Fireside Session Spotlight: The Lois Elaine

The participants at the Fireside Sessions represented a wide range of business owners and industries - from creatives to attorneys to floating bed and breakfast innkeepers!

One of our participants at two Hampton Roads sessions was Nicole Young, the owner of The Lois Elaine: Floating Bed & Breakfast. The Lois Elaine combines the comfort of a traditional bed & breakfast with the whimsy of spending a gently rocked night on a boat. This 37-foot houseboat is docked at the open water of the Willoughby Harbor. Nicole describes it as the perfect, intimate setting for couples or a great space for artists or professionals needing some inspiration.

How long have you been in business?
Less than a year

What does your business do?
My business provides a unique respite from the hustle and bustle of everyday life by offering date nights or overnight stays on a unique, whimsically decorated houseboat.

What made you want to own your own business?
I wanted to own a houseboat and be an innkeeper. The name stems from my grandmother with whom I was very close. The love story between her and my grandfather inspired the date night option I’ve opened up through Groupon.

What’s your favorite thing about owning your own business?
I love the freedom I have to collaborate, create, and dream.

What’s your least favorite thing about owning your own business?
Cleaning up after guests leave!

What’s a big WIN you’ve experienced in your business?
Groupon accepting my idea of date night/overnight on The Lois Elaine.

What is your best piece of advice for someone looking to start their own business?
Think of niche concepts and expand them into flourishing experiences.

What is something you took away from the Fireside Sessions you attended?
Marketing to the type of clientele I want aboard and enhancing guests experience prior to their entrance aboard.

If you’d like to book a stay on the Lois Elaine, you can do so on its Airbnb listing. If you’re interested in a date night on the Lois Elaine, check out the Groupon.

Rachel Burns