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Germany’s Social Media Darling Lena Terlutter + BB Loves

You know how you’re looking for something inspirational and you just don’t find it? Because you’re looking to hard, right? Then the moment you stop looking KA-POW! The most interesting stuff falls dead on your lap and you’re like, “Oh my goodness this is the best thing ever!”. Today I want to share a really cool find with you discovered via Instagram. Lena Terlutter: She’s somewhat of a social media queen here in Germany, a blogger, a fashion model, mother of a 2-year-old daughter and wife living in Cologne, Germany who turned her online presence into a series of concept shops both in her city and online. With four stores and a book in the works, you have to give this lady a ton of credit for pursuing what she loves and juggling it all both online and off.

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In fact, I love watching clever ways that blogger’s monetize their sites to keep what they’re doing front and center, as a career, as something they can enjoy doing for a very long time. I’ve been wanting to open a shop in Hannover since 1999 when I first visited and met my husband! That’s a long time! Now that I’ve been living here for five years, I definitely imagine being a shop owner mommy with baby Aidan playing closely nearby as I write and produce my books and open the shop on Saturdays with new and exciting things each week – I have such a lovely concept with such special things planned – I will see my dream eventually, I just know it. But for now, I’m living vicariously through others like 31-year-old Lena Terlutter and one of her three shops in which she is the face of, BB Loves, Super Store, Boutique Belgique and Salon Sahnestück – all in Cologne!

What do you think about blogger’s opening retail shops?

(images: lena terlutter)

Posted by decor8 in blogs on August 13, 2014

Your comments...

  1. Grinsebacke commented
    August 13th, 2014 at 1:17pm

    I lover her shop Boutique Belgique, such a nice place. But I never visited BB loves… have to go there asap!
    Grinsebacke´s last blog post ..Düsseldorf – Medienhafen & Rheinturm

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  2. Gemma commented
    August 13th, 2014 at 1:56pm

    Everything about these photos is beautiful. I think these stores and their stock are fantastic. Why shouldn’t bloggers bloggers open their own stores? Every single one I’ve come across so far has been successful, their doing something very right!

    Loved this post! Have a great day.
    Gem. x

    slightgem.com

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  3. Giulia commented
    August 13th, 2014 at 4:27pm

    Poppytalk also opened a beautiful shop in Vancouver. I love that she also offers creative workshop in her shop.
    Giulia´s last blog post ..Grilled Peaches with Maple Mascarpone Cream

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  4. decor8 commented
    August 13th, 2014 at 5:27pm

    @Giula – Really? I didn’t know that, very cool! I’ll have to google. Also Irene from Bloesem did the same thing!

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  5. Joy Hall commented
    August 13th, 2014 at 8:30pm

    Holly…. you will have a fabulous store one day!
    Joy Hall´s last blog post ..Hope…

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  6. Patricia Shea commented
    August 13th, 2014 at 10:45pm

    I think it’s a wonderful idea for bloggers like Decor8 to open shops – you are already curating online for people who like your eye and want to purchase what you are promoting so why not in the ‘real world’ too!
    Patricia Shea´s last blog post ..American Made Eco Canvas now available in my Spoonflower shop

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  7. Kathy commented
    August 13th, 2014 at 11:54pm

    I think it’s great. We started our blog knowing our ultimate goal would be to open a storefront of our own. And we are working on that! We should all be allowed to dream big…and then bigger. Great post and beautiful boutique! Thank you.
    Kathy´s last blog post ..New Etsy Listing & DIY Project: Upcycled World Globe Pendant Light

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  8. margarita commented
    August 14th, 2014 at 12:13pm

    Thanks for sharing, and yes I know how you feel, still top secret, but I may have found the shop premises I have been looking for years…Yes, it is possible, and yes we just need to want something so badly that it hurts when breathing and in your heart to go forward regardless the fear and uncertainty, faith and determination goes a long way, so I send you all my positive energy from London.
    margarita´s last blog post ..NEW WOODEN HOOKS AND KNOBS COLOURS

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  9. Irina commented
    August 14th, 2014 at 12:33pm

    That pinkish fluffy rug is adorable! I wish we had such a nice shop in Tübingen too!

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  10. Karolina from H O U S E L O V E S commented
    August 14th, 2014 at 12:39pm

    some people do otherway around (open real shop adn than blog about it) so why it couldn’t be otherway around? i think it is great and it opens eyes to general public. you Holly should denifitly do that!!! NOW :)
    Karolina from H O U S E L O V E S´s last blog post ..w ogrodzie // in the garden

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  11. Lauren Hughes commented
    August 14th, 2014 at 2:25pm

    so pretty xo

    hikinginheels.co.uk
    Lauren Hughes´s last blog post ..My top ten tips for finding the right bra

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  12. Maria commented
    August 14th, 2014 at 4:02pm

    I live in Cologne and I havent hear from Lena before. (But, hey…. I am not in anyway linked to the fashion world!:-) So, it is a nice discovery! Thanks Holly… Now, I did some research about Lena: what is her career/field of study, previous experience, network, etc. It is a lot more difficult to be a successful entrepreneur in Germany, that it is to be in the USA. The systems are so so different! Well, as expected she did study Fashion Management in Amsterdam, worked for a couple years in the fashion industry and on top of it… she is a model! ohhh!! Well… as a good fleißig german, she has prepared herself very well … a very insteresting story!

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  13. Antonella commented
    August 14th, 2014 at 4:26pm

    I think it’s a lovely idea. Never put all your eggs in one basket, as they say.
    I’d love to have a shop with vintage dresses, used books and a tea parlour all rolled in one :-)

    And yes, workshops!

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  14. decor8 commented
    August 14th, 2014 at 9:41pm

    @Maria – That’s the great thing about the internet Maria, it’s not confined to one country so even though it may be hard to be a successful entrepreneur in one country, it can still be done thanks to the internet. And honestly, I was well known in the USA but when I moved to Germany my career has done just GREAT and so many people here know who I am and love my books, e-courses, blog, etc. I’ve had A LOT of support in Germany…. I’m constantly in German magazines and newspapers (at least monthly since I moved here 5 years ago), so I think Germany is quite supportive!!!

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  15. Riel Piper commented
    August 14th, 2014 at 10:36pm

    Simply stunning, your vintage style is just beautiful! A lovely use of pastel colours and pinks, how wonderful to be a blogger and also have a great flare for interior design too :-)

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  16. Gabriele Lechner commented
    August 15th, 2014 at 11:07am

    Dear Holly, I can see your store in my head and it is a wonderful, inspiring place – so you will definitely have it. I will be just a little bit sorry that it won’t be in Vienna.
    Since your post about earning money as a blogger there is another thing, I wanted to say :
    If a ballet dancer is extraordinary good it looks very easy and you can’t imagine the work behind. It’s the same with your blog – it’s just extraordinary good and some people don’t see the work, becauce they don’t know it better and just enjoy reading.
    So – if somebody doesn’t understand, see it as an compliment. Your work is great and your plan make totally sense and they will work out just perfect for you. Because with your passion, your skills and your investment of work every dream will come true.
    (sorry for my english)

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  17. Lucy Chen commented
    August 15th, 2014 at 4:18pm

    I think it’s great! And if it’s something you’d want to do, you can do it, too.
    Lucy Chen´s last blog post ..What is Great Art?

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  18. D. Chisholm commented
    August 15th, 2014 at 4:41pm

    Sadly, I didn’t really see how the items in this store might enhance one’s life, by which I mean add to the comfort or cosiness of one’s home. For example – were those ceramic GUNS? They just seemed to be disposable objects that would ultimately add clutter; would anyone still have that pink rug in 10 years?

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  19. Erin commented
    August 15th, 2014 at 7:55pm

    I wish I’d seen her shop when I was in Köln this last march!
    Erin´s last blog post ..EJH Brand Spotlight & Reader Discount!

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  20. La Priscille Design commented
    August 17th, 2014 at 6:11am

    From the first photo to the last, i absolutely love this space.

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  21. Genevieve commented
    August 17th, 2014 at 10:05am

    Great article! I just love, love, love all of Lena’s stores & make a special trip up to Cologne from Frankfurt whenever possible! I haven’t been to BB loves yet, will be visiting this Tuesday & know I’ll be coming back with my wallet a little lighter & bags a little heavier!
    PS….how inspiring is her Instagram?!

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  22. Desha Peacock commented
    August 17th, 2014 at 3:38pm

    Hey Holly, I didn’t know you deamed of opening a shop. I have no doubt you will make that dream come true when the time is right. xo

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  23. Loni Parker commented
    August 18th, 2014 at 1:25am

    This is quite possibly the most beautiful shop I’ve ever laid eyes on. Just so pretty. Hope I can visit it one day!

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  24. Zelmatse commented
    August 18th, 2014 at 5:57am

    Hey,Holly….I don’t know how to say,you share such a beautiful thing always. All the all inspire me .Thank you!

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  25. Stephanie Kraus commented
    August 18th, 2014 at 9:33am

    Hi,

    I visited all of her shops. My favorite one is Boutique Belgique and BB Loves. She managed to give every store an indiviuel character. Thumbs up!

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  26. Mimi commented
    August 18th, 2014 at 7:32pm

    I absolutely love this color palette. It’s so relaxing.
    Mimi´s last blog post ..Dahlias Dahling

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  27. Nova @ 18chelseamews commented
    August 18th, 2014 at 8:34pm

    This is such a beautiful shop! I think it’s a great idea for bloggers interested in opening a shop to pursue that goal. It’s perfect for getting their ideas and merchandise seen by those who are more tactile and less interested in following blogs or internet shopping. Tapping into that ‘other side’ of the market is always a good idea. The world is your oyster…right?! Thanks for sharing Holly.
    Nova @ 18chelseamews´s last blog post ..My DIY Window Seat Makeover: A Cosy Nook For Creative Contemplation

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  28. Maria commented
    August 19th, 2014 at 10:32am

    decor8,

    Holly, it is really encouraging to hear possitive feedback from a foreign entrepreneur in Germany. I think it has help you a lot that you had build a name in the US before coming to Germany. Dont want to sound negative, I really admire what you do! It is just my opinion that doing anything entrepreneur related in Germany is a lot harder than doing it in the USA. Anyways…. after I read this post, I grab my car and drove to Lena´s stores. BB Loves and Belgique are next to each other. The stores sell mostly clothes and shoes. I was looking forward to see more decoration in BB Loves, but the store is tiny (about 20 sq meters) with a few frames and maybe 3-4 pillows. All in all, they are nice little stores, but not focus on decoration. However, a couple meters away from Lena´s stores, I found this little, tiny hidden store selling morrocan carpets and pillows… oh my, I was dying to find nice carpets at an affordable price in Cologne,,, and there it was, that little gem in the Bergischel Viertel in Cologne!! IF somebody is interested, I cna find out if he sells on the internet..

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  29. decor8 commented
    August 19th, 2014 at 1:22pm

    @Maria – I really don’t agree! Especially as someone living and working in both countries as I have, my perspective is a bit different from yours perhaps? I think it is actually harder in the US because of all of the competition and huge amounts of talent and opportunity there, it’s a melting pot where so many extremely talented people from other parts of the world move to invent stuff, and where so many talented people already live — and that takes incredible amounts of work and dedication to rise above to the top and become something. No one hands you anything in America. To you, it may appear that it all is so easy in America because the German perspective is that everything there is so easy. You just need to move to America and you will see all of your dreams come true. This couldn’t be more untrue. The way you get anywhere in America is through a combination of talent and/or that “something special”, working 12 hours a day 7 days a week and taking MAYBE 2 weeks off for vacation each year – MAYBE – and constantly improving your skills and thinking of new ways to do things that will keep you on top.

    From my perspective, this is just NOT part of German culture so it is assumed here that the successful Americans they see and read about cannot be possibly working harder or better than they are, so it must be something in our water that we drink because how could we have so much otherwise?

    And this is where I can spin into about a three hour conversation about the cultural differences including the work ethics of Germans vs. Americans.

    And I do agree that being an entrepreneur is hard in Germany but not HARDER than in America. Here the roadblocks are more with the government being stupid with their crazy tax laws and people not accepting freelancers are being legitimately employed but honestly, in America, you still have those working at big companies who look down on freelancers so it’s all the same. You just have to have a strong character and work your ass off in any country to rise above the challenges, naysayers,etc. Don’t you think? Or?

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  30. Cat commented
    August 19th, 2014 at 4:45pm

    I think of course, if a blogger has a unique aesthetic perspective, then why not share it in a shop? It’s more interesting than just seeing pics of them posing in some outfit a designer gave them.

    And I agree-it’s very difficult to create something good in America now. There is so much competition, many creative people and very limited space and attention. For every successful venture you see posted on a blog like this, there are 1000 mediocre ones that you never hear about and that don’t make it.

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  31. Ivonne Spinoza commented
    August 19th, 2014 at 8:07pm

    I have always wanted to open a shop myself and this is just beautiful! Thank you for the inspiration/motivation, Holly!

    misadventuro.us
    Ivonne Spinoza´s last blog post ..August Board: The Calm is Full of Possibility

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  32. Inge commented
    August 19th, 2014 at 8:48pm

    Holly, I totally agree with you. In Belgium (and the rest of Europe) it’s just hard work when you want to be a successful entrepreneur, but then again… in the USA I guess it’s all the same. But I think, and that is what your original question was, it is a wonderful idea to start a shop when you already have an online presence! Why not? I think it is great when people start shops or do what they love, what is more beautiful than to follow dreams? Whoever denies that is a big pessimist.
    My friend and I just started thinking about doing a small pop-up shop here in Bruges, in the previous store of my mother-in-law who is more than happy to see her old shop come to life again with stationary and decoration. IF everything goes well (that is financially, which we will know next month when we have seen everything we want to buy), than we would open our pop-up shop on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays in December and January. I

    If all goes ok, I would definitely take the jump and open up another one or keep this one. It is also a dream of mine to see my two boys close to me and growing up while I’m doing what I love and do best: selling (talking), blogging (writing) away. I encourage everyone to start following their dreams because if you don’t, you’ll feel miserable all your life. I don’t want to be that person to keep asking me the same question when I’m old: “what if”? Better try and fail than to never try and keep wondering.

    And by the way, if I lived in Germany, I would definitely check her stores out, they look absolutely adorable!! Love everything she’s selling! :-)
    Hugs, Inge x
    Inge´s last blog post ..Table Decor: Serax – Olive Oil Pure by Pascale Naessens

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  33. Susanna911 commented
    August 19th, 2014 at 11:04pm

    Was loving everything about this shop and the aesthetic until the gun…. As I write this Ferguson Missouri in imploding, shattered and angry after a policeman shot an unarmed kid six times on a crowded street. Michael Brown (who may have shoplifted some cigarillos) had his arms raised. This incident sparked massive protests and has received enormous international attention.

    Please please Holly take this down! The weapon pictured has only one function: to wound humans. How alluring is that? The shop owner is lucky to live in a country with extremely strict gun laws. Maybe that makes it easier to promote this as a sophisticated juxtaposition next to articles of the luxe life. Or to justify it as ironic or clever social commentary or whatever.

    Like Lena, I’m also somewhat unlikely to deal with the unpleasantness of a gun aimed at me — I’m white, upper middle class and female. But since we’re all on this planet together it would be so universally helpful if we could stop and acknowledge the power these products hold and decide to turn away.

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  34. Maria commented
    August 21st, 2014 at 4:47pm

    decor8,

    Hi Holly, I am glad this conversation started and we can share our points of view.

    I think it is definitely true that the US is filled with a lot of talented and creative people…. and specially a lot of professional and amazing bloggers! Competition is fierce, because a lot of you are so good. When I tell my friends here about the blogs I read, and what bloggers do and how they make money, they get kind of interested but at the same time they give me this weird look. Blogging and design is a developing market in Germany… there is a lot of room for growth! On this I completely agree with you.

    We also know how much Americans work, and we also know they have very short vacations (2 weeks compare to 6 in Germany), so success does not come for free, and I think this is mostly true in any part of the world.

    Now, there is also a lot of talented people in Germany. The difference is that the American culture is a networking culture. And the German culture is more of an engineering culture. What I mean with this is that in a networking environment you are able to share and learn faster, you are able to connect with others faster, you share information faster and people tend to support each other and promote partnerships faster… That makes life for entrepreneurs in America A LOT easier.

    In Germany, what I call the engineering culture, the focus is more on developing technics, on doing research and designing superior products. The same activities I described above take place in a much slower pace and within a tight circle, which requires a lot more energy, takes away time and drains the creativity outlet. On top of this, you need to add all the bureaucracy, laws, tax, licenses, updates to the law, and another update to the law… and you need to belong to right circle! or at least work realy hard to be involved in the right circle.

    I lived in the US for a couple years on a oversees assignment. It was fascinating to see how networking works in the US compare to Germany. During this time, I was able to open a store in the DC area and still been able to hold my full time job which I also love. I would have never been able to do this in Germany. And this is just because the amount of time I need to invest for setting up operations here is a lot higher and the process complicated (i.e lawyer to design “Widerrufsbelehrung” (mandatory return policy in Germany), lawyer to advice on employment laws, getting licenses etc etc..).

    I left the US and still manage to keep my little store in DC. I do sourcing and merchandising and flight there once a quarter. In the short time I was in the US, I was able to build a small support network, and was able to create partnerships. There is this motivation and risk aversion, that many times is lacking in Germany.

    Another huge difference is the behavior of consumers. In the US disposable income is larger because people save less. That means Americans have more money to spend, and when they don’t have money they use their credit cards. So inventory rotation in the retail industry is high.

    In contrast, Germans tend to have less disposable income because 1. They save a lot for when they are old (this is just part of our culture), 2. They save a lot for travelling/vacation and 3. We tend to be risk adverse, which means using credit cards is not a good thing. So the remaining income to spend, let’s say on decoration, jewelry, furniture etc is a lot less. This makes it a lot harder for entrepreneurs in the retail industry. It might be different in Mittelstand (medium business) linked to the automotive, construction or service industries.

    But that is just my opinion, based on my experience. I hope I am wrong, so that I can overcome the “German” fear and continue expanding my stores in Germany, the place I actually leave.

    What I know, is that I cannot expect to make the same profit and make in the US. At least not, during the first years.

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  35. decor8 commented
    August 22nd, 2014 at 3:33pm

    @Susanna911 – The gun vase is from Bloomingville, a Danish company and SUCK UK designed them years ago, when I first started blogging…And I’m sure you’ve seen the Phillipe Starck gun lamp? Many designers like to get a little cheeky from time to time or even to make statements through their work so I’m not offended by it.

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  36. Marielle commented
    August 26th, 2014 at 11:52pm

    Where can I get a pink fur rug?!?

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  37. Yasmina commented
    October 5th, 2014 at 3:15pm

    Oh wow! Everything compliments each other so well….love the colour scheme! Anyone have any idea where this pink rug can be found? I’m currently in the mood to channel my inner ‘Elle Woods’ lol!

    leopardandbrut.blogspot.ie

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