It started in 1993, when I began working part-time for an established fine lingerie boutique in Portsmouth, NH. It was within that atmosphere that I was to find my true calling, which was to provide a positive impact on women by helping them to feel good about themselves. The owner of that fine lingerie shop ultimately retired and I was recruited to open and manage a new intimate apparel shop. The new shop was highly successful, but I felt that I needed to go in a different direction, a direction which would allow me to exercise my own creativity and vision.
The concept of “Bella Intimates” was then born, and I opened the store in 2003.
Two years after opening my shop and expanding, I was diagnosed with stage-three colon cancer with a 20% chance of survival. I endured two surgeries and chemotherapy, four days a week, for eight months. The recovery transformed what I believed to be my ‘true calling’ into my passion, which was not only to support women who have been through cancer or other life challenges, but to give them the ability to feel whole and beautiful within.
Shelly was recently featured in Fearless Women, Visions of a New World. This latest book of famed photographer, MaryAnn Halpin’s Fearless Women book series. Fearless Women, Visions of a New World celebrates strong women with a mission to create a new and better world. This extraordinary book contains photographic portraits as well as inspiring stories of 50 fearless women.
The Fearless Women Book “Visions of a New World” will be available to purchase at Bella Intimates.
In 2011, Manougian was awarded an "International Women's Day Outstanding Service award". The awards are given annually by the "Women's Information Network's (The WIN) throughout all 50 states of the US and internationally. These awards are presented worldwide, to honor the women for their extraordinary efforts to make a difference in the world. Manougian, the sole New Hampshire recipient, was nominated and received her award specifically for; "investing herself and her business to whole-heartedly serve women as the best bra -fit specialist in NH. Her passion is especially for women that have survived and are thriving in and with breast cancer.
"The Best of Intima", is an international magazine with locations in France and Italy. The Best of Intima awards give the opportunity to honor and discover the best independent retailers across the United States while celebrating the achievements and contributions of those who have marked the lingerie industry through commitment and dedication.
Nominated for the Best of Initma 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012
Finalist Best of Intima 2009, 2010, 2011
There are three reasons I shop at Bella Intimates, all are important to me. Bella Intimates carry good quality and very lovely lingerie. Shelly knows how to fit all body types so that you are comfortable and confident in your purchase. It really does take experience and a practiced eye to enhance a woman’s shape, Shelly has these qualities in abundance. And last, but never least, Shelly understands that no matter a woman’s age, she wants to feel attractive and self-assured. I fall into the “older woman” category, but Shelly doesn’t see woman aging, she sees someone looking to feel attractive, sexy and self-confident. I am very grateful for her sense of style and her expertise.
I recently purchased several new 'everyday' bras from you, which I absolutely love. It didn't occur to me to ask if you also offered sports bras. Thanks for all your patience and help while I tried a couple dozen bras on one afternoon - certainly makes a difference in how I feel and how much better my clothes fit.
This is the best place for bras. Expert fitting. Outstanding service. Great selection.
LOVE the pieces I got from you Shelly! They are amazing! I cannot wait to get more! It truly makes a difference in how I look AND feel about myself!! I have NEVER had bras that fit so well...now i can say never had bras that actually fit correctly!! Thank you a million times over!!!