Q: Can you please introduce yourself?
A: Hi! I’m Kelly! The owner of The Bella Bean. I’ve been married to my husband, John, for 14 years and we have three little loves. Jack is 9, Kate is 7, and William is 4! We live in Columbus, Ohio and specifically in a historic town that is close to downtown and easy for John to access during the week.
My love for classic and preppy clothing is deep-seated. As the oldest of 4 children my own mother dressed us classically. My sister and I had the same initials so that I could pass down all of my monogrammed goodies to her! Growing up in the Midwest, we’ve always enjoyed all four seasons (and the wide range of clothing needs!) and all of us siblings were always coordinating. When I started my own family, I always loved receiving personalized gifts for my babies and my favorite outfits were often the most simple and classic. My mother taught me to sew at a very young age, so naturally I gravitated to owning a clothing boutique as an adult.
Q: What did you do before starting your business?
A: Oddly enough, I studied Pharmaceutical Sciences at THE Ohio State University. Yes, Go Buckeyes! I’m sure that will pain all of our Southern (and Michigan) customers- I’m sorry! The truth is…I love watching ALL college football. I spent over a decade working in the pharmaceutical and biotech industry. I was traveling constantly and knew that I needed to make a change for my family. As mentioned previously, I have always sewn and known how to work monogramming machinery. So, with a lot of prayer and butterflies in my stomach I left “corporate America” and really focused on growing The Bella Bean.
Q: Why did you decide on this type of business?
A: Owning a children’s clothing boutique has been a dream as long as I remember. The most difficult part is owning “your space”. I strive every day to make sure that The Bella Bean is seen as an adorable boutique with darling clothing that is fairly priced! I always smile when I see repeat customers shopping. It’s truly the biggest compliment!
Q: Why 'The Bella Bean?'
A: I get this question all of the time. The Bella Bean is named after our beloved Golden Retriever, Bella. We would call her “Bella Bean”. I got her when I was a senior at Ohio State and before I even met John. She brought so much joy to our lives and was truly an angel. She never barked. Bella was wagging her tail when we brought our babies home from the hospital. She let the kids hang all over her and pull on her hair. Bella had the most gorgeous profile and you can find her sweet face on all of the hang tags in our clothing. I’ve never cried so much in my life the day that we lost her. I know that she is looking down and watching her namesake grow and grow!
Q: Tell us a funny story about working with your children on photoshoots.
A: Ooh heavens! This is by far the most funny and complicated parts of this job! We’ve seen it all! The sass. The melt downs. The arched backs. The running away. Sometimes you just don’t know what “child” will show up the day of the shoot. Luckily we have the BEST photographer and she is basically a child whisperer!
Q: What's your favorite thing to do in your free time?
A: This is quite the loaded question! Right now, we are restoring a new home. Any free time has been wrapped up in renovating a home built in the early 1920’s since last Fall. I LOVE home design and much like designing clothing, there is nothing better than watching something in your mind come to fruition in real life! As you can imagine, everything is delayed. Workers are hard to come by and we’re living in chaos! So, to answer the question, in my free time I’m constantly trying to pull together design for the different rooms and rally the troops! Ha!
Q: What do you want to achieve next?
A: Next? Continue to grow! As a team, we have used 2022 as a spring board for more offerings for all of you! We’ve launched a new website, new email platform and easier tools are present on the website to aid in shopping. As the designer of the clothing we launch, I can say that I’m so excited about Spring and Summer! The colors and styles get me excited for all of the festivities that start at Easter and really go through Labor Day! I’m ready for a truly amazing season!
XO, Kelly from the The Bella Bean