‘Lifestyle’ options at Alpharetta boutiques

Two locations cater to all aspects of clients’ lives

Devon McKenna/Photosynthesis Studio
Lisa Baggett owner of La Bella Maison and Isabella Bleu.
Photo by Suzanne Pacey/staff
Isabella Bleu located at 500 N. Main Street in Alpharetta.
Photo by Suzanne Pacey/staff
La Bella Maison located at 20 Milton Ave. in downtown Alpharetta.
Devon McKenna/Photosynthesis Studio
Lisa Baggett owner of La Bella Maison and Isabella Bleu.
Devon McKenna/Photosynthesis Studio
Devon McKenna/Photosynthesis Studio
Devon McKenna/Photosynthesis Studio
Photo
By CANDY WAYLOCK
Posted

After crisscrossing the country for years as the wife of a college and pro football coach, Lisa Baggett has finally, firmly planted her feet in North Fulton. As a further sign of permanency, the Milton resident has opened two successful boutiques in Alpharetta, Isabella Bleu and La Bella Maison, catering to the “lifestyle” of area shoppers.

‘’I love all of the resources available in North Fulton....the hustle and bustle of the city and the strong antique community,” said Baggett, who moved to North Fulton from Nashville four years ago.

With her husband, Charlie, now retired, Baggett has more time to devote to her pursuits, picking up where she started during a short stay in Minneapolis about a decade ago. There, she opened her first boutique, but shuttered the business after a year when her husband’s job prompted another move.

“I’ve always been a big shopper, and I have been told many times I have a very good eye, but I never thought I had the skills to run my own business,” said Baggett, who previously worked in the admissions office at Michigan State University. “When I was working, I didn’t have time to slow down and think about decorating and home decor.”

But the experience in opening and owning her own store all those years ago, showed her how easily her business skills would transfer over.

Isabella Bleu got its start in 2014 in a booth at Queen of Hearts in Alpharetta, with Baggett featuring a line of furniture and home decor that quickly found a following among customers. Two years ago, she took the plunge as a small business owner, opening Isabella Bleu on North Main in Alpharetta, followed by La Bella Maison soon after in downtown Alpharetta off Milton Avenue.

Baggett describes the stores as “lifestyle boutiques” that align with client needs across the spectrum.

“When we first started out it was mostly furnishings and home accessories, but we quickly learned that when people [no longer have a need for those items] they are buying jewelry and gifts,” said Baggett. “So we focused on that, as well.”

Recently, the boutiques have begun “dabbling” in clothing, with unique offerings customers will likely not see elsewhere.

The two locations are similar – but different – catering to the customer base that each location draws, notes Baggett.

“Downtown has a younger clientele that reflects the urban vibe, and we get a lot of foot traffic,” said Baggett. “On Main Street our clients tend to be a bit older, sophisticated, and they don’t want to battle the traffic, find parking...they just want to pull up to the door.”

She is excited about the growth in downtown Alpharetta, loves how the businesses are working together to help each other, but also hope the area will always retain its character.

“Our little street is the original downtown...and we are located right next to the beauty shop that’s been there for years,” said Baggett. I hope there is a way we can protect history and still have progress.”

Baggett’s passion for antiques, decor and accessories, surprises even her at times. She grew up in Michigan, the daughter of parents who loved “antiquing” and the niece of a New York designer who’s work graced department store windows on 5th Avenue. But for Baggett, those were pursuits she had little interest in at the time.

“I always wondered why they were so interested in painted porcelain sinks,” she laughs. “I thought it was so boring...and now it has come full circle.” ■

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