For Britteny Bellinger, the name of her store at Mayfaire Town Center has multiple meanings.
"My Sister's Cottage" comes from the fact that she and her sister, who lived next door to each other in Nebraska, started the business together online about a year-and-a-half ago.
It also refers to safe houses for victims of sex trafficking, a cause the business supports.
My Sister's Cottage offers clothing, accessories, jewelry, home decor, furniture and gifts at 6863 Main St. at Mayfaire, in space formerly occupied by Massage Envy.
In addition to merchandise picked and purchased by Bellinger, the store is a co-op with items for sale from eight vendors.
"The reason why we started My Sister's Cottage was primarily to give back," Bellinger said. "So 10% of all of our purchases help us rescue and support women who are coming out of sex trafficking or human trafficking. What we primarily focus on is providing them with a safe home and their needs."
Bellinger, who moved to the Port City in October of last year for health reasons, is also a Realtor and broker with eXp Realty in Wilmington. Bellinger has Mast Cell Activation Syndrome, which among other problems causes intense migraines because of an overabundance of mast cells, a type of white blood cell.
She said her doctors felt moving to Wilmington would be a better environment climate-wise.
"I still get them [the migraines] and I still have really bad days, but it's a lot better," Bellinger said.
Her mom, Suzanne Keen, who worked alongside Bellinger in the store on Tuesday, said, "She always felt better when she was near the ocean."
Helping sex and human trafficking victims came about from a campaign of Bellinger's church in Omaha. But after her health problems surface, she worried about the future of My Sister's Cottage.
'I really thought this business was going to just close," Bellinger said. "And then, you know, [God] kind of just put it on my heart to open it and to start it and to still do real estate, but really make this my main mission."
The store opened earlier this month, and a Christmas season open house is scheduled for Nov. 2 from 4 to 8 p.m. with hot cocoa and cookies.