Small Business Review: Bella Mar
Local retail delight Bella Mar opens in Wendell, North Carolina
Among many of the South’s quirks and character, you’ll find some of the most rewarding and pleasant surprises in the unexpected corners of small town society. And scattered along Highway 64 (which streaks East to West, starting in eastern North Carolina) are the quietly quaint towns offering exactly that – pleasant surprises. Nestled within the historic and charming Wendell, North Carolina, is a cozy retail treat for both habitant and visiting female shoppers.
Newly opened as of last week, Bella Mar is a family-owned women’s apparel shop that pairs quality pieces, local craftsmanship, and affordability. Stumbling upon this chic boutique is nothing short of a serendipitous moment. Bella Mar brings a fresh new twist to Wendell, a Raleigh satellite that dates back to the 1850s. Step inside and you’ll instantly experience creative inspiration, bliss, and comfort. Vibrant pops of color against varied-textured neutrals will leave you feeling equal parts inspired, glamorous, and at ease. Metallic marbled floors, lush fur rugs, and sleek glass shelves exhibit contemporary elegance, juxtaposed cleverly against rustic brick walls and antique wooden manequins.
Beyond its unique aesthetic, even more darling is Bella Mar’s origin story. The shop began as an idea sparked between a mother and daughter, who shared an exciting vision to bring (1) styling services to local women of all ages and (2) new business activity to their North Carolina hometown. So in late winter of 2016, Mercedes and Lisa Rico began preparations for their boutique. After three months of grueling work that followed – with the help of father and husband Mr. Rico’s construction chops – mom and daughter are now both proud boutique owners and business partners.
Two years later, the business expanded into Raleigh’s upscale Cameron Village shopping center by opening its second store location. Their retail ambitions have also expanded to an impressive Instagram feed, beautiful style shoots showcasing their merchandise, and an expansive variety of brands on offer.
Visit Bella Mar at either of their locations (14 North Main Street, Wendell, or Cameron Village in Raleigh) and follow them on Instagram @bellamarnc.