By Alex Simmons
Lulu Belle’s Gifts, located at 35 East Main St. in Springville, is the place to shop for gifts or even a little something for yourself.
The business started when the owner Liesele Neureuther was on “maternity leave from my prior career as the Director of Medical Imaging for Soteria Imaging and saw the building we reside in was for sale.”
She said she always loved the building so she decided to inquire. After leaving her job at Soteria Imaging, which she had run in Jamestown for 13 years, Neureuther was ready to work the gift shop, but life had other plans.
“I was recruited by Dent Neurologic in Buffalo to be their Director of Imaging,” she explained. “I worked at Dent for three years while my mom ran Lulu Belle’s for me. … I seriously hit the jackpot on mothers.”
Neureuther’s mom had come up with the idea to make the space into a gift shop.
“My mom had a gift shop in Franklinville growing up, so I knew I would love it,” she said. “The rest is history.”
Lulu Belle’s got its name Neureuther’s husband. She said, “He never called me by my given name, Liesele, but always Lulu Belle instead.” With that, she had a name and opened the shop.
Lulu Belle’s Gifts carry a wide variety of products, Neureuther said, from handbags, jewelry and accessories, clothing and home decor items, even carrying well known name brands, such as Vera Bradley handbags, Luca + Danni jewelry, Bridgewater Candles, Katie Loxton jewelry and Ivory Ella clothing just to name a few.
When owning and operating a gift shop, figuring out what to sell is just one of the many things the job comes with.
“My grandmother, mother and I attend trade shows where you can see all of the latest and greatest products in person,” she said. “I only decide to purchase products for the store that I would personally buy myself.”
Being very close with her grandmother and mother, Neureuther said if one of them doesn’t love something, they leave it behind and move on. The business world offers “thousands upon thousands of products to choose from,” she said. Having family helping decide is a gift in itself along with the shows being a lot of fun to attend.
Neureuther said Lulu Bell’s customer service is something about the store that sets it apart.
“I want every single person through our doors to enjoy shopping with us and leave happier than when they came in,” she said, adding that the atmosphere is friendly and happy.
“I am a happy person and want everyone to know how happy they make me choosing our store for gifts,” she said. Neureuther said the customers are amazing, adding that they have the best “ladies and gents.”
“I am humbled to see so many faces over and over as regular customers,” she continued. “It is amazing the number of once strangers that I am blessed to now call friends because of Lulu Belle’s.”
In the next few years, Neureuther said her personal goal is to open a second location.
“We thought we were on the path to the second location a few years ago, but the building I loved didn’t end up selling,” she said. “I need just the right place in the right location. It all has to feel right to make the commitment.
Lulu Belle’s is also looking into starting an online shop for their gift shop. They already have a website and offer a few products online through shoptiques, but Neureuther recognizes that her customers want more and have requested a second way to purchase our products.
Lulu Belle’s Gifts will “continue to grow and offer new products for our customers to love,” she added.
Neureuther said she’s thankful to the community for allowing Lulu Belle’s to survive and grow year after year.
“Thank you for supporting my dream and allowing me the privilege to be a gift shop in our wonderful village,” she added.
You can find Lulu Belle’s online at @LuluBellesGifts on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook, give them a call at 592-9123 or visit their website at www.lulubellesgifts.com
Lulu Belle’s Gifts is open Tuesday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Saturday, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. and is closed on Sundays and Mondays.