Laura Mercier Has Arrived (Thanks to You)

For as far back as I can remember, I have wanted the Laura Mercier line at Bellacara. When Bellacara first opened we didn’t sell much makeup. It took time to build the credibility to start adding makeup lines. I’d score one line and then use that line to show the next one that I was worth selling to and on and on. Boutique beauty wasn’t really a thing when I first opened. Then, in the next several years, it seemed there were a ton of independent beauty boutiques…but ten years later, most had closed.

This is relevant to explaining why it has taken almost 20 years to succeed in bringing Laura Mercier to Bellacara. After building credibility I managed to get the green light from Laura Mercier…only to find that a hold had been placed on opening all new accounts before the paperwork could be signed. It seemed Laura Mercier had sold to another company and that company didn’t want any changes made during the transition. So once again, we were put on hold. We were told the company wouldn’t be considering new accounts for at least a year. That year turned into two, and so on.

A couple of years after that I remember visiting this little beauty store in Michigan that had been open only a year and saw Laura Mercier there. I was incredulous. I immediately called the company and was told that in areas with no large retailer within an hour drive, they occasionally make exceptions. As Bellacara was so near Pentagon City and Tysons it wasn’t a concern that Laura Mercier wasn’t being represented…and no, they weren’t looking to expand distribution in the greater D.C. area at that time.

Fast forward to this year. I decided it had been awhile since I reached out and it warranted another shot. I called and this time the reaction was different. It seemed that nearly 20 years in business as an independent beauty boutique was impressive and my customers must be very loyal. I said they were. I explained the unique nature of Old Town and how the people here support small business in their community. That when people walk in, we know who they are. They trust us because we have been here for so long and it means more to me that they walk out the door with one perfect product than ten products they don’t need. I also explained that when people walk in and ask for Laura Mercier and I say I don’t have it, they don’t leave, they buy something else. To make the story short, the next day I was approved.

In many ways, this year has been the best year Bellacara has ever had. We have renovated the store; brought in new innovative lines; added amazing freelance artists to our already fantastic staff; and in general have reconnected with so many of you on a personal level. I am so excited to be able to offer Laura Mercier to you now. Thank you for all your support over the years and for making Bellacara such a wonderful place to work.


  • 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


1 Comment

  1. Avatar Sara Wolcott says:

    Congratulations!!!!!! 😊

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