As you consider where to head this coming weekend to kick off the holiday shopping season, put Bella Vita at the top of your list. Owner Jennifer Viale has created and curated a space filled with beautiful goods for the women and children on your list, all displayed in a whimsical setting full of vintage detail. She truly is the “Purveyor of Lovely Things”.
Established in 2000, Bella Vita came to be when Jennifer decide to leave her high-powered merchandising position with local brand giant The Gap to start her own business. Since then, she has grown her Rockridge District boutique to include a wide range of artisans and independent designers for both women and children. In 2014 the store moved down the street to its current location, taking over the space previously held by the beloved Rockridge Kids who closed their doors in December 2013; continuing a tradition of high quality, locally owned retail at the corner of College Ave and Forest Street.
One of the many special things about Bella Vita is the delightful vintage touches throughout the space. Jennifer told me she has sourced much of it over the years from flea markets such as the Alameda Antiques Faire and the Long Beach Antique Market. Found in every nook & cranky of the shop, from the darling mannequins to an old school desk, the attention to detail is visible and truly charming.
Looking for a darling dress to wear to upcoming holiday parties? Pop in and check out independent designers such as Emily + Fin and Dear Creatures. Be sure to check out what is in from local designers such as Desiree Salas and Modaspia as well. Jewelry and accessories for the moms, sisters, and girlfriends on your list are scattered throughout the space.
For the little girls, check out the adorable clothing from local lines such as ses petites mains or frankie & juniper. Don’t miss the delightful hair accessories throughout the shop from makers such as HELLOshiso. There is no shortage of cute offerings on hand for the littlest ones. From Oakland branded onesies & tees, to adorable toys and blankets, there is plenty for the newest members on your list.
As you stand in line to pay for all your lovely goodies, be sure to check out the amazing gallery wall behind the register, designed and installed by local Illustrator Mara Penny. Changed out seasonally, it is full of wonderful and whimsical things to make you smile.
I hope you will make it into Bella Vita as you get your holiday shopping underway. I can guarantee you will find a wide selection of lovely things to chose from. If you are like me, you will find a little something for yourself too :o)
Enjoy and Happy Shopping!
Bella Vita is located at 5511 College Ave. Oakland, CA 94618
Phone: (510) 653-1639
Hours of operation: MON-SAT 11:00am – 6:00pm, SUN 12:00pm – 5:00pm
More information can be found at www.bellavitahome.com
Check out more of Mara Penny’s work at www.marapenny.com (I was lucky enough to have her design the artwork for my blog :o)
Photo Credits: Images by Adrienne Schell (final image of winter holiday gallery wall by Jennifer Viale)