The LadyBug Shop in downtown Milford is welcoming in the new year with new owners. Milford residents Christopher Clawson and David Rule purchased the business from Dan and Rhonda Bond on January, 1, 2013 after they worked under the family for six months. Clawson, an author of two fiction novels, and Rule, an acrylic and watercolor artist, are excited to experience their first entrepreneurial venture together.
The LadyBug Shop, located on NW Front Street, was conceived in 2003 as a “click and mortar” business; bringing together online shopping and in store purchasing. The 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.
Christopher and David came to the Milford area from New York City looking for the opportunity to create their own Bed and Breakfast business together. After searching the East Coast for suitable locations, the couple decided that an apprenticeship approach to their business venture would best fit their needs. After having an interview from the owners of The Towers Bed and Breakfast in Milford, Dan and Rhonda Bond, Christopher and David were hired on the spot. Working together on a daily basis at The Towers, the four had conversations about looking for an individual to take over the LadyBug Shop. As they had with the Bed and Breakfast, Christopher and David decided to learn the daily operations of the LadyBug Shop through experience under the guidance of the Bonds.
“It was such a unique store and it is located right next to The Towers so it was an easy decision,” commented David. “It was something that we both could work towards and build together.”
As new owners of the LadyBug Shop the couple is looking to increase their visibility and involvement with the downtown Milford community. In addition to reorganizing the shop on NW Front Street, the building will also host David’s new art gallery by the beginning of February.
“We are working very hard to increase the foot traffic in downtown Milford and into the shop,” commented Christopher. “We have plans to remodel the inside of the store and offer some additional items that our customers will enjoy.”
To celebrate their recent success, Christopher and David will be hosting a Grand Opening for the Lady Bug Shop and David’s new gallery during the 10th annual Bug and Bud Festival on Saturday, April 27. Rhonda and Dan Bond are excited to see their successors prosper in the new year and wish Christopher and David the best of luck in the venture that the Bond family began.
“My advice to them is to continue doing what they have been doing, engaging in the community and forming partnerships so that others can see their work,” commented Rhonda Bond. “Continuing to work as a team with other merchants to revitalize downtown Milford will be the key to their success.”