Bella Home Market — a new shop situated in Lutz — owes a lot to mother and daughter relationships.
Growing up in Wisconsin, Jennifer Wagner soaked up her mother’s do-it-yourself approach to interior design. She took on home remodeling projects and did them with style.
“I got my taste and flair from her,” said Wagner.
Now, she and her daughter, Sophia Wagner, are putting their talents together at Bella Home Market, a shop that brims with
eye-catching home décor and artwork for any room in the house.
Bella’s vibe is eclectic, from vintage chic to brand new.
The shop is a treasure trove for gifts, candles, soaps and scents, and also is a dealer for the Dixie Belle Chalk Paint brand.
The shop opened in June at Tropical Village Plaza, 1532 Land O’ Lakes Blvd., next to The Breakfast Nook.
Jennifer Wagner opened the shop after years of encouragement from her friends to take the plunge into retail.
She has a background in homebuilding, but also experience in staging homes — for family and friends — to make them more appealing to potential buyers.
“They told me ‘you have a knack for this’,” she said.
Her friend and founder of the Dixie Belle Paint Company, Suzanne Fulford, alerted Wagner to the vacant storefront at Tropical Village. The paint company is across the way at 1641 Land O’ Lakes Blvd.
She immediately liked the “small town feel” of the plaza, with shops clustered around a courtyard.
“It was perfect,” Jennifer Wagner said. “I love this center.”
She brought her daughter, Sophia, into the venture as assistant manager.
Sophia Wagner is a sophomore at the University of South Florida, working toward a mass communications degree. Future plans might include film school or news broadcasting.
She took off a semester to help her mother open the store, but will be a full-time student again next year.
But, in her spare time, she will still be working at Bella Home Market.
One goal for the new year is to increase painting classes – featuring Dixie Belle Chalk Paint. Crafting enthusiasts can learn techniques to give furniture or other items a shabby chic look.
Bringing in new items to the shop is a year-round adventure.
Mother and daughter go on buying trips to Dallas, Atlanta and North Carolina, with an eye for one-of-a-kind items.
Tables, shelves and wall space are filled with mirrors, candle holders, railroad lanterns, jumbo-size Edison light bulbs, delicate metal butterflies, and replicas of farm tractors made from nuts, screws and bolts.
Among their finds also are paintings and sculptures by fair trade artists in places such as Haiti. But, national artists, including metal and 3-D vision sculptor Travis Burford, and local artist, Jessica Marcus, are represented, too.
“You support the community,” said Jennifer Wagner. But, she has another wish for the new year.
“I want to find more local artists.”
Holiday hours for the store in December are Monday through Friday, from 8:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. The shop is open on Saturday and Sunday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
To find out more, visit BellaHomeMarket.com.
Published December 14, 2016