A Portage Life in the Spotlight: Jeni Tourloukis

A Portage Life in the Spotlight: Jeni Tourloukis

The daughter of restaurant owners, Jeni Tourloukis grew up with an entrepreneurial spirit and today strives to imprint her business demeanor throughout Northwest Indiana. She and her sister, Lilli, own Valparaiso-based Just Sisters Boutique, and Tourloukis also just recently opened the Blueberry Hill Pancake House alongside her family in Portage.

Tourloukis has always had a knack for fashion marketing and sees the potential it has for empowering women. This led to the formation of Just Sisters Boutique, an online shop that blends sweaters, cardigans, jackets, and various clothing accessories with a boho chic and western glam aesthetic. Her previous work with Sephora and the beauty industry also helped to hone her skills.

“My aspiration as an entrepreneur in this region is to inspire other women and tell them, ‘anything is possible,’” Tourloukis said. “Women empowerment means raising each other up and aspiring to be courageous, kind, and humble.”

Tourloukis stated that her dedication to the business world led to her to running the Blueberry Hill Pancake House. She says the most popular menu choice is the stuffed French toast, which is filled with cream cheese and topped with powdered sugar and fresh fruit.

She further stated that while the COVID-19 pandemic has halted progress, particularly in terms of marketing, she is still pushing herself to get her businesses out there. The ability to press forward in the wake of crisis is the mark of a good entrepreneur.

In spite of everything, Tourloukis stated that Just Sisters Boutique was recently featured on Buzzfeed for one of their Carhartt hats, which was a tremendous help in accumulating followers during these unpredictable times.

“In all of these years of being an entrepreneur, I learned that I could do anything I want as long as I have the passion for it,” Tourloukis said. “I have gotten a lot more confident in myself. If you have a dream, go for it with all of your heart.”

Tourloukis had a helpful word of advice for all the new entrepreneurs out there.

“Start out small but passionate and set some realistic goals for yourself,” Tourloukis said. “There are going to be times when you’re going to get discouraged, but don’t ever give up.”

“It feels great to be where I am at today,” Tourloukis said. “Years ago, my father moved here from Greece at a young age and through sheer drive, he made a name for himself and opened 15 restaurants without a high school diploma. That kind of energy inspires me to do the very best I can do.”

For more information about Just Sisters Boutique, visit their website at https://just-sisters-boutique.myshopify.com/

The Blueberry Hill Pancake House is located at 2606 Portage Mall in Portage.