Skip to content

Storefront Stories: Eleish Van Breems Home

Storefront Stories: Eleish Van Breems Home

Storefront Stories: Eleish Van Breems Home

Storefront Stories: Eleish Van Breems Home - Celebrating Women's History Month Spotlights

In honor of Women's History Month, we’re spotlighting #ACKChamber Women Owned Businesses! We asked Rhonda Eleish & Edie Van Breems of Eleish Van Breems Home a few questions, here are their answers!


Q: You opened a new business during a pandemic, what was the experience like? Any unusual challenges?

A: Our home design store, Eleish Van Breems Home is new to Nantucket and we were slated to have our Grand Opening in the Spring of 2020 during Daffodil Weekend.  When the pandemic hit and just before trucks on ferries to Nantucket were being limited to essential supplies, our incredible team and movers were able to get all of our furniture and product over in one of the last “non-essential” ferries. We had found an amazing rental house for our team to live in while we set up the store but our brave store manager, Ryan Rosano, came up from Florida by himself and had to set up the entire store on his own because we all had to isolate.  Our rental on Nantucket ended after a few months and the only place available due to Covid was a mansion – so company zoom meetings were quite amusing with Ryan enjoying a very elegant and paradisiacal historic home all by himself! We were so blessed to be able to come out and join Ryan in the early summer.  When Eleish Van Breems Home finally did open our doors in June we were blown away by the support of the community and for that we are forever grateful!!


Q: What tips or advice do you have for other women wanting to start their own business?

A: Longevity in owning a business has made us take a different perspective then when we were much younger. From experience we now see that things really do run in cycles.  We are now very careful not to financially overextend ourselves which is crucial to prepare for inevitable down turns in business. Conversely, as women and passionate entrepreneurs we have a tendency to take on a lot and for women starting their own business it is important to find that personal balance and not burn out.  Also, never give up!  We were told so many times “you can’t do that, you can’t be furniture makers, writers, designers, historians, buyers, art directors, accountants, businesspeople all at the same time,” etc.  The worst words are You Can’t. That is music to our ears. If you are passionate about something, believe in yourself and you will make it happen. 


Q: Who is the most influential woman in your life?

A: Edie: My mother, a graduate of the American School of Ballet and a NYC Ballet ballerina, gave me at an incredibly young age exposure to travel, art, literature, theater and never discouraged me from a life devoted to and supporting The Arts. She loved and supported culture and always sent my sister and I to leading artists and performers to train with (an easy feat as 1970’s Westport, CT still retained its Arts community luminaries.) I was intimidated and usually felt in-over my head but realize now that she was exposing us to true excellence


Rhonda: I have had several wonderful women in my life. The most influential in my past was Lucille Lortel who was “The Queen of Off Broadway”. She changed my life in so many ways, and I learned how to be an independent business woman from her. She took me under her wing for years and taught me how to be a producer of sorts. The second woman is more recent. She was a client of ours, Carol, who again taught me so much about life and business.  She had a great influence in how I approach challenges in life. Sadly, both have left us, but I carry the legacy of their wisdom with me. I miss them every day but feel privileged to have spent valued time with them guiding me with their wisdom.


Q: Why do you think it is important to support other women?

A: Internationally Women’s Rights have come a long way, but are still incredibly fragile.

Even in America, we see how quickly gains women have made can be lost if women and their loved ones do not continue to push forward for full equality with men in the workplace, finance, politics, medicine and the home. As women we do need to all support each other! Who wouldn’t support other women? Women are adaptable, responsible, group problem solvers, smart and determined. And by working together we can accomplish anything.

Leave a Comment
* Required field