There are many things I love. I love spending time with my family. I love my two sweet puppy children, who are probably more spoiled than most human children. I love pizza. I love spending time at the beach. I love traveling to new places, and experiencing new cultures. I love snowboarding, and love even more watching my husband totally eat it trying to learn how for the first time. I love sushi and drinking wine around the fire. I love home decor, and changing it up way too many times to count. I love going to the lake. I love binge-watching trashy reality shows that are beyond dramatic. I love making people laugh.
But passion - passion is different than love. Passion is what sets your soul on fire. I'm passionate about clothing, but it's not just the clothing that I'm passionate about.
Growing up, I struggled with my weight. I struggled immensely with my weight. I struggled so badly that I ended up battling anorexia and bulimia for 3+ years, limiting myself to 200 calories a day - purging if I went over my 200 cal limit I gave myself, and even dropped 40 pounds within a single month. My body was constantly changing. I've been a size 00 and I've been a size 10. I started a fashion blog circa 2012 to document the different outfits I would put together. It was purely a creative outlet for myself. When people began coming to me for fashion and styling advice through my blog, it lit a spark in me. My struggle with my weight and eating disorders had always been this sense of darkness for me. But what I failed to realize was that I was uniquely positioned in that I have been a wide variety of sizes over years and have been able to dress my body in its different silhouettes. I knew exactly what pieces would look great on someone with a curvy figure, or no curves at all. A flat chest, or a larger chest. Thicker thighs, or more slender thighs. I had experienced it all.
I'm passionate about clothing, but it's not just the clothing that I'm passionate about. I'm passionate about people. I'm passionate about seeing someone's eyes light up, because it's the first time they've felt beautiful since they've had their newborn baby. I'm passionate about dressing the bride in the perfect white dress for her rehearsal dinner the night before she marries the love of her life. I'm passionate about the girl that has had her confidence stripped, but then reemerges radiating confidence after finding the outfit that flatters and compliments her every "imperfection."
I'm passionate about clothing, but it's not just the clothing that I'm passionate about. I'm passionate about people. I'm passionate about happiness. I'm passionate about moments. And when you combine all of those together - the clothing, the people, the happiness that the clothing brings, and the moments they create in it - something really beautiful happens. That's what I'm passionate about. That's what set my soul on fire.
Bella and Bloom Boutique was born from this passion. I went to school for marketing and fashion merchandising at Texas State University, however I always knew the traditional route wasn't for me. After blogging full-time for 6 years, I took the leap of faith to open my own boutique where I could curate 100% of the items we carried. I put my blog on hold, sold virtually half my closet on resale clothing websites, and took $8,000 - which was almost every penny in my bank account - to purchase our first collection of inventory from market and pursue this passion project of mine. I wanted it to be a one stop shop for everything you could need - from every day items to those special events in your life. On February 20th, 2018, my dream became a reality, and Bella and Bloom Boutique was born. With no loans taken out or investors, I recycled every penny we made back into purchasing more inventory. The inventory was housed in our guest bedroom, which quickly turned into a stock room, and I spent hours on the floor printing labels and wrapping orders in light pink tissue paper for cute presentation, which you will still see as our signature wrapping paper to wrap your orders today. I drove 2 hours every weekend back to my hometown so that my mom could help with taking the product photos for our website, and I did the modeling, buying, customer service, order fulfillment, product uploading, social media and website. In July of 2018, the growth we were experiencing became too much for me to handle as one person, and my husband quit his job in car sales to join me, taking over the photography and order fulfillment.
Over the past few years, we have grown immensely. We have moved cities to allow for more growth. We have hired on new team members. I have felt everything. Exhausted. Excited. Worried. Nervous. Elated. Stressed. Overwhelmed. But most of all, fulfilled.
I am so grateful to all of you who have given me the gift of our clothing being a part of your life's special moments and the happiness that those moments bring. We can’t wait to continue to be a part of those moments for years to come.
Owner - Bella and Bloom Boutique