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)
Hometown: 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!
Part 2: Megan, Brittany & Cheryl