My company Bella Boutique (formerly Bella Accessories Boutique) was born out of the need to be independent. I was working 2/3 jobs trying to take care of my family (my mother and little brother) and I said to myself "I spend countless hours selling products and merchandise for someone else, making money for someone else meanwhile I barely make it by". Living paycheck to paycheck has never been the dream but sometimes life happens and we have to play the cards we're dealt. I started researching and researching, I think I became obsessed with the idea of having something that I could call all my own. I researched ecommerce websites, how to start a business, where do I find vendors, how do I buy wholesale. I shopped for hourssss, adding and removing merchandise not knowing what would and would not sell. Man I was overwhelmed but my mother was such a big push and by far my biggest supporter. She would go online and search and come to me and say, "Jessi encontre algo que creo que le va a gustar a la gente" or in english "Jessy I found something that I think people would like". She believed so much in me and through her constant pushing Bella Accessories Boutique was born.
The slow down
Fast forward to a year and a half to two years later and the Virgin Islands was struck by not one but TWO CATEGORY FIVE HURRICANES, bruh how? I had little choice but to stop selling while I got myself together after the storms, not to mention trying to figure out how to get my little brother and my mother, who desperately needed her cancer medication, back to St. Thomas from the Dominican Republic seeing that all the ports were closed. And like the saying says, when it rains it pours. Shortly after being able to get my mami and little brother back on island, my mother discovered that her cancer was back. We couldn't understand why, she took her meds, she did everything the doctors said but still it had returned and this time more aggressive than before. I was left with tunnel vision, the only thing that truly mattered was making sure my mother was good. The hours I used to spend browsing and researching merchandise, I now spent on the phone with insurance companies and pharmacies trying to get approved for a $30,000/month (no that's not a typo) medication that I, OBVIOUSLY, could not afford. And with that Bella Accessories came to a HALT.
Revamp and Relaunch
After a LONG battle with cancer, my mami, Magali Wispe Miguel, passed away on February 3, 2019. I swear I feel the tears building up in my eyes every time I say that, I lied the tears are definitely falling. I had to come to terms that I would never speak, hug, kiss or even get angry at my mother again. I went from selfish a 20 something year old, to primary caregiver to my mother, to now legal guardian to my little brother. I became a parent before I've even had a chance to become a mother. I couldn't figure out where to put all my emotions. My heart always felt like it wanted to explode but I don't want to talk to anyone about it. I have feelings that I shouldn't keep inside but I don't necessarily want to verbalize it. So I would window shop online. Crazy, right? I know but Retail Therapy is a real thing, at least for me. Then I remembered how much I enjoyed shopping for my business and how happy my mother was that I even took the step to build something that was for me. So I slowly started throwing myself into my business again, spending countless hours researching and trying to figure out what I really wanted to do. No, shopping didn't cure this heartbreak but to be fair nothing will. But relaunching my site, oddly enough, makes me feel closer to my mom. Like continuing this dream we had, will somehow keep her a little closer to me. Plus a new pair of shoes or earrings never really hurt any one. Lol. So welcome back to my site: www.bellaab.com with the special addition of this Blog "Retail Therapy" merging our love of shopping with our need to heal into one. I mean who doesn't like new things? Like these kick ass heels!! Be You... Be Bold... Be Re-inventive (is that even a word?) lol.