Between my sister and I, we have several years of retail experience. My sister Gloria had a successful woman’s clothing store in the late 80’s as a very young woman in Old Town Pasadena called Dusk. I shortly followed with a Men’s version. After several years of business, we closed shop, raised our kids and helped our dad with his business. Years later, he we are! Hand crafters ourselves, we saw an opportunity to make our wares, support other artisans, and focus on local hand made items and merchandise made from artist all around.We are such advocates of local manufacturing and try to be supporters of our own communities, we felt Sierra Madre, an artist community itself would embrace such a venture; thus came Belle’s Nest. During this wonderful journey, we have discovered the joys of making more than just our own items. We love the adventure of searching out the flea market find, the introduction to great vintage items, refurbishing of furniture, and mixing old with the new. Belle’s Nest constantly is evolving and bringing us joy, we hope it inspires and brings a bit of joy to you. Most importantly we love the wonderful relationships we have made and talented artist we have come to know.
Thanks to our husbands and kids for the endless support and encouragement they also provide on a daily basis and thank you for supporting local hand made.
So. Who are we and what are we about?
e are two sisters who share a love and passion for art, fine crafts, the creative process and all things handmade. It may sound cliché but it’s true.
Our inspiration and dedication to small business comes from our dad. He optimizes the “American Dream” that we have always believed in. To understand us, you need to learn about him. Our father was an immigrant from Mexico; losing his mother at age 17, the eldest of 5 kids, without a father, and only a 2nd grade education; he found himself working from age 12 at an auto body shop to help support the family. At age 18, he came to California hoping for a better life and seeking opportunity to continue working at an auto body shop to support his siblings. He found his love as a painter. He taught himself the trade and soon was sought after by body shops in the LA area. He was known for his expertise in color matching by site and his painting skills.Living in LA, he married our mom, had 4 kids and continued working successfully at his craft. At age 40 he chose to open his own Body Shop in Culver City. He learned to read, write and speak English; he successfully owned and operated his business, Manuel’s Body Shop for 40 years before recently retiring. He sold it to his worker of 12 years who started off as a young 15 year old just like him; giving him an opportunity of a lifetime. The body shop is still successfully operating today. Growing up, our father became our biggest inspiration. Our parents encouraged us to follow our dreams, try and not give up. Dad would tell us failure and mistakes were going to happen, those experiences were going to be a learning tool for the next time. So you see, without his support and encouragement, the risks and challenges of opening a business would never have come to fruition.