Bellissima Gel UK Founder, Garey Hall

As a family-owned business based in the USA, Bellissima International have named a lot of the coloured gels after those they love the most, including their grandchildren and their distributors overseas like us here in the UK.

It all started with the very sad and unexpected loss of the original UK and European founder, our very own Garey Hall.

Garey was on board with Bellissima International from day one, working closely as an adviser / partner to Marnie and John Hadley (the CEOs of Bellissima International).

The three complemented each other beautifully; with a combined industry experience of over 50 years, Marnie and Garey's exceptional style and John's business knowhow, the future was looking bright to say the least.

Thankfully Garey was a whirlwind, much like myself, and once he had an idea or a plan in his head he ran with it at full steam. I say thankfully as he choose to launch Bellissima in the UK slightly prematurely, booking the last available stand at the 2009 Oct beauty show, purchasing the furniture for the stand on the journey there and launching Bellissima in unlabelled pots.

Of course despite the appearance of the pots at that time it sold out straight away. Garey's hard work for 9 long months had paid off, countless 20-hour days getting ready for the launch and many missed social occasions had all been worth it.

It was actually only 10 days after the exhibition that Garey sadly passed away. He didn't have an obvious cause of death, so it has always been my theory that the angels needed him for something very important elsewhere and didn't have time to make up an excuse to take him from us.

I say I'm thankful that he was a whirlwind and the main reason for that is I have now been running Bellissima in the UK and Europe for Garey since Jan 2010 so I have had the pleasure and privilege of seeing it grow. I feel this is something that was taken from Garey and for that I am extremely saddened. I am thrilled however that he got to see the success Bell created in just those 10 days, both at the show and after.

It just goes to show, if you want to do something, just do it (within reason of course you crazy kids).

Marnie and John were great friends of Garey's for more than 10 years and wanted very much to honor him as a friend, part-creator and distributor of Bellissima. They therefore renamed the French white gel Garey's Smile.

For those of you that were lucky enough to have met Garey, you will for sure remember he had the most beautiful bright white smile. A smile we saw almost all of the time as he was a very happy chappy, always laughing and joking. He was the most caring, understanding, charismatic and talented person I have ever had the pleasure of knowing. Not to mention one of the cheekiest, always singing silly songs and making jokes. Garey was, is, my best friend and he will be sadly missed by myself and 100's of others forever more.

In the years that followed Garey's death, his mother Marion and I got closer and closer, we thoroughly enjoyed swapping our 'Garey stories' and keeping his memory alive. It was therefore a no-brainer for me when it came to naming the gold glitter in our range. Marion's Gold was the clear choice as Marion's favorite colour was gold. As an extremely well dressed and stylish woman she looked elegant on all occasions and often worked alongside her son Garey. Even when she stopped working she was always there in the background, giving love and advice.

Marion sadly passed away at the end of June 2014, leaving yet another hole in our lives.

We are incredibly blessed in the worldwide Bellissima family. Marnie and John have two very beautiful grandchildren each with a special gel named after them.

Jack's Blue, after little Jack and his blue blankie he would take everywhere as a toddler and the gorgeous and very talented Lola who picked a clear gel with a sparkle to be named after her as she always loved her grandma's sparkly toes, hence Lola Bella.

I say talented, as Lola having only met me for a few hours preformed a better British accent then most A-list actors! Jack has his talents too, but being slightly younger though these are currently limited to (fake) flying around the living room in Superman pants! Little cuties.

Vegas flare was named after the last holiday Garey and I shared to Vegas back in 2008, the bright bling pinky purple just summed up the flare and fabulous time we had there.

Glitter Ball silver was named after a charity event we have sponsored since 2011. Support children with cancer. This two-day spectacular sees 150+ models take to the catwalk competing for top London modelling contracts, worldwide contracts and much more. We have been very proud sponsors of this event for years, each year it grows and grows and the total raised increases. The very first year we attended, Glitter Ball Silver was called Sumptuous Silver, but after completing 1,250 nails and watching all of them walk down the catwalk under a giant glitter ball we had no choice but to change the name.

Pink Ribbon is of course named after the Breast Cancer pink ribbon, in the UK we give £1 per bottle sold to Cancer Research to help them with their wonderful work in the fight against breast cancer.

Pink Goddess was actually named by one of our students at the Tamworth Boxing club. Bellissima sponsors the beauty salon and education centre there, helping young teens with behaviour problems, disabilities and learning difficulties to gain qualifications in nails. Hopefully giving these young women a possible career to work towards, but at the very least qualifications for their CVs showing they are able to finish a course and work towards goals.

There are too many to list really but we very much wanted all of our customers to know where we came from and why we love what we do so much. This isn't just a business to us, it's a family.

Emma Beauchamp
Director
Bellissima Gel UK and Europe