Bella & Co. owner closes store to ponder next journey

After four years of business in Wilton’s historic Cannondale district, Isabelle Bell announced that her jewelry, accessories and global gift store, Bella & Co., will close Aug. 31.

Ms. Bell said she has decided to close Bella & Co. and move to Cape Cod for a number of reasons, including her daughter’s recent graduation from Wilton High School, problems with the store, and other “signs.”

“My daughter Kate just graduated and I had sold my house and we moved to Avalon,” said Ms. Bell.

“At the end of June, they handed me my lease renewal and the rent went  up, and I thought, ‘Are you nuts? I’m not doing this.’”

Ms. Bell said she looked around for apartments, but there weren’t many available.

“I eventually found an apartment, but then I thought, ‘What am I doing? The signs are all there,’” she said. “My sales tax deed expires this month, and I have a house up in the Cape that sits empty.”

Ms. Bell said she decided to sell everything, marking everything in her store at 50% off, and put all her furniture and display cases into storage.

“I’m going to take a year-and-a-half off to just regroup, refresh, decide what I want to do, and just let it go from there,” she said.

“Do I want to come back here and reopen? Do I want to come back somewhere else in Connecticut and reopen? Do I want to reopen in Provincetown? I don’t know.”

Ms. Bell first opened Bella & Co. in January 2010 at its original location at 26 Cannon Road. About a year ago, she moved her shop to its current location at 32 Cannon Road.

Although the new store was located in “a great building,” said Ms. Bell, it came with “a lot of problems.”

On Tuesday, July 22, Ms. Bell said, she found the whole back of the store completely flooded.

“The water was coming through the ceiling, and that’s when I realized I made the right decision,” she said.

“That was a sign from God that I had made the right choice to close the store. I just kept having leaks here — leak upon leak.”

Ms. Bell said running Bella & Co. on her own, six days a week, for the past four years has been a lot of work, and another reason she’s decided to close the store and take time to contemplate her next journey.

“I was getting tired and I figured a year-and-a-half is enough to figure it all out,” she said.

“It will go by fast and it gives me more time to spend with my daughter, because now I can visit her at school.”

Ms. Bell’s daughter Kate will attend Mount Saint Mary College in Newburgh, N.Y., this fall.

“Before, I wouldn’t have been able to do that with the store,” said Ms. Bell. “I would either have to wait for the store to close to see her or close the store and lose business, so it was divine timing — it really was.”

Ms. Bell said her customers are what she will miss most about Bella & Co.

“I will miss those customers that would come in and we would just chat about life and all kinds of stuff for an hour or two — sometimes even the whole day,” said Ms. Bell.

“I’d have to say, that was the best part of the store. They weren’t customers. They were friends.”

Bella & Co. will open its doors for the last time on Aug. 31. Until then, everything in the store is 50% off.

Ms. Bell  said she is thankful for everyone who has supported Bella & Co.

“I will truly miss everyone who changed my life through the store,” she said.