Bella’s Consignment Boutique is a welcoming place for staff and customers.
Eileen Kessel, the new owner of Bella’s Consignment Boutique in Leland, opened for business on May 26 and invited two adults with special needs to be part of her venture. She explains that Vanessa Pinkerton and Derrick Dutcher attend a program at Cape Fear Community College that allows them to be volunteers at Bella’s but not employees.
She praises their commitment and diligence to their duties and hopes to add more volunteers with special needs. Pinkerton says the days she’s at Bella’s she enjoys tagging the items and scanning the purchases. Dutcher also likes tagging the clothes, hanging pictures on the walls and helping Kessel with anything she needs.
Kessel’s compassion for those with special needs developed when her son, Adam, was seriously injured in a vehicle accident 21 years ago and became physically disabled. Habitat for Humanity in Boston fostered her awareness when she worked with adults who had special needs. Currently, she cares for a stroke victim after she closes her boutique.
Bella’s came available at the perfect time for Kessel because she wanted to buy a shop. She made cosmetic changes to the space and arranged merchandise so customers gravitate from one section to another. “I envisioned a woman’s boutique with home decor,” she says.
Colorful scarves, a variety of handbags, jewelry to accent any outfit and clothes for all occasions are available. A butter churn and a collapsible rocking chair are among items in the furniture section.
Kessel has the background for her new endeavor. She earned a bachelor’s degree in business from St. Joseph’s College in Patchogue and worked in fashions at Macy’s and cosmetics at Lancôme, both in New York City. She was manager of a thrift store and then owned a resale children’s shop in New York. “I fell in love with it,” she says.
Kessel explains that a consigner at Bella’s receives 40 percent of the sale price. If the sale exceeds $100, she and the consigner split 50/50. Items that don’t sell within six months are returned to the consigners.
She accepts all women’s clothing and accessories and prefers items from Chico’s, Talbot’s and other boutiques. She won’t take anything stained or ripped. She welcomes designer brands such as Hermes scarves, Louis Vuitton handbags and Diane von Furstenberg fashions.
“I know what high-end items sell for,” she says and adds that she researches items to confirm their value.
Furniture and unusual furnishings are part of the boutique as well, but she doesn’t accept knickknacks or sets of china and silverware. “I’ll take vintage items if I know I can sell them,” she says.
A Leland resident since 2017, Kessel says, “I’m happy to be in this community, and I’m happy to have a store that is flourishing.” Besides, “It’s fun. This is my love.”
Want to go?
Bella’s Consignment Boutique
1107 New Pointe Boulevard, Suite B12, Leland
Hours: Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday 10 am to 5 pm; Friday 10 am to 6 pm; Saturday 10 am to 4 pm; closed Sunday and Monday