The photo above is me and my sister wearing our cute Mexican blouses in the early ’70s

Many people have asked me how I came up with the idea of a Mexican store here in Historic Louisville. The Louisville part to that question is very simple. I live in Louisville, 3 blocks from my shop. I love it that my boys can walk to my shop to visit. This is my community, my neighborhood. That was a very easy decision.

As far as how I came up with Bella Frida… let me explain a little about myself. My family moved to Boulder when I was in 4th grade. My father is an architect (now retired) so we moved every few years growing up to be closer to his job site. My father now has a serious photography hobby, traveling to Iceland, Mexico and more to participate in workshops. My mother is an artist, a watercolor painter. She helps me in the store now. I grew up in a very artist family that really embraced creativity. My sister is a successful actress in California and my brother works for a Boulder film company, 42 Productions. He writes, edits and more.

I have a degree from CU in Boulder for Piano Performance. In case you are a classical music buff- Beethoven, Chopin and Clara Schumann are my favorites to play. I taught and performed my weekly gigs at retirement homes for 10 years or so before I had children. I married my husband 20 years ago this summer. He is a computer wiz. He is working on his second start up company now. He is a big supporter of Bella Frida. Actually, my whole family really is. We have two boys age 8 and 12. I am proud to say they are both very artistic!

In the fall of 2011 my youngest son began 1st grade which meant he was in school all day now, like his big brother. I had been at home with the boys for 10 years so I felt really lost. I knew then it was time for me to find myself. I did a lot of soul searching. I knew my next career would involve fashion. Ever since I was a little girl I have loved fashion, the ability to express ones inner self through clothes and color is such a creative expression! I have worked in boutiques, sewn for many years, sketched designs and more.

That is when Bella Frida began. The inspiration was from many trips to Mexico since I was a girl, trips to Santa Fe, and my passion for indigenous textiles. Now I had an idea. I wanted to bring all those beautiful, hand embroidered blouses and dresses from Mexico here! The real thing. Nothing “made in China” or mass produced. Bohemian style clothing that is authentic. That is timeless and wearable. Everything is one of a kind. And so began months and months of research, learning and planning.

And that is how Bella Frida began! I say it was like having another child. Months of planning and excitement anticipating the birth. And just like a child, though Bella Frida is born, it is also a work in progress. Growing and changing all the time.

I hope you will stop in soon so I can share my creation with you!
Laura

“Painting completed my life.” – Frida Kahlo