By Joe Bachman
STEVENS POINT — “I wanted to do something that mattered.”
An ideology that became the driving force behind a new women’s clothing store that was welcomed to downtown Stevens Point on Wednesday by the Portage County Business Council. Bria Bella & Co. will offer women’s clothing of all sizes and accessories with a uniquely local flare, as their lineup is made up of apparel exclusive to the area.
According to owner and Wisconsin Rapids native Tara Manzke, her step away from corporate life has branched into something more than a women’s clothing store, but the idea that a woman can and should feel confident at all times.
“Throughout my time spent in corporate I know that if I walked into a meeting feeling confident, that I would nail that meeting,” said Manzke. “You walk in with an air of confidence, and I feel like all women should have that — and they should walk into any day, be it at home with the kids, or an interview, or a meeting for a promotion — and feel confident about it.”
Manzke works exclusively with clothing designers in Los Angeles to create a product unlike anything in the area. The collection will carry a number of items in all sizes, including plus sized, and inventory is expected to refresh frequently.
“Every time somebody comes in, the goal is that they’re going to find at least a few items that are brand new that they haven’t seen and to really keep that individuality.” said Manzke.
‘Bria Bella’ stands for “strong-beautiful-you” through multiple languages. Close to two dozen were in attendance for the ribbon cutting, including representatives from Community First Bank, Mid-State Technical College, and Stevens Point Mayor Mike Wiza.
“I’ve always been about trying to focus locally,” said Wiza. “Buy and support local whenever possible because local businesses are the ones that are going to support the other local businesses.”
Bria Bella & Co. is located at 925 Main St. and will be open from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Monday through Wednesdays, 10:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. Thursday and Fridays, and 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. on Saturdays. For more information, check out their Facebook page by visiting https://www.facebook.com/briabellaco/