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IC Business Closing Its Doors

IOWA CITY -- Bella Joli, a downtown Iowa City boutique, will be closing its doors this week, after 20 years of business. Mary Beth Guillaume, owner of Bella Joli, has announced she will be paving the way for an exciting new venture in its prime location.

Guillaume, a long-time Iowa City resident, has been in the jewelry industry for 27 years and opened her first jewelry business 20 years ago at 125 South Dubuque Street, where Bella Joli currently resides. When the store opened, it filled a unique gap in the market selling handcrafted designer jewelry and gifts created by artisans all over the U.S. and even internationally.

Ms. Guillaume left daily operations of Bella Joli thirteen years ago to launch Lionne Designs, an Iowa City based direct-to-market and online national jewelry business, where she continues to serve as President and CEO.

With Bella Joli as a small business, retaining exceptional management was challenging when competing with larger companies and chain store benefits and compensation. The ultimate decision to close Bella Joli came primarily as result of this. Guillaume felt management turnover was not serving Bella Joli customers at the standard of customer service she prides her businesses on.

With a prime location and a love for downtown Iowa City, it was natural for an entrepreneur like Guillaume to identify a business model ideal for Bella Jolis current location on Plaza Centre One. I cant let the entire concept out of the bag yet, but be watching for something yummy and fun opening mid to late September, says Guillaume.

Ms. Guillaume feels deep gratitude and sincere thanks to the many customers and friends that made Bella Joli such a great business for the last twenty years.
Bella Joli will begin its Going Out of Business sale this Friday, July 19, in conjunction with downtown Iowa Citys Sidewalk Sales.

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