Best of Edmond: Bella Blu
The transition from vice president and co-owner of a down and dirty semi-trailer equipment business in Boise, Idaho to the joyful glow of mothers-to-be in Edmond, Oklahoma was quite a leap of faith for businessman Tim Kilkenny.
“I moved back home to Oklahoma after a 10 year stint in the family business in Boise, Idaho. Our business there was a full service semi-trailer and heavy truck equipment business with 75 employees,” he said. “The business itself was very lucrative, but I had little passion for it. I’m often asked how in the world did you go from a trailer/truck equipment dealership to maternity clothing?”
His answer: Believe in yourself. Take the first step, and never look back.
After the move to Edmond, he took a job with a friend who was working in online e-commerce. From that experience, inspiration was born and the investment purchase of Bella Blu Maternity & Baby was very quick to follow. “The owner accepted my offer and I stayed home on my Labor Day weekend in September 2006 to get all of the contracts completed to expedite the transition,” said Kilkenny. “That was it, I was then an online maternity store and I soon began my hands-on training to learn the business.”
As the business continued to grow, he decided it was time to go from online e-commerce to opening a retail store in Edmond. “At the time, Edmond had no maternity stores with the exception of low quality maternity clothing at some large retail outlets.” Now located at 323 S. Blackwelder Avenue, off Second and Bryant, the store has reached beyond retail sales of maternity clothing to incorporate diaper bags, cloth diapers, shopping cart and highchair covers, as well as skin care products.
Bella Blu has even had a product featured on a national morning talk show. “We have sent clothing to Elizabeth Hasselbeck on ‘The View,’ Mary-Louise Parker on ‘Weeds’ and country singer Jo Dee Messina has bought from our online store. We have sent clothing to high profile New York models, as well as other cable television shows/sitcoms,” he says.
As a local hot spot for high quality maternity clothes for the casual and corporate mom, Bella Blu is known for their affordable prices. “As the first business I have full ownership of, I’m very proud that Bella Blu is individually owned and operated. We are not a franchise; therefore, I am not limited on what I can sell or what prices I can sell things for,” said Kilkenny. “I love the designers I work with and the customers that come in are often glowing with joy.”
For more information on their products, visit www.bellablumaternity.com, or stop by their retail shop for true value savings, without all the sales gimmicks.