What they're saying...

"This store offers the best baby products of it's kind anywhere around and has quite possibly the friendliest staff in the Memphis area"

"It is fabulous. Love the brands, the design, the layout, etc. It is adorable!"

"Unique products. Good customer service. Pleasant atmosphere. Inviting window displays."

Our store features items and local artists like...

  • Nursery Bedding
  • Children's Bedding
  • Bedroom Furniture
  • Art & Wall Decor
  • Unique Clothing
  • Strollers & Car Seats
  • Baby Registry
  • Mealtime Essentials
  • Playtime Goodies
  • Bathtime Accessories
  • Gifts for Mom & Dad
  • One of a Kinds

Hello, My Name Is...

Jul 26, 2011 | By
Well, Bella Vita is 10 years in now and quite frankly, it’s high time you get to know us beyond our names. And because a lot of the girls go between Bella Vita and Itty Bitty Bella, we're going to introduce everyone to you to.

Not simply as the Girls at Bella Vita, although it’s a fabulous gig, we must admit. Rather, who we are outside of work—our families, our hobbies, our reads and our homes, among other fun facts about ourselves. We think that what we do outside the store says a lot about what we do when we’re here.

So we’re opening up and letting you in—our Bella Vita friends. Perhaps we’ll find a few common threads along the way.

In the next few blogs, we’ll profile the ladies who make our stores so spectacular. Each one is so talented and capable.

Without further ado, let’s get acquainted.

A Bella Vita girl through and through, Cari Hale has been with us for two years. She definitely wears two hats, traveling between Bella Vita and Itty Bitty Bella, helping manage daily operations and our advertising and marketing.

(Photography courtesy of Allison Rodgers Photography)

Edmonton, Alberta Canada

Hobbies: Trying my hand at sewing right now. So far so good, although I’m certainly not a pro. I love to read; if I have a good book, that’s all I want to do. And any day I can attend an NHL hockey game is a good day. It’s in my Canadian blood.

Go-to clothing/must-have jewelry:
Right now, I’m loving my boyfriend jean capris. They are so comfy. But it really depends on the day, how I feel. My “apparel mood” changes with the wind. My jewelry? Pearl earrings. I wear them almost every day!

Last book read: Tina Fey’s Bossypants and Jodi Picoult’s latest, Sing You Home. She is my favorite author. I’ve read every one of her books and I not so patiently await a new one every year or so.

Favorite TV: I don’t spend a lot of time watching TV. But I do enjoy Grey’s Anatomy and Glee when I can catch them. I will admit that I watch Good Morning America—never the Today show—every morning while getting ready for work, and I always catch the first 15-20 minutes of LIVE! with Regis and Kelly before I have to leave.

What’s unique about me: Around the stores word is I talk funny and I’ll admit my accent changes all the time. Sometimes it’s Canadian, sometimes it’s just “Western U.S.” (I went to school in Idaho for four years and got a bachelor’s degree in interior design and architecture.) My husband dies when I come home from work talking Southern. But when I’m mad or really serious, it’s always Canadian!

What I love about Bella Vita & Itty Bitty Bella: The friendships and relationships, both with the girls and with our clients. I like to know more about our customers than simply their names—we all do. Oh, and I love to see new product when it comes into the store too. It’s like Christmas every day. Maybe Valentine’s Day is more appropriate—all the new items we carry are sweet eye candy!

And now, Miss Itty Bitty Bella herself, Kat Forrester. Kat is our real-life, in-house mom. She takes care of Itty Bitty Bella’s daily happenings and our baby registries. She also deftly handles all the appointments and record-keeping.

(Photography courtesy of Allison Rodgers Photography)

Hometown: Collierville. My parents still live in the same house in which I grew up, which I absolutely love.

Hobbies: First and foremost, my two wonderful children, Ethan (3) and Vivien (1). When I do get a moment alone, you’ll find me at Sheffield Antiques in Collierville looking for a piece of pottery or vintage cards. I also try to scrapbook whenever I can. In fact, I have an addiction to stationery. Yes, I admit it. Paper, stickers, good pens, Sharpies. It’s getting out of hand, which is why I have several books that are completed. They are time-consuming, however, which is why I have yet to complete Ethan’s second-year book. Each page takes about 30 minutes for me to complete.

Go-to clothing/must-have jewelry: Sundresses. So cool and comfy and perfect for covering a post-baby bod. Jewelry: My pearl earrings—a must almost every day. (Cari and I have great taste that way.) I also love turquoise jewelry.

Last book read: Elin Hilderbrand’s The Love Season. Also, love stories that take place in Nantucket. Just picked up Sharon Lathan’s Pride and Prejudice series to read—again.

Favorite TV: I’m really a movie kind of girl. If I do watch TV, it’s usually House Hunters on HGTV, any investigative reporting or my guilty pleasure, The Young and the Restless.

What’s unique about me: Justin, my husband, and I produced two of the sweetest, most well-behaved babies. Justin and I have made such a big point to teach our children manners. Last year at Ethan’s preschool, his teacher asked him where got such good manners. He replied, “From my Mommy.” (Smile of satisfaction from said mommy!) Justin will tell you that not hearing a “please,” “thank you” or “bless you” from the kids gets under my skin!

What I love about Bella Vita:
The girls I work with! We have the best group of gals, including our customers. That’s one reason we have such a loyal following among our customers. We get to know everyone. It sounds cliché but we are one big family. I also have to say the products. (I end up buying a lot of what we sell for me and my kids. We love all the fun, new products.)

Stay tuned for part two of our Bella Vita girl stories. Next time you’re in the store, strike up a conversation with one of us. Let us know your favorite books, hobbies and what you love about our store. Sharing information and ideas is what the Girls at Bella Vita are all about.

Until next time, enjoy many days of la bella vita, a beautiful life!

- Stephanie

Related Posts:
Part 2: Megan, Brittany & Cheryl

Off to Hawaii!

May 31, 2011 | By
Well folks, I'm taking off. Brent (my husband) and I are headed to Hawaii for ten beautiful days in the sun and sand.

I don't tell you this to make you jealous, I promise. I tell you this because I'm going to steal a quick minute to go tour the Ergo Baby headquarters.  I bet you didn't know it was based out of Hawaii, did you!

I'm so excited to meet the creators and see the inner workings. I LOVE the Ergo baby carriers, and this is just the icing on the cake!

Stay tuned, I'll be sure to take lots of pictures. It will feel like y'all are there with me...maybe :)

See you in a couple weeks!

- Stephanie

Here's to Mom

May 16, 2011 | By
Mom and I had a great Mother’s Day. She and I went for sushi—her favorite—and I gave her a lovely bracelet from Palabra, a new collection of jewelry we’re carrying at Bella Vita. (Love it. It’s set with three bronze hearts to signify my mom, my dad and me.)

The sushi was super. The gift was great. We talked, we reminisced. The afternoon was lovely.

But I’m left, four days after Mother’s Day, with a nagging, almost empty feeling. Why? Honestly, I think it’s because my heart is telling me I don’t say thank you enough, not just to my mom but to all the wonderful, helpful “moms” in my adult life.

Gulp. That was me, eating humble pie.

Maybe I’m saying aloud what you think from time to time?

You see, my mom did so much for me growing up, now that I look back on it. And it was a 24/7 proposition with never a day, weekend or holiday off. When you become a mom, it seems to me that you sign away all your vacation days, because even when you do get away without the kids, they’re on your mind and tucked away in your heart. (There’s that heart giving us trouble again, telling us to pay attention!)

Stephanie and her Mom

Most of all, she worked hard every day, to instill in me a strong work ethic, to work hard and strive for excellence. In fact, I remember her telling me never to put my name on something that I’m not proud of. It’s a direct reflection of yourself, she used to say.

While I’d roll my eyes—away from her own seeing eyes and the ones seemingly in the back of her head—what she instilled in me serves me well today. It helps me carry on when the road gets tough; it makes me renew my commitment to the projects, the job, and the family and friends in my life when I feel my strength wavering.

Oh, and then there was the “always-do-the-right-thing” lesson she taught me. Rather, she showed me. One day she and I were shopping and accidentally, she broke a Christmas ornament she had picked up to admire. She left the store with the broken ornament still on the floor. Seems that incident and her reaction to it got the best of her. So she and I went back to the store and she insisted the store manager let her pay for the broken ornament. Lesson showed, lesson learned.

Again, it wasn’t once a year, it was every day she worked hard to be my best mom possible. She didn’t do it to receive cute handmade cards or jewelry, either. She did it because she wanted me to become the best, most ethical person I could be, to make wise choices in life and to surround myself with others who would support and nurture me later on. (When you’re an adult, moms can’t always be there to pick you up, unfortunately.)

Thanks, mom, and thanks to all the moms who work so hard and so diligently to raise children to be good people, good citizens and just plain good for this world. 

Good job, everyone, every day.

- Stephanie
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