This month's Spotlight Store takes us to West End where tucked into the shopping center behind Ted's Montana Grill sits a gem of a boutique. Boutique Bella is a lovely shop full to the brim with designer denim, accessories and casual wear to cocktail attire. They've been a mainstay in Nashville's shopping community for the past ten years and it's easy to see why. The shop is comfortable and nicely merchandised and the staff is super friendly. What more could you ask for? We asked owners, Renae Baird and KC Nickolai a few questions about the boutique, the lines they love and what all of us should be wearing this Summer.
What inspired you to open Boutique Bella? How has your original concept evolved over the years?
We were great friends who both shared a dream of opening a store. We were pretty open to what kind of store it would be, but after we found the retail space on West End Avenue, a clothing store seemed like a natural choice. At the time, Nashville didn't have many boutiques, so we thought a clothing store that was convenient to Vanderbilt students and other shoppers in the mid-town area was a good idea.
When we opened 10 years ago, designer denim was just starting to become popular, so we kind of fell into the jean market a little by accident. We still sell a lot of dresses, tops and tee shirts, but I think we are definitely known as a denim shopping destination more than anything else.
The original concept hasn't changed much over the years, but I think we have evolved into a store that caters to a wider demographic. When we first opened, the majority of our customers were college students, but now we have a lot of customers in the 25-55 range too. Describe the vibe of Boutique Bella in five words or less.
Relaxed, comfortable, friendly...and full!
Citizens of Humanity jeans look and feel great and they seem to fit just about every body type well. Trina Turk does a pretty fantastic job of making quality clothing for just about every age that fits well and is timeless without being boring.
Velvet and Michael Stars have elevated the tee shirt (and now a lot of other things too) to another level of sophistication and comfort.
As far as jewelry goes, local designer Robin Haley makes beautiful pieces that are extremely wearable and Chan Luu wrap bracelets are nothing short of an obsession for our entire staff.
What items should all of us have in our closets this Summer?
Summer in Nashville is HOT, so easy day and maxi dresses that you can pair with flip flops or wedges are a must. Tee shirts and white jeans can get a little tired looking after a season or two, so it's always good to freshen up your wardrobe with some new additions. A pair of dark ankle or cropped straight-leg or skinny jeans is also a great basic that you can wear day or night with so many shoe and top options.
Chan Luu bracelets, a Kooba bag and a perfect fitting pair of jeans.
Are there any new pieces or specific lines coming in for Summer that you’re excited about?
We are pretty excited about the return of the flare and the wide leg jean. We still love our skinnys, but it's nice to have a new jean option in the mix. What type of experience should a customer expect at Boutique Bella?
We really want to provide a no pressure, inviting and comfortable shopping experience for our customers. We are there to help them in whatever way we can. Since we carry such a large selection of denim, that often means helping our customers find the perfect pair of jeans. Of course, if they are looking for a dress, an outfit or anything else, we can help them with that too.
Hmmm. Champagne....bubbly and sweet. Or a cosmopolitan...it is pretty pink and girly in here! What are five your your favorite places in Nashville?
City House, the Station Inn, Radnor Lake, Baja Burrito, our homes
What inspires you?
Music, art, nature, friends and the amazing creative and diverse people of Nashville that make this city such an incredible place to live and work.
Thanks Renae and KC! Another thing you need to know about Boutique Bella is there is always a sale rack here!