With the holiday season in full merriment, it’s time to review your gift-giving list and wrap it up before it’s too late — and if you’re on the hunt for the perfect gift for that much-loved mom-to-be in your life or you’re an expecting mama, look no further because Bella Gravida is the brand that’s sure to deliver a dreamy pregnancy wardrobe.
Bella Gravida is the sophisticated and savvy monthly subscription service that helps moms-to-be wear and enjoy an endless assortment of modern clothing — offering women a “revolving wardrobe” of designer maternity wear. With just one flat monthly rate, glam mamas can wear a garment, send it back and a new garment arrives — and it includes unlimited styles, unlimited returns, free dry cleaning and free shipping both ways. And there’s no better time to refresh your maternity wardrobe than with the New Year ahead — and borrow that “little black dress” for the holiday season.
Bella Gravida, which means “beautifully pregnant” in Italian is the brainchild of Christa Floresca, the beauty, brains, and mom of a 9-month old daughter who experienced a surprise pregnancy at the age of 40 — and found the fashion element of her pregnancy limited in choice as well as unaffordable. And while Christa brings new style, confidence, and inspiration to all mamas-to-be with Bella Gravida — which is perfect for pregnant darlings and the answer for the gift-giving season — Christa also gives mamas-to-be a new philosophy on maternity fashion and life.
byteclay.com had the opportunity to interview Christa Floresca of Bella Gravida and get her take on this season’s wishlist-worthy gifts for moms-to-be and receive words of wisdom for women from all walks of life.
What inspired you to create Bella Gravida?
CF: Truthfully, Bella Gravida exists because I hated the way I looked while I was pregnant. During my pregnancy, I learned that you go through so many life changes, your self-image takes a huge hit. How you feel on the inside is tied to how you think you look on the outside. I spent over twenty years working as an executive for national nonprofits. I’ve raised tens of millions of dollars for cancer, education, and women’s’ health charities. At 40, when I (surprise!) discovered I was pregnant, I quickly began to grow out of my tailored wardrobe. I have been a member of subscription services and started searching for a designer, stylish revolving subscription to help me temporarily replace my normal wardrobe. Nothing existed. How was it possible that no one saw this important need and worked to fill it? So pregnant, frustrated and frumpy, I began to build Bella Gravida. We launched nationally this year.
Explain its unique monthly maternity subscription that allows for a “revolving wardrobe”?
CF: We are truly the Netflix of maternity. When you sign up, you fill your virtual closet with clothes from our huge inventory that you want to try. Instead of renting one garment at a time, or getting just one box a month, you pay one flat monthly fee (depending on the number of garments from our inventory you want in-home at any one time). When you’re done with a designer piece, simply ship it back to us (shipping is free!) and another one will be on its way. We do not make you return everything at once, and we don’t try and distract you with accessories or offers from other vendors. Its designer maternity and nursing clothes you want, that’s what you’ll get.
Tell me about the designs- how versatile are the styles? What came to mind when creating them?
CF: I have personally hand-selected every style from every designer we carry. It is thousands of pieces. At launch, we carried nearly two-dozen designers from around the world – including those worn by celebrities and the Duchess of Cambridge. We are looking for quality designer brands that are stylish, comfortable, and durable. We have rejected designers because their lines do not meet the very high standards I have set for Bella Gravida. I’m looking for luxe fabrics, beautiful tailoring and treatments, style and comfort. I’ve created arguably one of the largest designer maternity and nursing closets so our customers do not have to buy frumpy ruched cotton from big box stores. Our styles range from whimsical and romantic, to edgy and modern. Whether a woman’s style is classic, bohemian, modern, romantic, glam, or southern chic, we carry garments they will love. And, we help a woman go from home, the office, and to date night with ease.
Being a mom who faced many challenges and triumphed — and now the Founder of Bella Gravida- can you please share any words of maternity advice or life lessons for women trying to conceive as well as moms-to-be?
CF: I was told at 20 that I couldn’t have children. So at 40, my pregnancy was a shock and a miracle. Pregnancy and my first few months of motherhood were so rough on me. Mandatory bedrest, an emergency C-section, and postpartum depression. I don’t know that I have any sage words of wisdom. I do have a message to every woman who is about to embark on the most difficult and fulfilling journey of a lifetime – You are going to make mistakes. You are going to fumble. We all have. And, we all survive. Go easy on yourself. Get sleep when you can. This is hard – it’s okay to say so. Ask for and accept help from people who love you. You are absolutely going to need it. Don’t worry that your house is not perfectly clean. Let your baby sleep on your chest and cherish those moments – they don’t last long. Take lots of pictures but don’t experience their big moments from behind the camera. Butt paste and gripe water are your friends. You will google search baby poop at 4am – just accept it. Welcome to the best club in the world. You’re going to be wonderful.
Do you have a morning mantra or ritual that you can share to boost confidence and start the day off right for moms, moms-to-be and women from all walks of life?
CF: At one point in my life, my morning ritual consisted of choosing shoes, long showers and a relaxing cup of hot coffee. Now, if I am lucky to sleep past 6am, my morning ritual involves cheerios and peaches with a babbling one-year old and a hurried cup of mostly-cold coffee.
Can you share any health, fitness, and diet secrets or life lessons to live a healthy and happy life?
CF: Yikes, I am likely the last person that should be giving advice on health and fitness. I am an entrepreneur, a wife, and a mother. If I shower and eat three meals, it’s a good day. I should be espousing the importance of balance, but, I burn the candle at both ends. I do, however, have something to share about living a happy life. My view on life is exactly the same as it was before becoming a mother. I lost a friend who was 35 to breast cancer. Her passing changed my life – not just a loss of a young friend, but she left me with an appreciation of enjoying your life right now. So we take the vacations we plan, we don’t put off the things we want to see and do, and we experience life and our family in the moment. We take risks, and accept failures. And we laugh. A lot. If only that burned calories, I wouldn’t be carrying around this baby weight.
What are your favorite Bella Gravida pieces for this holiday season?
CF: I’m a classic LBD girl. I must own 10 of them I used to rotate throughout the holiday season. They are so versatile and have the ability to be dramatic or romantic. Bella Gravida’s collection includes gorgeous little black dresses from over a dozen different designers, and they are divine! Among my favorites are the Tuesday swing dress from Momo Maternity, the LBD with Leather Cap Sleeves from Jules and Jim, Everly Grey’s black satin Keating dress, and the one-shoulder embellished Scarlett dress from Rosie Pope. The styles are so fantastic, you can’t believe they are maternity.
To learn more about Bella Gravida and to give (or get) a subscription of darling and designer maternity wear every month please visit: bellagravida.com.