Lu Bella Lands in Belle Harbor

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Ladies—there’s a new place to shop in town. Lu Bella Boutique made its big debut on August 16, and with a constant flow of customers leaving the new Beach 129th shop with big shopping bags and an even bigger smile, it’s clear that Lu Bella has made a big first impression.

End of the A boutique may have come to an end earlier this summer, but the Beach 129th storefront didn’t remain empty for long after Brooklynite Kim Capone got word that the perfect spot was available in her future neighborhood—Rockaway.

Capone will soon be making the move from Mill Basin to Belle Harbor. With in-laws living in Breezy and a daughter already living in Rockaway, the move made sense. “Brooklyn is changing and this is so close. I love the community, I love the people. Everyone is so welcoming and wonderful and looking to lend a helping hand, which I love,” she said. As her house went into contract and she was showing a cousin around the area, a thought struck as she had dinner at Pico. “I said to myself, wouldn’t it be great if I had a boutique out here?”

The thought wasn’t random. Capone is no stranger to the retail business. When her daughter, Isabella, was 11, she got into the hobby of making beaded bracelets. It soon became a business called Bella’s Beads. “It was such a fast-growing business that we had everyone we knew helping—my mother, my aunts, my mother’s friends, my landlord’s sons—I couldn’t keep up with orders, so I had to hire someone full time, helping make bracelets five days a week,” Capone said. The bracelet business lasted three years until the fad died down, but that small taste of the retail business left Capone wanting more. “I’ve always loved fashion and clothing. It’s been my passion. And then a location opened up in a Staten Island hair salon, so I took it and that’s how it all started,” she said.

Naming the shop after her daughters—Luisa and Isabella—Capone opened her first Lu Bella Boutique within a Staten Island salon in 2014. It was a quick success and it wasn’t long before she opened her first brick-and-mortar store in Bay Ridge in 2015. Soon after, Capone had her own shop on Page Avenue in Staten Island and then another in her hometown of Mill Basin. Lu Bella’s Rockaway location is her fourth store, and the brand keeps growing.

“It’s all about my staff, family members and friends. I could never do it without them,” Capone said of her ability to expand so quickly. And she’s not done yet. By the end of the year, Capone will have two more stores in Massapequa Park, LI and Manalapan, NJ.

As for now, Rockaway’s Lu Bella Boutique is off to a great start and is a welcome new addition in the neighborhood with limited retail options. “We opened on August 16 and there was an amazing turnout, beyond my wildest expectations. So far business has been amazing. The community has been very receptive, they love the clothing,” she said. After all, Lu Bella has a little of everything for everyone. “We have very trendy, up-to-date fashion and we accommodate teens all the way up to 70-year-old women,” Capone said. In addition to clothing for all ages and all sizes, Lu Bella has everything from shoes to handbags, accessories to perfumes and all sorts of gift items.

Jill Ziarno, a buyer for Lu Bella, says what makes them unique is that they’re always ahead of the curve. “We’re special, not generic. We try to carry more of what most stores don’t. We think out of the box and we’re very fashion forward, so we’ll bring in hot items that other stores won’t catch up on until a year later,” Ziarno said. Also, every time you step into Lu Bella, they’re bound to have something new. “We bring in new merchandise a few times a week,” Capone said.

The Lu Bella experience is made extra special by the excellent customer service offered by staff. “Everybody is very friendly. We pride ourselves on customer service,” Capone said. Those at Lu Bella always make sure they have what the customer wants. “If we don’t have something in store, we have it in our other stores, so we transfer items and have them by the next day, so for the most part, we don’t have to tell a customer that we don’t have an item,” Ziarno said. They even offer personal shopping for those who don’t like shopping or who can’t make it to the store. “If someone doesn’t like to shop, we’ll shop for them,” Capone said. They also help customers in the store to pick out items to help them look their best. And as if the products weren’t enough, they also give customers more of a reason to keep coming back for more with a rewards program. “When customers spend over a certain amount, the next time they come in, they can get 20% off their next purchase,” Ziarno said.

Capone says that finding this Rockaway location was nothing short of a godsend. “God has a very big hand in everything that happens in my life and I give all the glory to him. I would’ve never found this place if it weren’t for God’s hand,” she said. Rockaway has quickly embraced Lu Bella and Capone says she’s looking forward to embracing the community as her new home.  “I’m very excited to move out there. The community has been wonderful,” she said.

Lu Bella Boutique, located at 437 Beach 129th Street, is open seven days a week. They’re open from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., Monday through Wednesday, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., Thursday through Saturday and 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Sunday. For more info, call 718-318-3509 and be sure to check out some of their products on Instagram @lubella_boutique

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