Dina Rodgers of Lilly and Gerts
Editor’s note: First in a series, The Beacon is showcasing businesses of Port Clinton graduates that moved away, saw the country and world, and decided to come back to Port Clinton to start their business. People may talk about a “brain drain”, but we want to showcase Port Clinton’s “brain gain”. Many of these graduates and business owners came back to start a business and raise their families. That is the case with Dina Rodgers.
Dina Rodgers, owner and operator of Lilly and Gerts, is a 1990 Port Clinton High School graduate.
“When my husband retired from the Marines, we had lived in lots of places from Maine to Florida,” said Rodgers. “I knew if I was going to raise my family somewhere, it had to be Port Clinton.”
Even after traveling and visiting so many places in the United States, Rodgers knew Port Clinton was still home.
Dina’s daughter, Katie, and Mayor Vince Leone at Lilly and Gerts’ ribbon cutting.
“It’s always been a dream of mine to own my own store. I have always been crafty. I wanted the independence and freedom to be there for my daughters who are 9 and 7; I want to be able to raise them and have a career. Life’s too short to not be happy and follow your dreams.”
Inspired by her grandmother, Lillian, and great-grandmother, Gertrude, Rodgers opened Lilly and Gerts. Lilly and Gerts specializes in reclaiming and repurposing vintage items for the home. There is also handmade items and jewelry in the shop. Formerly located on Jefferson Street, they now reside at 122 West Second Street because they needed a bigger location.
“This is my hometown and I wanted to do something to add to our community. I want to raise my kids here and I want to give back to my community any way I can. People say there’s nothing in Port Clinton for people, but there is. You have to want to find it,” said Rodgers. “My family encouraged me that you can do anything you put your mind to and I encourage my girls and everyone else to live by the same philosophy.”