Dan Bond and his wife Rhoda hope that the belief of lady bugs bringing good luck is more than just an old wives tale. The Lady Bug Shop, located on N.W. Front Street, was conceived in 2003 as a “click and mortar” business; bringing together online shopping and in store purchasing. Analyzing all the previous merchants that had come and gone in downtown Milford, Dan realized a trend among all of those businesses. “They had great products but the foot traffic downtown just did not bring the revenue needed to stay open,” Mr. Bond stated.
Seeing this take place time again Dan decided to use internet sales as a supplementary income to keep his business alive. With the increased focus on revitalizing downtown and attracting more people Mr. Bond now wants to focus on the mortar side of his business. He has expanded his retail line with a wider range of products to suit the needs of his in store customers.
The Ladybug Shop is a general gift shop with a natural, whimsical theme that revolves around lady bugs and turtles. The history behind the ladybug becoming the state bug of Delaware is tied to Milford when a second grade class petitioned the Delaware State Legislature in 1973. This history, coupled with folklore surrounding the ladybug as a bearer of good luck, created the allure for Milfordians. The shop focuses on kid’s items but also include home, kitchen and clothing merchandise that reflects their theme. They carry over 500 unique ladybug gifts.
The Ladybug Shop works with local non-profits creating partnerships in the community. On December 4 the shop will be working with the Circle of Light which helps provide temporary space and support to women threatened by homelessness. Twenty percent of the sales from 10am -2pm will be donated to the organization. One December 18 the shop will partner with the Mispillion Art League in support of their effort to revitalize the arts in Milford.
Mr. Bond stresses the importance of Downtown Milford Inc. and their revitalization initiative. He admits that foot traffic downtown will drive local businesses. “So many tourists who come to the area and are close by are looking for somewhere to go for the day or afternoon. Milford needs to become that place,” Dan stated.
The Ladybug Shop was started as a test, in part, to demonstrate how a successful downtown business in Milford could be created. The click and mortar approach has been successful for the shop and Mr. Bond suggests that it should be considered by other merchants when looking at the area. The Ladybug Shop can be found at 23 N.W. Front Street or at www.ladybug-shop.com.