I found myself back at Bella Vita on a recent gorgeous day in Rockridge. The sun was shining, a young man in Giants apparel was sitting in front of BART playing an Irish jig on a violin, and two elderly men sitting at a sidewalk cafe table had two obese pugs napping on their laps. All was as it should be.
I’m not going to bury the lede here (although it might be a little late for that) so here’s the news: Bella Vita moved! They’re in a sunnier, bigger, more central location (if you know the area, it’s where Rockridge Kids used to be.) I got to chat with owner Jennifer before closing time; she explained that she’d been at the old location for 12 years, but when the chance came to take this spot, it was too good to pass up. Her daughter Olivia, quietly tootling around the store on her razor scooter, helpfully added, “Now we’re next to Market Hall!” Olivia has the potential to grow up to be a fine businessperson: she’s quite correct that being next to Market Hall, the popular and well trafficked Euro-style market/cafe, can only mean good things for Bella Vita.
Now, let’s gawk at some clothes ‘n stuff!
I’d wear this cute sundress in a hot minute.
If only actual trees grew shabby-chic rings, instead of stupid ol’ leaves!
Decadent. Gorgeous. Check out more of the artist’s stuff: she’s a Bay Area dame and her stuff is half “SO me” and half “SO someone else” but that someone else will be very happy. And I will also be very happy with the half that is so me and so WE’RE ALL HAPPY I GUESS.
Don’t miss the great selection of cameo rings. This horse one makes me say “YAY, not neigh!” Sorry, I realize it does not “behoof” a lady to make unforgivable puns so I’ll give myself a good “dressage-ing” down and get back to the “mane” attraction.
What, like I’m going to spot a beautiful pair of flower earrings and NOT feature them? I don’t THINK so.
These ones are made by Berkeley artist Kelley Hollis, whose business, La Chat Souriant, looks like the inside of my dream jewelry-box.
Got a boat party coming up? You’ll look dazzling in this oh-so-hip dress with a very fashionable tummy cutout. You can wear it to your crummy office assistant job, too: I won’t tell on you. Just dream of the sea while you’re updating Excel docs.
Ah, costume jewelry. Or, as I like to call you, regular jewelry!
Sure, the blouse is cute. Love it, would wear it to any picnic, any goddamn day. But I hope your eye has also been caught, as mine was, by that vintage shopping basket rack! Let’s zoomify.
It’s the little details you appreciate.
Bella Vita’s slogan is “Purveyor of lovely things,” and if there’s a common thread among all these wares, it’s definitely their loveliness. Plus, almost everything is created by local or local-ish designers, and you can’t turn up your nose at that. So come on by and check out the new location! And lazy people, rejoice: It’s even closer to BART.