Whether the home is the biggest of the big or smallest of the small, you could say that Chamber member D’Lacey Eichinger manages them all. While her job as a realtor for O’Bryon Realty keeps D’Lacey busy, she also moonlights as the “Library Curator” at the Twin Tudor Little Free Library outside her home in Belgium.
Known as Belgium’s “Reading Realtor,” D’Lacey and her husband Danny moved to Belgium from Cedarburg just one year ago. Ironically, she had shown the house that she was destined to buy multiple times to other potential buyers. The house received accepted offers but they fell through- twice.
She and her husband had just received the disappointing news that an offer they had made on a house in Cedarburg wasn’t accepted, and her Belgium home came back on the market that very next week. It was meant to be.
The process of buying a home and now being a home owner really filled the gap for D’Lacey in terms of bringing a new perspective and expertise to the table as a realtor, and added to her already varied real estate knowledge.
She studied Business Management, and began working for Real Estate Attorney and Broker Brandon O’Bryon as a paralegal, gaining much of the experience of a Realtor prior to being licensed. In 2018, she obtained her real estate license and began her career with O’Bryon Realty. This small firm specializes in residential and commercial real estate, equipping D’Lacey with all the tools of a combined brokerage and law firm with 15 years of experience in the field. She now serves Ozaukee and surrounding counties.
In addition to working on the real estate end of the business, she also does most of her own marketing for O’Bryon Realty. “I like putting up door hangers,” she says. “If people see someone roller blading around with her dog, that’s me!”
D’Lacey feels that when you purchase a home, you’re not just buying a house; you’re buying a community. She likes Belgium for its walkability. Her home is on Belgium’s Main Street, just across from Community Park, a short walk to the Ozaukee Interurban Trail, and not too far from Lake Michigan. There are many amenities close by.
“And a sidewalk!” she exclaims. "To live in a place with a sidewalk is a novelty to me." She knew her convenient location provided a valuable opportunity for her to give back to her new community.
She has a passion for literacy (she still remembers the thrill and empowerment felt when learning to read her very first book, “Fun with Pets”) and decided to start Little Free Library #95792 at her home at 611 Main Street.
According to LittleFreeLibrary.org, “Little Free Library is a nonprofit organization that inspires a love of reading, builds community, and sparks creativity by fostering neighborhood book exchanges around the world.”
It is a “take a book, share a book” concept, where readers can choose to either leave a book for others, take one to read, or both! There is no charge to use it and you do not have to return the book, though you can.
D’Lacey’s library was built by her husband and father-in-law to look, in adorable detail, just like her own storybook house that sits behind it. It is called the “Twin Tudor Little Free Library” because her home is one of two identical houses built in 1937 by a father for his twin daughters.
D’Lacey is a self-proclaimed book worm and always has lots of books of her own.
“This is a charitable way to maintain my book hoarding,” she jokes.
D’Lacey actively maintains her library to keep her book selection fresh, varied, and interesting for everyone who stops by. She said people drop by with donations for her library three to four times a week, which enables her to refresh the Twin Tudor Little Free Library each Friday with new options for all ages. In addition, she always keeps a stack of books in her car to donate or swap with other Little Free Libraries that she may happen upon.
According to stats on the Little Free Library website, having a Little Free Library in the community makes 92% of people feel like their neighborhood is a friendlier place, and even helps 73% of people meet new neighbors. D’Lacey hopes to take those feel-good perks to the next level by coming up with even more ways for her library to bring our community together.
She hosted an “open house” for her library during the July Belgium Summer Nights LIVE event, giving away popcorn, water and sanitizer on the sidewalk as people perused her book selection. She celebrated the “Chalk the State” this summer with colorful book character chalk drawings on the side walk and free chalk for other interested artists, and gave away magic wands with a great selection of Harry Potter books on Harry’s birthday. Sometimes there are free face masks in the library. Recently, it even gained a motion-activated night light for those night owl readers. She hopes to eventually host monthly events such as rock painting for the #OzRocks program.
Additionally, she has met with the Ozaukee County Sheriff’s Department to coordinate “Books & Badges,” an idea of hers featuring monthly videos of officers reading a children’s book in different Ozaukee County locations, all in the name of literacy and community. “Books & Badges” will be launching this month!
D’Lacey invites everyone to stop by, saying, “My door is always open for a cup of coffee and a chat about your real estate goals, or even your favorite book!”
“My objective would be for the community to find a new favorite book,” she says. “And if they need a new house in which to read that book, I can help with that, too!”