February 6, 2023

Taylor Daily Press

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Lenka (23 years old) realizes the dream in her parents' garage and opens a clothing store (Mechelen)

Lenka (23 years old) realizes the dream in her parents’ garage and opens a clothing store (Mechelen)

Lenka Lodewyks runs a clothing store in her father Peter and mother Karen’s garage. © Dirk Vertumen


Linka Ludeux (23 years old) from Mechelen builds on her dream. She recently opened a Bella Boutique pop-up store, an online store for affordable women’s clothing. Not in the city center, but in her parents’ garage in the suburbs.

Sven van Heisendonk

Lenka graduated as a hairdresser, but works in logistics for the French sports chain Decathlon. She’s in an early fit there. “It gives me space to spend time on my passion: developing my own business,” says de Michels. Although her accountant advised her to start with this at the beginning of the year, Lenka’s enthusiasm could not be tempered. “So I started my online store in December 2020. I started very small.”

Providing fashion at affordable prices

With Bella Boutique, she sells women’s clothing that is easily accessible. “I buy my collections in Paris, but I want to offer my customers affordable fashion. You rarely find a piece that costs more than fifty euros with me, except for a jacket for example. Life is really expensive and I also try to listen to what people need,” says Lenka.

Linka says:

“I buy my collections in Paris, but I want to offer my clients affordable fashion,” says Lenka. © Dirk Vertumen

Clients increasingly asked her if they couldn’t try the pieces. But renting out a commercial property right away wasn’t really an option. All this is precious. In addition, I also have my full-time job, which means I cannot open my shop all the time,” explains the young lady.

Setting up a temporary shop in the garage of the parents’ home in Galgestraat turns out to be the perfect temporary solution. Customers have been welcomed there since last weekend. “I’ve always been passionate about clothes. As a woman you naturally like to dress elegantly. That’s why I wanted to try this one. I wouldn’t feel like a failure unless I never took risks,” says Lenka.

Open three days a week

The Bella Boutique pop-up at Galgestraat 43 is open Thursday from 3-6pm, Friday 10am-6pm and Saturday 10am-3pm. Papa Peter and Mama Karina are proud of their daughter’s entrepreneurial spirit. “I think the relationship with my dad is important. While I keep the store open, my mom takes care of my four-month-old daughter. That way I can see her a lot for myself,” says Lenka.

In time you are hoping to find a permanent spot with Bella Boutique. “My dream is to be able to open a store downtown,” she says. Entrepreneurship also runs in the family. “My sisters are a beautician as a secondary profession. So we are all interested in beauty.”

The young businesswoman decorated the garage in a comfortable way.

The young businesswoman decorated the garage in a comfortable way. © Dirk Vertumen


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