Meet & Greet: Molly, owner of Tampa

Molly on her honeymoon in Hawaii wearing Amsale
How does she do it?! Bella Bridesmaid Tampa owner, Molly James is simply amazing. A graduate of Vanderbilt University with an MBA from the University of Alabama, a successful business woman, and now a proud momma to be… Molly proves you can do it all! This remarkable lady joined the Bella family in March of 2010 and has certainly been keeping busy. Enjoying her time with her Tampa brides and fellow Florida Bella owners, Molly was able to take some time to answer a few questions for us… 
BB: What was your career before becoming a Bella Bridesmaid owner, and what attracted you to the franchise? 
Molly (L) with Orlando owner Christa
M: Immediately before opening, I was the Manager of Recruiting for the MBA Program at the University of South Florida. Prior to that, I had worked in banking and finance. I have an Economics degree from Vanderbilt and an MBA from the University of Alabama, so I was definitely very business-focused throughout my education and career. I always knew that I wanted to take on the challenge of business ownership, and the idea of a franchise was very appealing to me. When I began planning my own wedding in October 2009, I discovered Bella Bridesmaid and I immediately knew that I had to pursue the opportunity to open a store in Tampa. Bella Bridesmaid presents such a perfect opportunity for entrepreneurially minded women to own a business, and I have made such amazing friends through this process. I talk to the owners of the other Florida stores all the time, and I always know that I can reach out to any of the other owners if I need to bounce around ideas or questions. We have such a wonderful, strong Bella family, and we have lots of fun when we all get together! 
BB: What is the most memorable moment so far in owning your boutique? 
Molly with her maids in LulaKate Image by Parker J. Phister
M: I would have to say that it was the experience of working with my first bride when I opened my store. She was the sweetest girl, and our weddings were around the same time. After working with her, I knew that Bella Bridesmaid was the right decision. Now I run into her around Tampa sometimes, and we're both expecting babies, so it's been fun keeping in touch. 
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? 
M: Whether it's a girl's night out or date night with my husband, I love to start with cocktails and conversation at a nice wine bar followed by a delicious dinner at one of Tampa's many fabulous restaurants. I would wear the Lula Kate Zoe with an off-white bodice and peacock tulip skirt paired with the Kendra Scott Harlow necklace and Tela ring in blue agate, and I'd complete the look with a pretty gold clutch and stilettos. 
Joanna Garcia, Image by Anthony Vazquez via People
BB: Fave celebrity wedding dresses? 
M: I loved the beautiful Monique Lhuillier gown worn by Tampa native Joanna Garcia when she married Nick Swisher, she looked beautiful and the gown was perfect! 
BB: How would you describe your own personal style? 
M: For day to day, I am pretty classic and conservative. I am happy wearing simple wrap dresses and cardigans most of the time. I definitely like to spice it up more for special occasions though; it's sort of my chance to go outside of my normal comfort zone with dresses and accessories. I'll often raid the racks of the store to find fun dresses and accessories for unexpected nights out too. 
BB: Favorite place traveled? 
M: Hands down it was Kauai, Hawaii for my honeymoon. I cannot imagine a more beautiful island or a more perfect place to begin our marriage. Hawaii is also the perfect place to wear or re-wear Amsale's long chiffon dresses in some of their bright and beautiful colors. I took three of them with me on my honeymoon and wore them out to a few different dinners.
BB: Favorite movie that you can watch over and over? 
M: When Harry Met Sally. I don't think I could ever get tired of that movie. 
BB: Everyday wear item? 
M: I have a jewelry "uniform" that I put on every morning that consists of my wedding ring and bands, a simple diamond pendant necklace, a black onyx David Yurman ring, a pair David Yurman bangle bracelets, and a pair of Kendahl pave studs from Nina Bridal. I'm super pregnant right now, so my favorite shoes at the moment are my pewter and platinum Stephen Bonanno Palm Beach sandals. Once my feet recover, you'll find them in some sort of Tory Burch wedges pretty much all the time.
Tim McGraw, Image by Bryan Bedder via Ryan Seacrest
BB: Celebrity crush? 
M: After seeing him in concert recently, it's definitely Tim McGraw. That man looks really good for 45 years old, and he is much hotter on stage singing than in any of his movies. 
BB: Favorite quote or expression? 
M: "Life is either a daring adventure or nothing." -Helen Keller 
Now for This & That... 
Molly with Bridget Brown, franchise owner and Amsale Bridal Market 2011
American Idol or The Voice? 
The Voice during blind auditions, American Idol during the actual elimination portion 
Sun or Snow? Sun 
Prince William or Prince Harry? Harry 
Vogue or Cosmo? Vogue 
Mac or PC? Mac 
Thank you Molly!

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