Hamilton bridal boutique Bella Mia is hard to miss: with its attractive, handmade displays in the front windows and large, assertive gold lettering splashed across the façade, this local small business sits prominently in its home along the James North strip.
Though this proudly homegrown, mother-daughter venture headed by Anna and Olivia Fasullo has existed for just over five years, Bella Mia is backed by over 20 years of industry experience that goes well beyond the shop’s thriving time on the James North strip.
The eventual path to co-owning a bridal shop with her mother – a veteran of the industry – is something Olivia was primed for even early on.
“In the summer, my mom would take me to work with her, sitting in the backroom of a bridal salon as she worked,” she explains.
“She always wanted to open up her own, more inclusive bridal shop with me by her side. When an opportunity arose to open her own salon, she came to me and said the only way she would even consider opening was if I was opening it with her. By working together, we’re working with the person we trust the most and who is always going to work to make our boutique better and stronger.”
The mother-daughter team’s hard work to bring Bella Mia to fruition has paid off beautifully over the last five years, in no small part thanks to Anna and Olivia’s focus on cultivating the most personalized experience possible for brides-to-be on the hunt for their dream dress.
“When you come in for your appointment, you are directed to your private suite to relax as you receive a tablet with our full collection. From the tablet, a bride can select the gowns she wishes to see and they are brought directly to her suite to try on,” says Olivia.
Those gowns come from a wide variety of designers like Casablanca and Martin Thornburg, as well as from private labels that aren’t typically found in other bridal boutiques.
Not only that, Bella Mia ensures that their collections are size inclusive by offering sample sizes that range from size 8 up to 30 for dresses that can be made available anywhere from size 00 to 34.
To make the whole experience even more special, Anna and Olivia have thoughtfully designed their shop with a fairy tale inspired theme, featuring eye-catching window displays, flamboyant florals, decorative mirrors with intricate frames, and a wall covered floor to ceiling in hedge-like greenery.
“We have tried to create a space like no other bridal shop,” Olivia tells me. “With private suites and a fairy tale theme, we wanted the experience at Bella Mia to be magical.”
The shop even features its own intimate wedding chapel that can be reserved for private civil ceremonies with small groups of family and friends; VIP appointments in which guests can reserve the entire shop for their dress search; as well as what Bella Mia has dubbed “Pampered Appointments,” which incorporate a display of baked goods and other sweets alongside an ice bucket of sparkling juices and sparkling water for brides who want the whole affair to feel even more like a celebration.
The hard work Anna and Olivia have put and will continue to put into Bella Mia over the past five years has helped cement them as one of Hamilton’s most in-demand bridal shops; and it’s all the more meaningful that the pair has been able to root their family business in the city they both call their lifelong home.
“As two people born and raised in Hamilton, we have watched this city grow into a diverse dynamic city. It means so much to us to build as a part of this community and have this city support us and embrace us,” Olivia says.
It’s abundantly clear that this passionate and unique little Hamilton bridal boutique will be helping make locals’ special days even more special for years to come.
Images courtesy of Bella Mia Bridal