19 and Counting!

I can hardly believe that this March celebrates Bellacara’s 19th year in business. It really doesn’t seem like it’s been that long, but when a young woman comes in and asks me to ring her up under her mom’s account and I realize that she used to twirl around the store as a toddler? The reality sets in.

Next Saturday, March 9th we will celebrate with our annual Anniversary Party. As any of you who have attended this event can attest, it is a sale to beat all sales. Not only do we discount everything in the store 15 percent, but anyone who ends up with a total of $250 after the discount is given a swag bag of epic proportions. This is no department store plastic tote with five deluxe size samples, this is a bag stuffed with more than $500 in deluxe samples and full-size products. I say $500 because that is a safe and conservative estimate. One year we calculated that it was closer to $850.

So, what’s in the bag and why is it so generous?

Every year we have items that are discontinued, we have lines that go out of business, or that we stop carrying for one reason or another. Most businesses have the same, but they have sales throughout the year and sell these items at a discount to get their cash back. We don’t. Why not? Because I simply don’t have the space and don’t like the look of sale tables. It may seem foolhardy to just give it all away, but it’s my way of thanking all my amazing and loyal customers for shopping with me all year long. I collect all this inventory at the end of the year and put it in large sealed bins. Then two months later we open them and distribute all the product, along with goodies provided by our vendors, into the swag bags. I never know exactly what will be in them, but it’s always good. I have customers who make it an annual event and plan their month around attending.

The line forms early, but this is generally a fun part of the event. Everyone in line has their coffee and chats and gets to know one another before the doors open. And with the 15 percent discount, it’s a great opportunity to stock up or to buy those things you’ve wanted to try but haven’t pulled the trigger on.

I hope you’ll come by and celebrate our 19 years with us, stock up, and get a great, big swag bag as my personal thanks for your support all these years.


  • The latest from Angela
I have been a beauty junkie for what seems like forever, but before I did anything about it, I went to law school. (Yes, my life is a little like the reverse of Legally Blonde.) Then, I worked as a prosecutor in Sonoma County after which I moved to the DC area with my husband in ’97. I served as Majority Counsel to the Senate Banking Committee followed by a year-long stint at a lobbying firm. You get the picture. It was then that I decided to act on my dream of becoming an entrepreneur. Finding my favorite beauty products proved to be impossible without stepping foot in a mall–the horror. So, I decided to bring my favorites to Alexandria. A few trips to New York and a flight to France and Bellacara was born in March 2000.

Located in historic Old Town Alexandria, for more than 17 years Bellacara has been Northern Virginia's preeminent boutique for high end cosmetic, skincare and haircare products. At Bellacara you will find premiere beauty products that have been carefully edited by the store’s owner, Angela Sitilides, who personally tests all the products sold in store. The boutique carries only the best product lines – Kiehl’s, Jouer, Dr. Dennis Gross, Christophe Robin, Moroccan Oil, Bumble & Bumble, Fresh, Molton Brown, Skinceuticals, Smashbox, Stila, Mario Badescu, Clarins, Dermalogica, Kevyn Aucoin, Kai, Child, St. Tropez, Smith and Cult, and many more.


1000 King Street
Alexandria, VA 22314


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Get your daily dose of all things fashion, beauty, fitness, and design. Locally sourced and locally styled!