Jenn White has been building her burgeoning photography business for about a year, but it was only recently that she felt ready to open her own shop.
So it was on a whim that she applied to open Little Posies Photography in a Milford storefront as a part of the Delaware Economic Development Office’s Project Pop-Up program.
“I sent my information in during the last couple of hours that applications were being accepted,” the 2004 Woodbridge High School graduate said. “I couldn’t believe it when they called me and offered me the space. I accepted it without even seeing it first, but it turned out to be perfect.”
Little Posies marked its grand opening at 131 N.W. Front St. last week with a ribbon cutting ceremony attended by dozens of White’s supporters, family members, clients and DEDO officials.
“At the end of the day, you’ve got something here and it’s all yours,” DEDO Director Alan Levin told White during the ceremony. “You’re going to do wonderful things here.”
In addition to White, Project Pop-Up is providing three other business owners in Delaware with three months of rent-free space in downtown Wilmington, Middletown and Dover.
Levin said the idea behind the USDA-funded project is to provide a boost to entrepreneurs, while also helping downtown business districts fill empty space during the holiday season.
David Bond, who owns the 800-square-foot retail space where Little Posies is now located, said the program and White were a perfect fit for him.
“I consider myself a beneficiary of the program rather than a donor because having her here fills a vacancy that otherwise might have taken months and months for me to find a tenant, give the economy right now,” he said. “I also think she was a good candidate for the program because she already had a client base, plus she has a very enthusiastic personality and is very driven.”
A nurse at Kent General Hospital, White began turning her self-taught photography hobby into a business enterprise around the time she and her husband, Oran, adopted their daughter Haylee, now 2-years-old. The couple also has an 8-month-old daughter named Maci.
“I’ve always loved kids and babies and I discovered this was a great way for me to hang out with kids and capture their innocence and emotion,” the Lincoln resident said. “From there, it’s grown and now I do engagement photos and shoot some weddings, in addition to my main focus, which is still maternity, newborns and families.”
In addition to providing White with studio space, her new shop also gives her with a place to sell her prints, as well as her handmade tutus and headbands. The shop also features crocheted items created by a California boutique called Just For Baby With Love.
Page 2 of 2 - “It’s just been so exciting and everyone has been so supportive,” said White, who is now splitting her time between her nursing job and her photography business. “It’s my hope that at the end of the three-month Pop-Up program, we’ll be able to sign a long-term lease and stay here in Milford for good.”