Women’s Surfboard and Clothing Company | BellaSol Boards of New Smyrna Beach, Florida

Surfboard and woman at beach under a pier

New Smyrna’s Christina Cuccinello carves out her own place in the surf business.

In an unsuspecting home in the coziest of places in New Smyrna, a homegrown business is making waves in the surf industry. Surfboard designer, Christina Cuccinello, took some time to talk about where her company, BellaSol, came from and where it’s going.

Building a surfboard company sounds like a daunting task. It takes someone passion about the sport and a vision for what they’re building. And while Cuccinello has a fun and easy going vibe about her, she is passionate, motivated, and has a clear goal with her brand: Make cool, beautiful, and affordable boards for women of all ages.

“I was looking around (at a concert) noticing all of these other girls were wearing Hollister shirts the same as mine,” Cuccinello said, when asked about how she was inspired to start her company. “I wanted to have my own thing going on.” She went home and designed her own t-shirts that said “bella” on the front and “soul” on the back. Inspired by her Italian heritage, the phrase encompassed her positive personality and unknowingly started her own brand.

It wasn’t long until people were coming up and asking her where she bought the homemade shirts she was wearing. A call to a local printing company and fifty t-shirts later, her company was born, literally from the trunk of her car.

Cuccinello’s entrepreneurial spirit pushed her to go beyond the t-shirt designs when a local surf store asked her if she would be interested in creating designs for skateboards and then surfboards. Having been self-taught in design and business up to that point, she accepted a mentorship that helped her with the ins and outs of building your own board line.

Between starting this new venture and coming up with her fresh designs, she works full-time as massage therapist, something that’s helped her more than you’d immediately think. Cuccinello’s time as a masseuse at the Grand Floridian in Disney taught her about hard work, excellent customer service, and the rewards of being disciplined. Definitely not what you would imagine of a laid-back surf enthusiast, but a huge benefit to creating a successful brand.

Bella Soul soon changed to BellaSol, reflecting the beach and surf lifestyle of the business. Instead of a trunk full of t-shirts, it’s now a warehouse full of soft top boards, epoxy boards, and stand-up paddle boards designed for women of all ages. “I was sick of seeing nothing but the same hibiscus designs for women’s boards,” Cuccinello said. Her designs and illustrations are inspired from her own life. “I’ll wake up and have this idea and jump onto my computer and get my ideas down.”

Cuccinello didn’t just happen into the surf scene with the BellaSol, though. She fell in love with the activity soon after moving to Florida, visiting the beach on the weekends, and ultimately moving to the shore four years ago.

Being the new kid in the surf scene has its difficulties, but it seemed to call her. “I really loved the culture, and coming from a really tight knit old-school Italian family, the surf culture really are about a small clique. It’s hard in a way, but being on the outside, you have to really prove yourself…and the way you prove yourself is always just stick with it. Keep on doing your thing and people will notice. Then people will start slowly accepting you.”
Recently, she’s expanded her line to include accessories and additional options for her boards. Bamboo tops and colored fins are just a few things you’ll see on BellaSol boards these days. Cuccinello excitedly said, “I had this idea for pink fins, called up my manufacturers with the idea,” and now offers a way to make a customer’s board even more their own.

You can catch Cuccinello at local beach happenings with her BellaSol tent, and her boards in some local retailers, but she’s making the most of the Internet where she able to sell to a larger audience around the world. However, she maintains being very involved with her local community, providing a product and a voice for other young women to look up to.

One place you might not see Cuccinello is sponsoring any professional surfers. She said, “I guess I should, but I’ve always done my own thing. I’m kinda carving my own path, you know? And whether it’s right or it’s way wrong, I’ll figure it out.”

BellaSol Boards owner from New Smyrna Florida

Feeding chickens during photo session with business owner

Surf boards designed locally in Florida eastern coast

At boardwalk with surfer girl near Daytona

Women

 

J9 Style X Foxtale Photography — Look Books for Bloggers

A little note from Foxtale: We had the pleasure to collaborate with Orlando fashion blog and stylist extraordinaire, J9 STYLE, for an editorial fashion shoot on her website. It’s always great to meet and work with other passionate creatives from our area. J9 was nice enough to share some of her styling inspirations and tips with us on our blog, but go subscribe to her blog to keep up with her (and make sure to check out her past posts about working with Marshalls!)

J9 STYLE is an affordable fashion and beauty blog that empowers women to “channel their inner fabulous” and provide everyday styling tips for those who are tight on money and time. The author, J9, strive to help women find fun ways to add some sass and style to their everyday life, discover their own personal sense of style and have a few giggles.

Beautiful fashion stylist Janine or J9 Style Blog in her signature purple dress

Purple Dress$14 on clearance at Target/ Rope belt $15 New York & Company Outlet/ Black Pumps $0 Marshalls photo shoot/ Ring $6 Forever21/ Purple Clutch $22  Retromended Vintage / Total Outfit $59

An afternoon at the lake in Florida with style blog writer in black pants and bracelets

Peter Pan Collar Shirt $23 Marshalls/ Black Cropped Pants $30 New York & Company/ Bracelets $20 various boutiques and H&M/ Black pumps $0  Marshalls photo shoot/ Total Outfit $73 

Orlando blogger posing near a rustic orange grove in blue striped shirt and leather boots

Stripped shirt $24 at local boutique/  Necklace $17.99  JC Penney/Cognac Boots $74 DSW /Total Outfit $135.99

Central Florida fashionista in blue heels in front of graffiti wall with sparkly necklace

Striped dress $12 Ross(similar here)/Black jacket $15 Target (similar here)/Necklace $9 JCP (similar here)/Blue pumps $22 Dots (similar here) Total Outfit $58

Lake County High School Senior Photographers | Foxtale Photography | Jenny

smiling for senior photographs

Even though the new year just started, senior year is half over for most twelfth graders in Florida. Prom will be just around the corner and then they’ll be trying on their caps and gowns after that. As fast as the next few months will fly by, there’s still time to have senior portraits taken.

Jenny’s showing us all how awesome your senior portraits should be. We had a great time with the soon-to-be Umatilla High graduate, running around Lake county to capture these beautiful shots. She’s a singer, an artist, and learning how to play guitar… her positive attitude and vibrant smile shows in her photos. She’s also got such great style, it matches her personality—fun and colorful! We’re so glad to have spent the afternoon getting to capture this time for Jenny, her family and her friends.

class of 2013 Umatilla senior

sunset pose of young woman in purple top

eighteen year old girl posing for camera

Eustis highschool student in blue blouse

beautiful florida tree with girl in fashionable outfit

Ready to schedule your session? Just contact us so we can tell you about your session and see our 2013 Senior Portrait Guide!

Jade Sheldon - Gorgeous! Loving that burnt orange/pink sky!

Stacey - Looks like a fun session! Love the variety and that blue wall is amazing!