Double the space, double the fun q&a with Joy Schweitzer Ermert of Lulu Birds

Double the space, double the fun q&a with Joy Schweitzer Ermert of Lulu Birds

Lulu Birds blends old with new to bring out your unique personality in your home. Joy has just recently expanded her store into the old Public Craft Brewing space that was next door. We sit down with her to get the scoop on the newly expanded Lulu Birds.
Lulu Birds is located at 720-58th street in Downtown Kenosha!

Q. Can describe LuLu Birds to our readers?
A. Lulu Birds is full of unique and fun home decor, furniture, jewelry and more. We feature the talents of fifty local vendors.

Q. How long have you been in business? And what made you want to start your own business?
A. We’ve been a brick & mortar for 5 years. Before I opened Lulu Birds, I sold products in several local shops and flea markets. It had been my dream to open my own shop for many years before it came to fruition. 

Q. How did you come up with the name LuLu Birds?
A. Lulu Birds is named after one of our rescue dogs (all of our dogs have nicknames). When I was trying to decide on a name for the shop one evening my husband had called her over to him, “Come here Lulu Bird.” Then he said, “That’s it, that’s what you should name the shop!” I wasn’t sold at first, but it grew on me. We lost her last year, she was the sweetest dog you’d ever meet, I’m happy her legacy lives on now.

Q. Why did you choose Downtown Kenosha for Lulu Birds?
A. Downtown Kenosha holds so many wonderful memories for me, I couldn’t picture being anywhere else.

Q. You recently expanded you store into the former space where Public Brewery was, tell us how that all came to be?
A. We simply outgrew our space. I knew Matt was looking to expand his brewery so I told my landlord I had a vision to expand in to the rest of the building when he moved. Luckily, she had faith in me and allowed us grow while remaking in our same location.

Q. What do you attribute to the success of Lulu Birds?
A. The variety of unique and vintage goods combined with our genuine love for our loyal customers.

Q. How many employees do you have?
A. Our amazing staff has recently grown! We now have 6 awesome employees!

Q. What makes Lulu Birds stand out for other shops?
A. Our ability to offer new items weekly and our extremely talented vendors.

Q. What is a typical week for you running your business?
A. Ha! It’s a 24/7 job. Let me just say it’s the hardest job I’ve ever had. But I love it, even on the most difficult days.

Q. Will you be offering any work shops/classes in your new space?
A. We are looking forward to expanding the workshops we offer as soon as It’s safe to bring a group of people together in a smaller place.

Q. What advice do you have for other businesses owners that are trying to survive 2020?
A. Just like anything in life, we can’t deal the cards we get, but we can play our cards right.

Q. Your family is involved with the Kenosha Shriners, can you tell us a little about that?
A. The Shriners do amazing work for handicapped children. The Kenosha Shriners raise money to assist families with transportation to one of the many Shrine Hospitals that do specialized pediatric care. I encourage anyone to donate to the Shriners whenever given the chance as 100% of the donation goes “to help the kids”!

Q. Your grandma was a big influence on you, what was some of her wisdom?
A. Well her favorite advice was to “stay away from the doctor and drinks lots of coffee!” Which must work, as she lived to be 102! But seriously, most of what learned from her was watching the way she lived her life. She was the most beautiful and genuine person I’ve ever known.

Q. You do awesome Facebook Live videos for you shop and sell you inventory that way as well, do you still get nervous before you go live?
A. I’ve gotten over it, ha!

Q. How often do you switch out inventory?
A. Every single week, sometimes more!

Q. You have participated in the Vintage Shop Hop in recent years, can you tell us what that is all about?
A. The Vintage Shop Hop is a self-guided two-day road trip with folks visit participating vintage shops, boutiques, and barn sales. It’s a hoot! The nest hop is the first Friday & Saturday of March.

Q. What is next for Lulu Birds? 
A. For now we’re just going to enjoy settling in to our newly expanded nest.

Take Five with Joy!
Q. Best piece you found while out picking?
A. The most amazing mirror framed in cast iron. The silver was flaking in such a way it looked like it was raining.
Q. What did you do before you opened Lulu Birds?
A. I was a preschool teacher.
Q. Favorite bar in kenosha?
A. Lucci’s Grandview & Hills Hotrod Hideout
Q. Favorite restaurant?
A. House of Gerhards.
Q. Favorite vacation spot?
A. Mexico baby!

Lulu Birds is located at 720-58th street
Hours Wednesday- Friday 11am -5pm, Saturday 11am -4pm, Sunday 11am -3pm

Q&A & Photos by Donny Stancato
Edited by Jason Hedman
(This appears in the Downtown Kenosha Magazine Vol.13 #4 2020/21