Sep 052017
 

Beatrix Bell of Beatrixbell Handcrafted Jewelry & Gift

Beatrixbell Handcrafted is a jewelry design studio and gift shop located on the banks of the Mississippi River in Historic Algiers Point only three blocks from the ferry terminal. This gift boutique features curated items with an emphasis on local treasures and handmade wares.

Artist and owner Beatrix Bell makes all the jewelry in house, and can be found in her attached studio making each piece of jewelry by hand. Her pieces pair mixed metals with exotic stones, rich patinas, enamels and vintage elements to create unique and unexpected designs.

Name: Beatrix Bell
Store: Beatrixbell Handcrafted Jewelry & Gift
Since: 2017

What ignited the spark in you to start your business?
My jewelry business has been my full time job for over 10 years. I predominantly sell wholesale to gift shops and boutiques nationwide as well as setting up under EZ-up tents and at pop ups. After doing that for some time, I wanted to create a permanent space to showcase my entire line of jewelry as well as including wares from other Louisiana based artists and entrepreneurs.

What makes New Orleans businesses so special?
I think New Orleans businesses reflect the unique personalities of their owners. No two businesses are the same, and they all offer their own unparalleled experience.

Who are your ideal customers?
My customers enjoy and appreciate items made in the USA—whether they are tourists wandering off the ferry or neighborhood folks. I love having the opportunity to meet such a broad range of people, whether it’s new neighbors that live in my community or people from all over the country. I’ve even had quite a few international tourists.

If your shop was a cocktail, what kind would it be?
It would be a proper Gin & Tonic with El Guapo bitters. It’s refreshing, kind of sweet, and kind of sour, with hyperlocal flavor, since the syrup is made right here in Algiers. It’s my favorite cocktail!

Describe your business in a few words.
My business is modern, eclectic, and fresh because the inventory and the designs are always changing. I offer a wide range of different products and styles which gives my shop an eclectic and unpretentious vibe.

How do you define “success” in your business?
The freedom to be my own boss, make decisions, do what I love, and be happy.

What are your current or any upcoming goals for your business and/or community?
Right now, I’m really focusing on bringing “West Bank” shoppers into my boutique. There are only a few gift shops in Algiers, and I want to create a niche shopping experience for handmade gifts and locally made art.

Once I’m settled with the shop, I hope to start volunteering or offering jewelry making classes at our public library. I’ve also thought about teaching arts and crafts lessons at local elementary schools. Before I started my business, I was a public school teacher, and I really miss working with kids and giving back to my community.

What’s your favorite local biz in your area?
My favorite local business is Congregation Coffee. They just opened up in our neighborhood. I love their coffee, and they’re an awesome business!

Will you share your favorite local lunch or dinner spot?
Tavolino Pizza and Lounge. It also just opened here in Algiers Point. My favorites are the fried olives and the entire cocktail list.

What advice would you give a new business owner?
I would tell any new business owner or artist to never compare yourself to anyone else. It kills the joy of being an entrepreneur. It’s great to learn from people, watch what they’re doing, and have them mentor you. It’s all about your own personal goals and your own personal happiness within what you’re doing.

staylocal-logo-square-blue (1)While drainage system improvements and road construction make “shopping local” a bit more challenging in the short term, the critical improvements mean our city will be safer and stronger for generations to come. We hope you are inspired and continue to shop small and shop local—even if it takes a little extra time!

The Shopkeeper Stories are brought to you by StayLocal, the Greater New Orleans independent business alliance, in partnership with Uptown Messenger. Learn about their work or become a member at www.staylocal.org or email info@staylocal.org.

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