We spoke with storeowner, Melissa Delancy, this week about her over the top adorable and great to shop in boutique in Southern Pines, North Carolina. She gave us the scoop on how she started her store, where the best local family hangouts are these days, as well as her top Le Top boys and girls collections this season for your kiddo. Did we mention she gives a special discount if you dress up for Halloween and come to her store? Go get your costumes soon! Read more below about one of our favorite Le Top boutique retailers – Belli Bambini.
118 Northwest Broad Street
Southern Pines, NC 28387
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1. Tell us the inspiration behind opening your own boutique?
Melissa: I started working in the children’s industry at Gap Kids when I started college. It was a very hard, exhausting, and rewarding job. After the long hours. I swore I would never work retail again. But I went on to work at private boutiques and fell in love …22 years later here I am, and still loving it.
2. How did you come up with the name?
Melissa: Decisions can be my worst enemy. I had at least 40 names to choose from and my husband finally told me I had until the end of the day. I wanted something sweet that was about both boys and girls. That’s why we are called Belli and not Bella.
Melissa: Everyone must have a pair of TOMS, plus every shoes you buy, TOMS donates a pair to someone in need of shoes! Jeggings! Denim and colors…a great way to pair with an assortment of tops. Le Top red and white styles…perfect for Christmas and Valentines Day!
4. Tell us the inside scoop about any special events that you have planned for your boutique for fall, especially the fun deals we can expect! Anything for Halloween next month?
Melissa: Halloween we will dress up and if you dress up we will give you 15% off any regular price item.
5. Please tell us 1 fun Halloween tradition you had with your family as a child that you can share with our readers?
Melissa: As a child I loved to dress up, but I didn’t like to ask for candy, because I didn’t feel it was appropriate. But I loved and still love to hand out candy and tell all the trick-or-treaters how adorable they are. Funny thing is my middle child has always been the same way.
6. What is one fun way to decorate a pumpkin or your home for Halloween?
Melissa: We, or shall I say my husband, traces and cuts our pumpkins. He is very precise.
7. Tell us…before you “had kids or grandkids, what is one thing you swore you’d never…?”
Melissa: I swore I would never make my kids wear something they didn’t like, especially dresses! I hated to wear dresses and every Sunday my parents made me wear one to church. I wanted pants like my brother…guess what I lied! I must approve the attire.
8. Tell us about a “special” moment that has made your day working at your store.
Melissa: It’s too hard to pick just one “aha” moment, but I must say its such a pleasure when a couple goes to the doctor to be told they are expecting a little miracle. Their first stop being Belli Bambini, either as a way of celebrating, or as a gift they give to their parents to tell them they are going to be grandparents. While I feel all children are so special, another “aha” moment is to see the smile of a mother-to-be who is awaiting for the birth mother(adoption) to give birth to their baby. What a blessing!
9. Describe the neighborhood of your store location in Southern Pines, North Carolina. Did you grow up in the local area?
Melissa: I was raised in San Antonio, Texas. My husband serves in the military which is what brought us to Southern Pines. Southern Pines is a beautiful little town. The train house and railroad tracks divide the shopping street into two sides. The best way to describe it is its “like living in Mayberry.” Plenty of unique boutiques, tasty restaurants, parks where you will see families walking their dogs, strolling their babies and eating an ice cream cones.
10. Where are the best/essential family hangouts and places to go around your store location?
Melissa: Grab a bench, sit and enjoy the view. If you need more, we do have 27 golf courses and we are in horse country.
11. What Le Top or rabbitmoon Fall 2011 collection is your store’s favorite and why?
Melissa: I love the Le Top “Zoo Kazoo” Collection and for girls its the “Cute Cookie” Collection!
118 Northwest Broad Street
Southern Pines, SC 28387
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