Bella in Helena

A new Coco Chanel inspired women's clothing store

Dorry Lea Davis, Marilyn Trainor Storey, Cathy Campbell, Jordan Easley Yancey at Bella in Helena on Grand Opening night

Dorry Lea Davis, Marilyn Trainor Storey, Cathy Campbell, Jordan Easley Yancey at Bella in Helena on Grand Opening night

By MAGICAL MADGE

PHOTO GALLERY and VIDEO BELOW

Bella in Helena, a new Coco Chanel inspired women’s clothing store, is the latest addition to the bluff city’s downtown renaissance. The fabulous store shares an interior door with Handworks, Cathy Campbell’s successful, one-of-a-kind gift shop.

Located at 227 Cherry Street in downtown Helena for over six years, Handworks has served the gift and bridal registry needs of folks living in or near the river city. Cathy, who has done a wonderful job stocking and marketing her unique gifts, saw a need to expand her downtown interests by opening a dress shop. The sage entrepreneur successfully sold clothes a few years ago in Handworks and thought now was the time to expand.

Her thoughts wandered to the vacant building abutting her gift store. Why not expand and move the clothing to its own space? The seed was planted and she set out to make her creative idea a reality. With her hands full with the successful gift shop, Cathy needed some help.

Cathy coaxed daughter Dorry Lea Davis into creating the store with her. Together they decided to call it Bella, a simple and catchy name, which also means “beautiful.” Next they sought out a managing partner and soon met Jordan Easley Yancey. Jordan was marrying Chase Yancey from Marvell and was relocating to the area. Just so happens she was hoping to open a clothing business…too!

The three women began renovating the empty space for the store but came to a stopping point when they fully realized how daunting a task it is to renovate an old downtown building. It requires big money.

The forward thinking development teams focused on Helena’s downtown revitalization were offering grant money through Southern Bancorp Community Financial Partners along with the Riverside Renewal Grant and the Helena Start Up Challenge Grant. The ladies applied and were awarded the financial backing they needed.

They faced the challenge of renovating the building but were unsure how to pull it all together design-wise. Serendipity solved the problem. Approximately two years ago, Cathy Campbell walked in to the Delta Bohemian Gift Shop on Delta Avenue in downtown Clarksdale. She fell in love with a unique, large vintage concrete container owned by interior designer, Marilyn Trainor Storey, aka MS Design Maven. The Design Maven is based in Clarksdale but has done several projects in and for the town of Helena. I introduced the two women and the symbiotic, creative union was born. Bella had found it’s interior designer.

Campbell identified with the imaginative Storey, designer of the Delta Bohemian Guest House in Clarksdale. They wanted a Chanel French flavored aesthetic for the boutique. Storey designed every detail from the custom antique looking doors on the building front to the hand detailed granite check-out counter to the dressing room curtains. She actually painted the 14-foot tall deco painting on canvas in the salon area. Co-owner Jordan describes her personal aesthetic for Bella as 25% Jackie and 75% Marilyn.

“I took Cathy’s initial color scheme of pale pinks and grays and expanded upon it for Bella. Introducing black, white and some of the hotter pinks, really giving the store a sleek Chanel boutique look,” Storey said.

The store offers clothing, jewelry, accessories and pieces that can be paired and layered in an infinite number of styles helping women build a wardrobe that expresses their individual style.

The Grand Opening and ribbon cutting was Saturday, January 31, 2015. Newly elected Mayor Jay Hollowell along with other local dignitaries were in attendance. We enjoyed seeing Mircha Chad King with Southern Bancorp.

It is worth a special trip to go to Helena to visit Bella in Helena and Handworks, two exquisitely beautiful stores catering to all ages. There is even a Baby Bella section with clothes and accessories for the little ones. Tell ‘em Magical Madge sent ya!

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Comments

  1. What Helena really needs is a maternity clothing store where the clothes are ten dollars and under.

  2. Thanks Madge for such a great article. I couldn’t have said it better myself. Looking forward to a growing relationship with our sister town, Clarksdale.

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