I’ve been working very hard since the middle of March when our world was turned upside down. I renovated the store a bit, I cleaned the store from top to bottom, I hustled deliveries to three different cities almost daily; and I introduced a whole new way of doing business with safety protocols in mind. All this while working six days a week trying to do enough business to keep the lights on. It’s been stressful. I tell you all of this not to complain, but to shed light on my need to find a diversion to occupy and entertain myself when there really isn’t anywhere to go.
Many, many years ago, before I opened Bellacara, I had an interior design business for a stint. I’m not a trained interior designer; I’m entirely self-taught. I started the way most self-taught designers do by designing for a friend. Then that friend told a friend and so on. Over the years, I’ve continued to design. Mostly the same way. A friend calls and says they have a friend who needs some work done, and that’s how it goes. Recently, I’ve had an uptick in these calls.
Everyone who has been forced to be at home more has had ample opportunity to look around the house and see all the things that either aren’t working or that they just plain don’t like. The fact that many people are working from home now with no plans to go back to the office anytime soon has incentivized people to do something about it. Many kids will be starting school in the fall remotely, and as of now, there is no date set for when (or if) the kids will physically set foot in the schools. Your spaces need to function as office and schooling spaces now as well. With fall coming and that realization looming, many people are on a tear to get things done now.
I’ve been having a ball redesigning and decorating spaces for people. It’s been a nice diversion, and it lets me use an entirely different skill set than I generally utilize. I’ve also taken the opportunity to DIY some projects for an additional creative outlet. I recently took a very unattractive little desk and transformed it using paper and Mod Podge for a teen girl’s bedroom make-over.
I felt so good about the desk that I decided to DIY a very unattractive mirror for her room as well.
I have to say that it has really helped my mental health to have an outlet and a diversion other than Netflix and my Kindle. We will not be back to business as usual for quite a while. We have to make sure to nurture our mental and emotional health. As Audrey Hepburn once famously said, “Happy girls are the prettiest.” So, if you’re feeling a bit down or in a bit of a rut, make sure to find a diversion that not only occupies you, but that entertains you as well. You’ll not only feel better, you’ll look better. I know the saying goes, “when you look good, you feel good.” But I have found the converse to be true, “when you feel good, you look good.”
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