“I love you and let’s go into the bridesmaid business!”
We come from a huge family with a rich history of weddings and big celebrations. Mom had 650 guests at her wedding and eight bridesmaids. Back in the day when Mom got married, bridesmaids only had the choice of a few dresses, usually polyester with big bows, in colors that looked like sherbet.
When it was time for me to get married, 27 years later, we had a heck of a time finding the perfect bridesmaid dresses. In our search, mom came across an ad for Bella in a bridal magazine. We hoped to find the store near our home in Chicago, but there wasn’t any place like it. Mom said, “We should look into opening a Bella Shop!” I didn’t think she was serious, but over the next few months as we were continuing to plan my wedding, she was relentless. So, on Mother’s Day, I wrote in her card, “I love you and let’s go into the bridesmaid business!”
Mom and I make a fantastic duo. She has an amazing head for business and I love fashion and, most importantly, we simply love a fabulous wedding! We believe this is our destiny, our real purpose, to help each bride find the perfect bridesmaid dresses and have a ball doing it!
We bought our first store in 2007 and then in 2012, we bought the whole franchise from founder and friend, Bridget Brown. We now have Bella Bridesmaids showrooms all over the country, so bridesmaids can feel beautiful from coast to coast.
The secret to our success is the love and support of our big family. From day one, it’s been a big party – all of the aunts, uncles, cousins have helped us with the shops, from shipping, stocking shelves, decorating, you name it. My sister, Colleen, is our Bella Nanny and travels with us when we bring the kids. My sister, Mary Kate, is a dynamo on the showroom floor and helps plan our great Bella meetings. And, our firefighter dad, we call him Mr. Bella! He comes running even when a light bulb goes out!
We are so fortunate to have such big loving family, we wanted to build a business where everyone feels at home. Being a bridesmaid is the most beautiful way to celebrate love and friendship, and we’re honored to play a part.