown), Avalon (@serendipityofavalon), and Chestnut Hill (@serendipity_chestnuthill) on Instagram
Visit Serendipity’s Website
The Girl Boss series celebrates women business owners who are making their dreams happen.