Monday, October 29, 2012

Meet & Greet: Liza, owner of San Diego.

Meet Liza, owner of our San Diego location! A native of Alabama, Liza was looking for a new and exciting career path and soon developed a passion for the wedding industry while helping out a friend at a local bridal shop. When the opportunity to own her own Bella Bridesmaid boutique arose, she jumped at the chance! We were lucky enough to chat with our new friend about the personal and professional inspirations behind owning her own boutique!

Liza, (left) with franchise owners Kathleen Casey and Erin Casey Wolf
BB: What was your career before becoming a Bella Bridesmaid owner, and what attracted you to the franchise?

I started the process of buying the franchise in January 2012 and finally took over in April. I began my career as a criminal investigator for the County of San Diego.  I loved my clients, but wasn't crazy about working for the government, so I started thinking about other areas of interest.  My husband is one of the lucky few who was able to turn a hobby/interest into a career....he literally leaps out of bed in the mornings to go to work.  I was jealous and wanted that too!  I have always liked fashion, but am definitely not a designer, so I went back to school to figure out where I could fit in within the industry. While in school, I took a lot of odd jobs, trying to figure out what I liked, one of which included helping a friend who owns a bridal dress shop.  I absolutely loved it!  I found out about Bella Bridesmaid from a job posting and things progressed from there.  I looked at purchasing the store a few years ago, but the timing wasn't right. Fortunately, the store was still for sale in January and the timing was perfect, so I figured it was meant to be!

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

I got a really sweet note from a bride after I sold her one of my Amsale sample dresses in Aubergine.  One of her bridesmaids went rogue and bought a cheaper dress online somewhere, which ended up disastrously, so the bride was desperately searching for a replacement.   The note is somewhat dramatic, albeit very sweet, but I keep it on my bulletin board next to my desk as a reminder of how the smallest things can sometimes make the biggest difference.


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?

My favorite dress is Monique Lhuillier's Style #450029.  It reminds me of Julia Roberts' dress in Pretty Woman.  I would definitely plan a night around that dress....dinner, the opera, travel by private plane.....I'm okay if Richard Gere wants to come along too. I think the dress is so classically beautiful, not much else is needed besides some diamond stud earrings and strappy heels.


BB: Fave celebrity wedding dresses?

I love a full skirt and tulle so my favorite is Portia di Rossi's pink tulle skirt with open back halter top. So pretty! 

BB: How would you describe your own personal style?

I don't think there's necessarily a word for my style!   From going to fashion school, I've read a lot of books about defining one's style and the best advice I ever read was to only buy what you love, regardless of trend.   This advice hasn't necessarily saved me money, but it has helped me define what I love, feel comfortable and confident in what I wear, know how to shop and have a VERY organized closet!

BB: Favorite place traveled?

Paris!  I've been twice and hope one day to get the chance to live there.   Let me know if we're going to expand abroad....

BB: Beauty product you cant live without?

Dior Show mascara and Thierry Mugler Angel perfume. I really worry if the house were on fire, I'd grab only these two things and let the pets fend for themselves!!

BB: Favorite real housewife?

I am originally from Alabama, so I love the Atlanta housewives.  All of women on the show are outrageous, but I have an appreciation for the Southern flair that the Altanta girls bring to all of the drama, backstabbing and idiotic spending.


BB: Favorite quote or expression?

"This too shall pass and tomorrow is another day,"  said by my mom.  Words she used to tell me as a little girl, when I was worked up over something trivial, and words to live by now, when the problems are bigger and more serious.  As bad as something seems today, things are always a little bit better, a little bit clearer, in the morning.   Truly the wisest woman I know!

BB: Everyday wear item? ie: pair of earrings, fave cardigan, scarf?

See #8.....never a day without these two! 

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Bridal Market Recap, PART 2

More Q&A's from Bridal Market!!   

Q. What color trend or combinations do you predict for 2013?

Brittan, owner Boston
 A.   I think we are going to see a ton of different shades of neutral colors ie., blush, cream, champagne and blues / greys!


Lacey, owner DC

A. I think the soft muted colors are going to be big. Champagne was a favorite for a while, but I think the softer corals, like baby blues and pale greens will be popular for spring.

Meredith, Manager of Madison
A. I think bride's will be continuing to mix and match styles as well as colors, keeping with the soft romantic tones like blush candlelight and champagne.  I also think we'll be seeing more adventurous color combinations like emerald, turquoise and fuchsia!

Colleen, Chicago
A. We are seeing more and more brides choose different dresses, colors and/or prints to create a cohesive and incredibly fashion forward bridal party. Thank you, Pinterest!

Here is a picture of a Malia Burn's wedding. The dresses were LulaKate, Coren Moore, Ivy & Aster and Thread.

Blair & Kelli, Owners Dallas
A. We've been getting lots of requests for a very soft mint color lately in Dallas! Donna Morgan & Dolly Pearl have great mint color options, so we can't wait to get their samples in store.

Q. Funniest moment at Market?
Meredith, Manager of Madison

A.  At the Martha Stewart Party when the entire staff of New York and Madison Bella's (11 girls) tried to squeeze into one picture at the photo booth!


Q. Best or most thoughtful story behind a dress or collection from a designer?

Lacey, owner DC


A. Lynn Lugo has a "Susan" dress in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness month. A portion of all proceeds go to Breast Cancer charities. It's a classic v-neck with a small pink bow along the neck line. Unfortunately, there are a lot of brides out there that have been affected by breast cancer and I think it is a great way to honor those women in their lives.            

Brittan, owner Boston
A. I think the Ivy & Aster "To Dye For" bridal informal collection is so cool.  The dresses are all under $1000, simple great bridal options.  After the wedding, Ivy & Aster will dye them for you - any color!  Who says you can't wear a wedding dress again?

Colleen, Chicago
A. Ivy & Aster has a new bridal alternative line called "To Dye For." After the big day, the bride can send her wedding dress back to Ivy& Aster to be dyed in her favorite color, ombre, or even painted! Such a clever concept. :)


Q. Best cocktail in NYC?  Where?

Blair & Kelli, Owners Dallas
 A. Loved our cocktail hour with Flora & Elissa from Monique Lhuillier! It was so fun to get to know those ladies on a personal level all while enjoying a yummy glass of prosecco!!

Colleen, Chicago 

 A. The cupcake prosecco at the Martha Stewart party, yum!


Danielle & Amanda, owners NYC and Madison
A. We love our secret speak easy Milk & Honey! You have to wander through China Town to find their hidden entrance. They customize your cocktails, so it's truly one of a kind!

Mandi, owner Atlanta, GA
A. Pineapple Martini at Stanton Social!


Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Bridal Market Recap, PART I

After a few days settling back into their schedules (and resting their run down feet), we caught up with a few of the Bella Bridesmaid ladies to get some feedback from the frontlines of this years Bridal Market and what is in store for 2013!

A few Q&A's below.  We are counting the DAYS until some of these samples start hitting our sales floors!!!

Q. GUT reaction - what collection are you MOST excited about getting in store ASAP for your brides? Why?

Monique Lhullier, Tulle
Lacey, Owner  DC
A. Lacey (DC)- Monique Lhuillier, we are so excited to get the new samples in store. With Tulle and Lace, Monique is introducing new fabrications that are different, but still feminine and flattering.


Danielle & Amanda, owners NYC and Madison


A. Danielle & Amanda (NYC, Madison)-Monique Lhuillier!! We are super excited about the new additions to their tulle collection in both short and long! Our brides will (and already do) love it.

Monique Lhuillier, Lace

Mandi, owner Atlanta, GA

A. Mandi (Atlanta)-Monique-WOW, it was gorgeous!!!!!

Kelli & Blair, owners, Dallas

A. Kelli & Blair (Dallas)- Dolly Pearl!! We are just picking up the line & it is so unique. I think Dallas brides are going to love the soft & romantic feel of Dolly Pearl's dresses!

Dolly Pearl

Maribeth & Madison, owners Westport, CT

Amsale, print

A. Maribeth & Madison (Westport, CT)-   New Amsale print - Amore. So pretty, unique, fun!

Meredith, Manager of Madison
A. Meredith (Madison, NJ manager)- The new Amsale prints in silk crinkle chiffon! The print is gorgeous and it goes with so many colors that Amsale already offers to perfectly distinguish the maid of honor from the rest of the bridesmaids!

LulaKate matte silk
A. Colleen (Chicago)- I am most excited for the new LulaKate matte silk collection. One of our old designers had matte silk and it was hugely popular, still flowy, but very re-wearable. 

 Q.) What dress are you ordering in YOUR size and preferred color? What will you wear with it with/for?

A. Kelli & Blair (Dallas)-  We love the new "toppers" from Lynn Lugo! They will make her dresses perfect for a busy day in the Dallas boutique. She has several new plaid fabrics that will look great when finished off with a "topper"!!

Lacey, Bella Bridesmaid DC
Juley dress
A. Lacey (DC)-I'm ordering the Juley dress by Dolly Pearl in Garnet Red and hope to have it in time for Christmas parties.  

Mandi, owner Atlanta, GA
A. Mandi (Atlanta)- The Aiden in print for my daughter's school gala!!!!


Meredith, Manager of Madison
Monique Lhullier
A. Meredith (Madison, NJ manager)-Definitely Monique Lhuillier's style 450016 in Black Tulle and Lace. It is SO chic and SO Monique! My boyfriend and I always pick a New Year's Eve event to attend in NYC, so this dress with a lace fitted top and full tulle skirt would be perfect for a swanky dinner and then dancing later in the night!



Joanna August

A. Danielle & Amanda (NYC, Madison)- Waiting for the perfect occasion to order the Newbury Long Ceremony by Joanna August dress that we have had our eyes on since it arrived in our boutique, in one of her new fun colors!

Whitney, owner Baltimore, MD
A. Whitney (Baltimore)- Amsale's new G760C in Mallard. Cocktails anyone?

Colleen, Chicago
A. Colleen (Chicago)- I ordered the Dolly Pearl 'Serafina' style in the Poppy Red color. It is the perfect combination of my favorite shift dress with a feminine flair. I can wear it in the shop with a cute blazer or out on the town!

Vi Hoang of Dolly Pearl, Colleen of Chicago, Maureen, Manager of Chicago, Kelli, co-owner of Dallas
Q.) First thing you do when you get home?

Lacey, Bella Bridesmaid DC
A. Lacey (DC)-Catch up on emails. Can't keep our brides waiting too long.

Meredith, Manager of Madison
A. Meredith (Madison, NJ manager)- Search the websites of all of the great vendors I discovered at the Martha Stewart Party during the behind the scenes tour! We met Dana of Dana's Bakery who offers the most delicious macarons (I have already ordered a custom flavor box to give to my sister) and Andie and Jason of Andie's Specialty Sweets who create gorgeous decorative candy to spice up any plain, white wedding cake for less dough (yes... that pun was intended).