Friday, January 31, 2014

Small Business Spotlight - Belli Phat

This year I'm going to be sharing small businesses with you.  I want to take that spirit of "Small Business Saturday" and spread it out all year long.  So without further ado, let's peek over at Belli Phat.  Each photo will take you to the listing so you may purchase anything featured in this post.

Let's start with how Belli Phat's owner Bellatrix Ali describes her store.
When I started belly dancing, I noticed that there weren't a lot of costume options out there for plus-sized dancers (which is the category I squarely fell into). And the options that were out there still had to be heavily altered in order to fit my specific proportions well -- afterall, when you're onstage performing you want to look and FEEL your best! 

Very frustrated with the market, I decided to teach myself how to sew & started making my own costume pieces. Almost immediately, I had other dancers (esp plus-sized dancers) asking where I got my costume items. When I told them that I made them, they excitedly asked if I would make things for them. "Oh, no, I'm not a professional seamstress", I'd reply. In the meantime, I had started sewing for my other troupe members as well -- which was great, as they were all different body shapes, so I got to learn how to fit garments & make patterns/pattern alterations. I loved learning new techniques!

Finally, after a few years of people asking me to make costume items for them, I felt comfortable enough with my skills to be able to say YES! And that was over six years ago... Now, Belli Phat is a business that I am pleased helps dancers *around the world* find costume pieces that they cannot find anywhere else -- and that, at times, make them feel more beautiful than they have ever felt. I cherish being a part of someone else's dance journey.

Now the whole store isn't reserved to just belly dance costuming. Thanks to shows like Downton Abbey fascinators seem to be the must have hair accessory.  Since custom orders are available you could always commission one for a special occasion.  The ones shown below range from $20.00 - $25.00.  If you ask me that is a steal!  I've seen some of these in person and the pictures do not do them justice.

If you are looking for gift ideas, look no further.  What young woman doesn't need a make-up brush holder?  I also love the fact that she shows it as a crochet hook holder too!  Isn't that just genius?  
What about an insulated curling iron holder?  Where was this when I had hair long enough to curl?  

Now I can't feature a belly dance shop and not feature some belly dance stuff.  I've often debated taking up dancing just so I could have the pretties.  
How pretty is that orange bra?  It is covered in orange assuit.  I'm not finding anything that pretty when I go shop.
I wanted you to see the assuit fabric up close in case you hadn't seen this fabric before.  Assuit fabric has been around forever, it's mentioned in the Bible, but I hadn't heard of it until I started photographing belly dancers.  

Now that you've seen a little of what Belli Phat has to offer go check out the full Etsy Store.  Also be sure to check out the Facebook page.  Bellatrix shares in progress photos and other fun stuff on the Facebook page.

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