Welcome! My name is Bella Bekanova.
Back in high school, I was pretty bold with my looks. I loved breaking the boundaries and rebelling. I loved the way my clothes could shout out my personality without me having to say a word and I loved strange reactions I got from people who just couldn’t get what I was wearing.
I’m from a small town in the predominantly Muslim area of Kabardino-Balkaria in South Western Russia. Even from a young age I enjoyed wearing good quality clothing that looked great so I decided I would study fashion design. In my after school hours I would travel to a neighbouring town to take a course where I learnt pattern cutting, drawing, embroidery and all the skills I would need to work in the industry. It took me four years but I did it.
When the time came to go to university though, my interests had broadened and I decided to study Public Relations. It was here, in my first year at Pyatigorsk State University that I was given an opportunity to come to London which I jumped at. I immediately fell in love with the diversity of cultures and mix people in the city and never went back home.
It was after five years of being here in London that I decided to wear a hijab. Somehow by this time, my styling had become more subdued, simplistic, and even, dare I say it, slightly boring. Any stylishness I felt I still had completely evaporated when I put my hijab on for the first time. In trying to be ‘safe’, I just got really confused with what I was wearing and trying to coordinate. At some point, the personality my clothes had once shouted about in school got lost behind my scarf.
I can’t even show you a single photo now because my outfits were so hideous I deleted every image of myself! I was hiding behind the hijab and really, I was one boring spot on this earth. I absolutely hated it. Where had the old Bella gone? I wondered. So I started to research different tools I could use to elevate my style and make my hijab a part of that. After much thought I realised that if I really wanted to know my subject first hand, I would need to become a personal shopper. So that’s what I did! I got myself a qualification as a personal shopper and stylist and have never looked back.
Today, I’m happy with my style. I know what I need to wear, what colours, shapes and textures suit me and dressing up is a breeze. It also got me much more connected with people because I find that it’s far easier to talk to anyone when you feel beautiful. I’m back to experimenting and breaking boundaries again and I even founded my own styling consultancy business in the process.
All this is something that I have grown to love sharing with other women. Seeing beauty in people is a key part of my job and the more I do it, the more beauty I am surrounded by. I believe that there is something truly magical about women empowering other women and now I have many women in my life that inspire me every day. Being able to give something back really is a true pleasure. Based on this, I founded a community for women called SMART women (Successful, Modern, Ambitious, Resilient and Talented), add info, whose primary concern is the general personal development of women. My favourite part of the job is seeing the moment when a woman finally learns how beautiful she really is. It’s just amazing to watch her become suddenly more alive, happier and so much more vibrant as she learns what beauty was hiding there all along!
My mission is to make sure that every women feels beautiful and powerful ALL THE TIME! In the process of this I want to build a business that will give me the opportunity to do this full time. So I'm working on creating a platform for women that will allow all of us to help each other on our style and on the journey to happiness, gorgeousness and well being. Watch my progress here.
Yours, Bella x