Bella Beverly lingerie opens at University Park mall
When Darrel Austin was shopping with his mother, Beverly, they found many of the options available to be less than ideal. Beverly, who passed away last August, was a full-bodied woman and it was hard to find the right evening outfits that put her at ease.
“They didn’t have any high end or fancy stuff,” Austin said. “They had stuff for older, mature women, and because of its size, it was basically like a cookie cutter that was very boring.”
Wanting to provide a better option for women of all sizes, shapes and colors, Austin opened a delicate Beverly’s Secret clothing store in Roseland with his niece Danielle Luckey in 2018. But, just like in real estate, retail is a big deal. question of “location, location, location,” and the store wasn’t getting the traffic it needed to keep things sustainable.
“People don’t go to Roseland to shop,” Austin said.
Beverly’s Secret closed in early 2020, initially following Governor Eric Holcomb’s statewide shutdown due to the coronavirus pandemic, and the store simply never reopened. Austin didn’t want to give up on the business, still wanting to occupy a niche of providing a body positive atmosphere and quality products for all sizes. Over the past year, he searched for a better location with a refined look and finally settled on the University Park mall in Mishawaka.
Now called Bella Beverly’s Lingerie, the intimate clothing store opened this weekend in the former Garage space near the food court at Mishawaka Mall. The store sells a wide variety of clothing, from everyday underwear and nightwear to more intimate lace and floral options as well as bridal and costume wear, all in a range of sizes from XXS to 9X. The store also offers bath and body products, such as bath bombs, soaps, and lotions.
Along with the new store, Austin also introduced new luxury items, with brands such as Paris-based Ooh La La, and adding formwear and accessories. The store also offers fittings, where associates can help customers navigate through items with eight large fitting rooms available.
“We have colors, we have prints, we have flowers, we have everything,” he said. “You name it, we have it.”
For Austin, the business is all about inclusiveness and keeping things as real as possible, using local plus-size models for large photo screens and having full-size and black mannequins. It’s also about standing up for tall women who, he said, are often treated as an afterthought.
“The most important thing is that these are full-bodied women who have never been rocked that well,” Austin said. “People have looked around and passed them, and they have to be respected, and I’m trying to make that happen.… It’s their time and their time, and they can walk into my store. and feel as important as anyone else. “
Bella Beverly’s Lingeri is open during regular mall hours, Monday through Thursday 11 a.m. to 8 p.m., Fridays and Saturdays 10 a.m. to 9 p.m., and Sunday 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Changes at the mall
Several stores inside University Park Mall in Mishawaka have changed locations and some are preparing to close.
- The Aldo shoe store will close soon, with furniture and accessories advertised for sale. Merchandise was reduced by up to 70% on Thursday. A seller said the store was due to close in late July. According to Retail Insider, the Canada-based company filed for restructuring in May 2020 after the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.
- Store 13th Zodiac has moved from its location near JC Penney to the former Maternity Maternity area next to Blondies Cookies. Its old premises are now vacant.
- The former Disney Store space has been transformed into a “pop-up shop” with a partition separating the large space. The pop-up concept allows a rotating supplier to take up space and was first introduced by mall management in 2019.
- The Next Level clothing store opened next to the Aerie at the north end of the mall.
- Mango Thai is slated to open in the former Chao Cajun space of the food court. An exact opening date was not immediately clear.
Did you hear?
Fiesta Tapatia at 119 W. McKinley Ave. in Mishawaka was “forced” to close earlier than expected due to a water leak. The local Mexican restaurant plans to rmove to Heritage Square inside the former Charming Charlie space in Granger. The owners had previously said they hoped to reopen by August. … The 2021 South Bend Town Center Wine Walk it’s this Wednesday. Eleven participating restaurants in downtown South Bend will offer three wine or beer tastings paired with three food tastings. The event will run from 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. and, as in 2019, attendees must purchase tickets through Eventbrite and bracelets must be collected before the start of the walk. The cost is $ 40; $ 25 for designated drivers. Visit eatdrinkdtsb.com/wine-walk-june-2021 for more details.
Contact Mary Shown, retail and restaurant reporter and Market Basket columnist at the South Bend Tribune at 574-235-6244 and [email protected] Follow her on Twitter: @maryshownSBT and @marketbasketSBT.