About Us - The Transparent Version
If you are looking for a typical "About Us" page, you will not find it here. To love us is to know us and that includes getting to know the nitty gritty side businesses do not want to share.
Enchanted Bella Boutique was created out of necessity. To understand you need to learn why and how we came to be. Creativity was a therapeutic solution which helped me get through rough times. It was a path that help nurture a love for crafting which lead to the birth of a business that I will forever be grateful for.
Who am I? The early years
Hi, my name is Melinda, I am the CEO and Designer of Enchanted Bella Boutique. Since the young age of 4 my creative mind seemed to get me in trouble. I would collect sticks and stockpile them in hidden areas throughout the house. Every time my mom opened a closet door, she would find piles of sticks. She never did understand why I did it. Apparently, I viewed it as a work of art. I do not know what was going through my mind at that age but obviously I loved doing it. If you ask me, that was probably the beginning of my creative out of the box thinking journey to who I have become and what I am building.
At the early age of about 6, I began working with my dad to repair and upkeep a Virgin Mary Statue at a church called Transfiguration in Brooklyn. My dad, like myself was also into volunteering his time for the greater good.
At the age of about 7 or 8, my dad would also take me on his side jobs to build and reconstruct rooms in private homes. He is a master builder and utilized his degree in marketing and advertising to create rooms and more. Since an early age, I have always been his sidekick and he has provided me with the love of building and creating.
My dad was the head carpenter at the main post office in Brooklyn and loved by many. He has always been and still is an amazing carpenter. Let's just say I definitely keep him busy now and he is always teaching me things and including me in his builds. He has even taught my daughter many things and now she thinks she is a car mechanic, a builder and then some. She has such an eagerness to learn and grow.
Creating has always been my thing but at some point, it was put to a halt because let's face it, I grew into a teenager and life happens to deter you from what you love.
I come from a family of many entrepreneurs. My mother's parents owned a successful business in Puerto Rico that did well for a many years. My father's mother and stepdad owned a business for more than 50 years in Puerto Rico and it was closed due to the death of my grandfather, they were already in their 80's. My father's father was a successful butcher and owned 3 butcher shops, one of which was a wholesale business. He has since retired. I have many cousins, aunts and uncles that have had businesses and currently still in business. As you can see, I felt it was my destiny to become an entrepreneur.
My mom on the other hand went into law and she was a legal secretary for some of the most prominent attorneys you see on the news today. She decided to get into the field to help people. She did not like the fact that people were being abused by landlords and so forth so it was her goal to fight for those who could not fight their own battles. This is where I get my drive to help others.
Both my grandmothers and many of my aunts were seamstresses. They taught my mother and she tried for so long to get me to sew. It wasn't until early 2020 that I finally gave in and currently have approximately 5 machines and counting. I think she created a monster.
Why did I start my business?
When I hit my teenage years, I did put crafting to the side for several years. It was not until a series of unfortunate events transpired throughout the duration of several years unfolded and I turned to crafting as a source of therapy.
At the age of 18, my fiancé was killed by a drunk driver. I was 2 months pregnant at the time and I had to a choice to make. I decided to become a mom at the age of 19 all while still attending college. The stress was too much for me to bear and opted to leave to focus on what I needed to do in order to be a good mom and provider.
I did what needed to be done and throughout the years got into relationships that proved to be detrimental to my wellbeing. On top of that, it almost seemed as though every time I went to the doctors, I was being diagnosed with something new.
To get through it all, I went on a search to find purpose and to find a way to help people while it seemed my own world was falling apart. If it was one thing I wanted to do, it was to finish college. I never wanted my daughter to tell me she wasn't going to college because mommy never did. It was always a fear.
Almost 10 years later from leaving college, I decided to go back and complete my degree. I was working Full Time, going to school at night Full Time and working with a non-profit almost Full Time while still being a mom. Thankfully, I had the help of my parents who have always been my saving grace and the backbone to me being the person I have become in one way or another.
My mind was kept busy and I was kept focused. I graduated a member of Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society, on the Dean's List the entire time I attended college and graduated with a Criminal Justice Degree.
Throughout the years, I continued working with different Non-Profit Organizations and focused more on crafting. What started off as a therapeutic solution to help me throughout the rough times became a love for creating.
My next move in life was one of the most insane moves anyone can make, but it was one that I would never regret. One Day I was passing by a storefront with a "For Rent" sign, I decided to dive all in without having any of my business information in order. The fact is I did everything backwards. I got the idea to rent the store and while contemplating renting the store front, I began the process of getting all the paperwork in order to just dive in. I just wanted more for myself and my family but most importantly, I wanted to do something I loved.
For goodness sakes I think my parents and I bounced around with the name back and forth for maybe a day or two and the rest is history. In 2016, Enchanted Bella was born. I cannot say it was or has been easy but during the process all I could think was "what in the world am I doing" and then right after I would remind myself that I was fulfilling my dream of working for myself and doing what I love.
No, this is not your typical about me page or business profile and there is a reason for that. Why create a typical who am I story when you can get the nitty gritty of a real story, a dream and know your dreams are possible too.
Enchanted Bella was truly created out of the love of creating and what it did for me mentally. I was able to cope with a lot of obstacles through focusing on my crafts and not the troubles I had medically and emotionally that was physically taking a toll on my mind and my body. Crafting is a gift that saved my life. That is the best way to describe how I felt and still feel.
Enchanted Bella Boutique is a company that embodies love of the arts, the need to be different and create something that is just not typical. I wanted not only to craft but to also carry products from vendors that I felt fit the idea of what I wanted Enchanted Bella Boutique to become.
I also wanted to be affordable. I have to say my time having a brick and mortar was not easy and the biggest obstacle was getting people to come into the boutique. In 2018 we closed our doors to our physical location, and I went back to working a 9 to 5 by choice. I was not getting the traffic I wanted. It was not until I opted to close the store that I found the reason why many were not entering my doors. You see, we created an Enchanted Wonderland within the store. From our window displays, to the entrance and even down the ceilings, we created a whimsical atmosphere. Now even though we were extremely affordable, the atmosphere we created, intimated so many people. We were told by so many customers during our last few months they regretted not coming in because they felt we were too expensive. I think that was the biggest lesson I learned but that was not the reason why we closed our doors.
My inexperience at being a business owner was a factor as well as not doing a dual experience for our customers where they could purchase online as well as in our boutique. I also wanted to teach crafts but the space we had was extremely limited. With all this in mind, this was the sole reason why we opted to close our doors. I had a bigger vision and in order for me to properly succeed, I need to learn and explore.
For 2 years I taught myself how to create websites, do marketing, promos, mass emails and so much more. I took many classes, found mentors, and just kept building so that the next time around, I would be stuck in the same predicament. I watched several YouTube videos and explored Pinterest and so on. Owning a business takes work and in order to know how we came to be, you need to know what it took to get to this point.
When the pandemic hit and I lost my job, I took it as a sign and rebirthed Enchanted Bella Boutique. I am always trying to make it better, always learning and trying to grow. In any business, you never stop learning. Any mistakes you see, you need to do everything to try and fix it and reinvent the wheels.
My goal is to be a household name. I would love to see my business grow, to carry items from vendors that may be hard to find in your average boutique. I want to also see my products in other stores creating a brand that people want and love.
I want to be a role model. I want to build up those who just need that "you can do it" attitude from someone outside their own circle. If you have a dream, you can achieve it.
I want to encourage outreach and work with nonprofits, schools and people who want to raise money but do not know how. I live every day pushing myself to the limit. I eliminated the negativity from my life and only surround myself with positive people and elements.
My motto is simple because the idea is simple. Enchanted Bella Boutique is a place where we design, create, and inspire.
I believe that as individuals, we have the ability and the will to design the paths of our life. Only we have the ability to create and become anything we want to create and be the person we are meant to be. In doing so, our position in life should always be to inspire others and help them become the leaders of today and tomorrow.
My dad always taught me that in life, there is no such thing as the word can't. If we will something to come to fruition and do the homework to succeed, we CAN do anything. Can't is only a word used by people who fear growth. Never fear anything. Just take a leap of faith and try and if you fail, it is okay because you just need to keep trying different things until you get the desired result.
I am very proud of what I have accomplished and created. Always listen to your customers and ask for feedback because they will help your business grow.
Just keep in mind, when you shop at Enchanted Bella Boutique, you are supporting a dream and. We listen to our customers and we care about helping others. We always welcome feedback; we are 100% transparent with our business and we are committed to offering you a pleasant experience.
Consider us a specialty boutique with whimsical and vintage inspired custom creations. With lots of ruffles, lace, glitter, and rhinestones we love our little darlings to shine.
A little girl should always feel beautiful inside and out. We create tutu dresses, tutu's, hair accessories, room décor and centerpieces that reflect the personality of your darlings and theme of the event. Would you like to feel like a princess every day, we have a wide arrange of "Princess Crowns", "Wands" and "Princess Tutu Dresses. We have many readily available custom created items for immediate purchase. You can use our tutu dresses or tutus for your school portraits, family pictures, holiday, or events, dress up, a night out or dance rehearsals.
We have created many different centerpieces and party items for any occasion, and this includes weddings and bridal showers. Although we are considered a princess boutique, we do tend to all types of events.
Operation Give Back
Positive Energy, Fun & the ability to GIVE BACK
We encourage the power of "positive energy". Your little girls will feel great dancing around in their tutus and dresses. Our line of products is great for weddings, birthdays, specials events, dance recitals, dance rehearsals and especially for dress up. What little girl doesn't like to dress up?
Giving back is one of our top priorities. We hope that we can create the brand and build up our company enough where we can give back to different communities. As the founder, I have spent many years as a volunteer for non-profit companies and in doing so, I've learned that the impact one can make is powerful. You can change the life of a child even by doing the simplest of things.
Currently we have provided merchandise for many school fundraisers and offer fundraiser ideas that will bring about successful results.
Additional Information about Melinda?
Melinda graduated with honors with a degree in Criminal Justice and a member of Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society. Her parents are also college graduates, have been married for more than 40 plus years. They feel in love in college and both graduated with honors. Her grandparents, many family members and several friends are entrepreneurs. She always surrounds herself with positive, likeminded people.
Melinda was always blessed with the gift of crafting. Some may say the gift is inherited, as many of her family members are some of the most incredibly creative people you could ever have the pleasure of meeting.
She devoted over 10 years as a volunteer working with non-profit organizations dealing with troubled kids looking for a better way. These kids were and still are absolutely incredible and have accomplished a lot in a small amount of time. The best way to reach a child who thrives off the arts is to be artistic yourself and share your gifts.
With the goal to eventually open up her own non-profit working with kids, she started a business that has the ability to give back in other ways. We have since developed the "Enchanted Bella Boutique Fundraising Program" in order to give back to the community.
Her advice to others:
When you believe in something, don't give up. Do what you must to get to that point so long as you do not hurt yourself or others along the way. People will discourage you, tell you to give up and say you can't do it. Your job is to prove them wrong. Life cannot be seen through rose colored glasses. In order to achieve your dreams, you must struggle. Great reward never comes easily. You must sacrifice to reap the rewards.
Me and my beautiful daughter.