Local budding business, Isabella Artuso, was born from the creative and entrepreneurial minds of Danielle Paynter and her mother, Patricia. Created in honour of Danielle’s daughter, and her namesake, the brand is an homage to three generations of tenacious, empowered women.
Cofounder Danielle explains, “The Isabella Artuso brand is an accessories line that features maximalist ‘head crowns’ for the chic and extraordinary woman.” The brand centres around the “Bella Band,” a collection of hand-sewn and detailed headbands crafted by the mother-daughter pair.
“I have always been an entrepreneur, having started several businesses since my early twenties, and my mom also has an entrepreneurial spirit,” Danielle says. “There is a legacy of bold, daring women in my family and I know my outgoing daughter is on the same track, so I decided to name the company after her so that she could potentially build on the foundation that my mother and I have started.”
With the incentive to empower women through brave, eye-catching accessories, Danielle has a clear vision for her customers: “The Bella woman is fun, fierce and fab and likes to make a statement without saying a word.” The Bella Band is designed to “make her feel like a queen who has been ‘crowned’—she feels regal, confident and put together.” Patrons can expect vibrant colours, fun patterns and intricate embellishments, with each piece representing “a collectible treasure that can elevate even the simplest outfit.”
Danielle charts the journey to building a business alongside her mother with skillsets that complement one another: “We are both entrepreneurial and creative, but we have totally different strengths…my mom is very task-oriented, focussed and has high attention for detail while I am a big thinker, a relationship builder and a marketer.”
“We’ve been working on perfecting the band since January 2022,” she explains, “and it has required late nights together watching videos, testing new ideas and brainstorming.”
“It’s been a fun bonding experience that has brought us closer together,” she adds.
Danielle shares that it takes upwards of 4 to 5 hours to create one Bella Band, while perfecting their highly collaborative process. “We are making these from scratch, wrapping each headband in comfortable black velvet, heat pressing the logo, stitching and creating the actual band, attaching it to the frame and then hand-sewing each jewel on, one by one.”
Sourcing inspiration from social media, fashion blogs and key cultural moments on the island, Danielle dives deeper into her creative process. “I often ask myself, what would excite me…and go from there.” Her first two collections were seen styled islandwide, celebrating Cup Match and embodying Bermuda Pride. Customers can next expect to see a Holiday Collection, “a line that can be worn beyond Christmas and is the perfect accessory to any party occasion.”
“You can expect lots of beautiful silks, tweeds, velvets, as well as tons of sparkle—a lot of elegance with a rebel twist,” she adds.
A visionary who is always thinking of ways to grow her business, Danielle shares exciting insight into potential next steps: “Next for the brand is to expand into headbands for the little girls in your life…there’s nothing better than a Mommy and Me moment!” she says. For the long term, Danielle sets her sights on expansion. “Eventually, I’d like to see the brand expand its product range into belts, earrings and other accessories.” She adds, “I’d like to see it sold internationally in small boutiques in the US and Europe and be another high-quality Bermuda export, similar to other brands like TABS and Alexandra Mosher.” She envisions the brand becoming more reflective of Bermuda, emulating the island’s colour palette, its lifestyle and its icons.
Ultimately, Danielle shares, “I want tourists to purchase one as a souvenir from their trip, I want locals to purchase them as a way to express their Bermuda pride and I want women to purchase them because it makes them feel like a queen!”
To shop and learn more, visit www.isabellaartuso.com.