Monday, April 30, 2012

Meet & Greet: Kelli & Blair, owners of Dallas

Blair & Kelli, Image by Celina Gomez

The Lonestar State plays host to two hilarious sisters, Kelli & Blair, owners of Bella Bridesmaid Dallas. After opening their Texas boutique in 2008, these ladies have kept brides and their maids excited to shop for the big day! While Kelli and Blair have managed to keep business and family life separate, their close relationship is displayed each day in the shop with the fun-loving environment. We couldn’t wait to catch up and hear a little more about their history and what they’ve been up to since opening their charming boutique…

BB: What were your careers before becoming Bella Bridesmaid owners, and what attracted you both to the franchise?

Image by Celina Gomez

B: I was an auditor for KPMG when I lived in North Carolina, and then a pharmaceutical sales representative after I moved to Texas. Kelli and I come from an entrepreneurial family, so we always knew we wanted to own our own business together. It just took a lot of searching to find something we thought would be successful as well as something that we would both enjoy. I came across the Bella franchise opportunity on the Internet and immediately knew it was what we’d been looking for!

K: I had been in pharmaceutical sales prior to opening the Bella Bridesmaid franchise in Dallas. I loved the concept of a boutique that specialized in dresses for the bridesmaids instead of cramming them into the back corner of a bridal store, when in reality what your bridesmaids wear truly does set the tone for your wedding.

BB:  What is the most memorable moment so far in owning your boutique?

B: I don’t have a specific moment that comes to mind as much as the overall feeling of enjoying working with my sister. It’s so weird…we definitely have disagreements as sisters but as business partners everything flows rather seamlessly.  We went into this agreeing that we would never let work come between our relationship as sisters and we have stuck to that pact. Knowing you have a sister, best friend and business partner all in the same person is definitely pretty cool!

K: That is so sweet!  Owning the Bella Bridesmaid Dallas franchise together has been such a positive and fun experience for us and has definitely made us both more aware and appreciative of each other’s strengths. 

Lela Rose, LR170

BB: What is your idea of a perfect night out on the town? Which one of our dresses would you wear, and how would you style it?

B: My perfect night out would be dinner with friends or maybe a gathering of friends at my house! I love the Ceremony collection by Joanna August and would pair the 8th Avenue with wedges and Kendra Scott jewelry.

K: Going out to dinner with my hubby and friends. I love Lela Rose style LR170 with a chunky bracelet and killer heels! 

Salma Hayek, Image via Polka Dot Bride

BB: Fave celebrity wedding dresses?

B: I would probably have to say Salma Hayek’s gown by Balenciaga.  I love the difference in fabric/texture between the bodice and skirt as well as the deep v-neckline. Gorgeous!

K: I thought Reese Witherspoon was perfection when she got married last year. I loved the blush tone of her Monique Lhuillier gown and thought the proportions of the dress was ideal in that the gown didn’t overwhelm her petite frame. The long veil added a bit of drama to her effortlessly beautiful hair and make up; a very soft and romantic look!

BB: How would you each describe your own personal style?

B: I would describe my style as casual chic.  I love flowy tops in solid colors or fun prints.  A great bag and fabulous jewelry are also a must and jeans are the biggest staple in my wardrobe…I do live in Texas!

K: I would say my style is kind of an updated traditional look. I love to incorporate some trendy element with my tried and true basics… and at 5’2 1/2”, I love my heels!

BB: Favorite guilty pleasures?

B: Brisket Quesadillas and Mambo Taxis!  For those not familiar, a Mambo Taxi is a frozen margarita with sangria swirled in. YUM! 

K: Ooohh yes, I’d have to say a really good margarita, with salt of course, and a side of chips & homemade guacamole!

BB: Fave reality show?

B: Ice Loves Coco.  No, this is not a misprint. Those two lovebirds crack me up!

Image via HelloGiggles

K: OMG; I don’t know whether I’m more embarrassed that my sister just said “Ice Loves Coco” or that I have to admit that the only reality TV I watch is “The Amazing Race” with my 8 year old son! Oh, and of course we watch “Survivor” this season to see Kim Spradlin, my fellow Bella owner in San Antonio & Austin!

BB: Must have beauty item?

B: Mascara & lip-gloss. Please don’t make me choose! Oh, & Retin-A…it definitely helps with the aging process!

K: I’m with Blair on this one; mascara & tinted lip balm!

Maldives, Image via Travel Guide Info

BB: Dream vacation spot?

B: Maldives, I’m a sucker for a gorgeous beach.

K:  I love to travel and will go just about anywhere! Maldives sound nice but I think they’re sinking... maybe I should move that location to the top of my list!

BB: Fave daily blog read?

B & K: We love Bridal Buzz and Brides of North Texas Wedding Blog.  Oh, and of course the Bella Blog!

Now… For This & That!

Real Housewives of OC or Beverly Hills?

B: Beverly Hills

K: Neither, like I said, I’m lucky if I get to watch “The Amazing Race."

Facebook or Twitter?

B: Facebook

K: Neither, very little time for either.

Green tea or skinny latte?

B: Neither, my go to drink is a giant cup of Diet Coke. I am the queen of the 'Big Gulp!'

K: I would go with an iced tea, black not green!

Brangelina or Justifer?

B & K: Brangelina all the way.

Lady Gaga or Adele?

B & K: Adele, we love her!

                                                                 Thank you ladies!

Friday, April 27, 2012

Wear it Again...

We asked Vi Hoang of Dolly Pearl how she would re-wear one of her gorg dresses after a spring time wedding... 

The Dolly Pearl 'Brigitte' dress seamlessly transitions from fabulous wedding wear to a standout ensemble for any day of the week. I personally have worn this entire outfit on several occasions! From a day at the office to a dinner out with friends, the 'Brigitte' dress is perfection. I have chosen this pretty pink blazer, scallop ring and comfy, yet stylish snakeskin ballet flats to complete my look for a sunny spring day!

Dress: Dolly Pearl "Brigitte"/ Blazer: Aritzia "Chevalier"/ Flats: Elizabeth and James/ Ring: Brandy Pham "Scallop Ring"

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Amsale Spring 2013 Bridesmaid Collection

Amsale never ceases to amaze us Bella's! The new Spring 2013 bridesmaid collection is yet another reason to swoon... gorgeous colors, flattering silhouettes, and ethereal fabrics. Here's a peek at some of the pretty we just can't stop dreaming about...

Monday, April 23, 2012

Meet & Greet: Elizabeth & Lyndsay, owners of Richmond

Elizabeth & Lyndsay

You won’t be surprised when we tell you of another fabulous twosome that became part of the Bella Bridesmaid family. Not only are Lyndsay and Elizabeth Downey sister- in- laws, but co-owners of the adorable Richmond boutique. After searching high and low for chic bridesmaid dresses for Lyndsay’s wedding, both women agreed that future brides in the Richmond area deserved to have a fun experience shopping for that special day. With the desire to make this happen, Elizabeth and Lyndsay opened the doors to their Bella boutique in March of 2010. Since opening, these remarkable ladies have given brides a beautiful selection of stylish and modern designer bridesmaid dresses, fabulous accessories and most of all an enjoyable shopping experience. We were able to catch up with Elizabeth and Lyndsay to ask them a few questions…

BB: What were your careers before becoming Bella Bridesmaid owners, and what attracted you both to the franchise?

L: I'm a CPA, but not a boring numbers girl! I actually continue to work full-time and Elizabeth manages the store! Even though I'm not at the store every day, you'll see me there on the weekends. I love working with all of our brides!

After travelling to Baltimore and DC to try on bridesmaid dresses for friends' weddings, it was obvious that Richmond needed an upscale bridesmaid boutique. While doing research to open a boutique, we discovered Bella Bridesmaid. It was the perfect fit - the best designer lines, beautiful design & aesthetic, and the support of an amazing group of franchise owners. We visited the Charlotte, NC boutique and our decision was made!

E: I was a recent graduate from University of Alabama (Roll Tide!), with a degree in Interior Design. I worked part time for some designers and worked in a great boutique up until we opened.

Elizabeth & Lyndsay at Bridal Market '11 with fellow
 Bella owner, Allison of Indianapolis 

BB: What is the most memorable moment so far in owning your boutique?

L: Our trip to San Francisco for our first Bella Bridesmaid meeting! It was wonderful meeting all of the other franchise owners and our exclusive designers in such a fun city. So many awesome memories from that trip from karaoke to biking the Golden Gate Bridge.

E: I love getting repeat customers. It is so nice to have a former bridesmaid return as a bride or vice versa! You get to catch up with all the girls and see them try different styles and colors for the various weddings they are a part of.

BB: What is your idea of a perfect night out on the town? Which one of our dresses would you wear, and how would you style it?

Joanna August "8th Ave"/ Coren Moore "Emma"

L: Drinks outside on a patio followed by dancing! What to wear, what to wear… that's a tough choice - so many fabulous options! I would either wear a LulaKate seersucker dress with Jack Rogers or the Joanna August 8th Avenue Lace dress in white with statement jewelry!

E: Trying out a new restaurant with friends or getting a big group together to grill out. I can't wait to get in my violet, faille LulaKate Jenny dress. I can throw a blazer and a fun necklace on or dress is up with some summer wedges and bright Kendra Scott earrings. I also have a few short chiffon dresses including Coren Moore's Emma. I'm actually wearing it in a friend's summer wedding that I like to belt with a pair of Jack Rogers and some cute earrings!

Abby Manning,  Image via Wedding Obsession

BB: Fave celebrity wedding dresses?

L: Abby Manning - I loved her Monique Lhullier dress... the beautiful lace, the sweetheart neckline and the sash! I also adored their destination wedding on the beach in Mexico… simply amazing.

E: I just loved the Royal Wedding and thought Kate's dress was stunning! I also loved the look of Jenna Bush Hager's dress. The lace was beautiful and the perfect style for their setting.

Bridal Market 2011

BB: How would you each describe your own personal style?

L: Colorfully classic and preppy… I adore Lilly and Kate Spade!

E: I'd say I have a pretty classic style but always try to mix that with some trendy pieces, bright colors, and fun accessories. A great scarf and big earrings seem to find their way into a lot of my outfits!

BB: Favorite guilty pleasures?

L: Reality TV, US Weekly and McDonald's (terrible, I know!)

E: Pizza and wine... can't get enough!

BB: Fave reality show?
Survivor Cast, Image by Monty Brinton via
Entertainment Weekly 

L: Oh gosh - that's a hard one…  The Bachelor/Bachelorette because I've watched every season.
E: Bachelor/Bachelorette… always a fun excuse to get together with the girls. Though currently I am loving watching Kim Spradlin, Austin & San Antonio owner, on this season’s Survivor!

BB: Must have beauty item?

L: Definitely, mascara and bronzer.

E: Mascara, eyeliner and OH, hairspray! Lots of hairspray!

Capri, Italy / Image via Best Beaches

BB: Dream vacation spot?

L: I love the beach, but I would have to say Italy... Capri & the Amalfi Coast to Tuscany.

E: I've always wanted to go on an African safari... though I'd never turn down a beautiful beach on a far away island!

BB: Fave daily blog read?

L: Ritzy Bee, The Little White Book and Southern Weddings.

E: I have a lot, thank goodness for google reader! I start with Bella Bridesmaid and all of our various designers. Then I check out some friend's blogs, fashion, wedding, cooking, interior design, and a few DIY. 

Bella Bridesmaid Richmond
Now... For This & That!

Real Housewives of OC or Beverly Hills?


E: OC, but only on occasion.

Facebook or Twitter?

L: Facebook

E: Facebook… but working on my tweeting skills!

Green tea or skinny latte?

L: Skinny Latte, but I would probably prefer a Diet Coke :)

E: Green Tea

Brangelina or Justifer?

L: Justifer... I heart Jennifer Aniston!

E: Neither really

Lady Gaga or Adele?

L: Adele... her voice is amazing!

E: Adele for the moment.

                                                                                  Thank you both!