Art to Make you Smile

Art to Make you Smile

We have put together a collection of some of our favourite bright and colourful artists which we like. Their wonderful art really makes us smile and we hope it brings you cheer too.

Love the Bella Team x

#SaveLivesStayHome #ownart

Emily Sutton

Emily is a well-known artist and illustrator having illustrated for many prestigious publishers such as V&A, Bloomsbury, Walker Books, Random House and most recently collaborated with author Michael Bond (Paddington). She has also designed for iconic brands such as Fortnum & Mason and Betty’s tearooms. Emily shares with us her lockdown experience:

“I’m an artist and illustrator based in York.  I exhibit my drawings, paintings and screen prints across the UK and have illustrated more than 15 picture books as well as other design projects.

My work is rooted in a love of observational drawing and detail.  I’m inspired by classic picture book illustration and mid-century artists including Bawden and Ravilious. 

“I collect lots of old toys and ephemera which often feature in my still lives – I particularly like finding beautiful and colourful tins and old packaging at flea markets both locally and on my travels.

As a natural introvert and someone who has always worked from home, I’m finding that my day to day life hasn’t changed too dramatically-although the worry about the wider world is ever present and at times makes focusing more of a challenge.  I’ve been seeking solace in my painting as well as appreciating the optimistic signs of spring as I take my daily walks with my Schnoodle puppy, Mouse.”

Emily Sutton talking of her lockdown experience – April 2020.

Anne Thornhill & Paul Blackwell

Anne and Paul are well-established Yorkshire artists who used to own ‘The Grosmont Gallery’ and have been exhibiting their work along the Yorkshire Coast for many years.

“Self-isolating means we are not able to be out to be out and about sketching in Whitby but we are very lucky to live deep within the beautiful North Yorkshire countryside, and there is always so much to inspire us on our doorstep. Most of our paintings are landscapes and many are done close to home in the Esk Valley. Painting is a solitary occupation anyway, so no change for us really!

The Spring colours are so uplifting and nature carries on as normal. This is where we find our inspiration.”

Anne Thornhill on working during the COVID-19 outbreak – April 2020

Louise Warwickshire

Following a very successful career as a costume designer, Louise developed her career as an artist with a particular love of plants and animals. Her work is now in prestigious private collections both in the UK and internationally. Louise has shown at a number of galleries both in and out of London while her works have been chosen for numerous editions of the prestigious Royal Institute of Painters in Water Colour Annual Exhibition at the Mall Galleries, London. She also has been short listed for the RA Summer Exhibition on several occasions.

“I am getting through the lock down with painting, walking my dog and only doing stuff day by day and trying not to project into the future and avoid looking at the news, not hooking into the hysteria. It will be what it will be and at least now we are in lock down we know where we are and now I can only do my best and see where it goes.

I have literally just become a grand mother, first grandchild, very very exciting and I long to hold her! Thank God for Zoom, Face time, Whats App etc. I feel very blessed, and of course my friends, we are all in-touch almost daily.

This Isolation is cruel, necessary but cruel.”

Louise on her experience of lockdown, April 2020

Ailsa Nicholson

Ailsa Nicholson is well-established glass and ceramic artists living just outside Whitby in North Yorkshire with her own gallery.

“We are all facing extremely challenging times during the Covid 19 outbreak and as an artist relying on selling through galleries, shows and my own on-site gallery it has proved to be a very daunting time.  With all the galleries closed and all shows cancelled for the rest of the year I have found the best way forward is too keep busy.  I try to have a routine everyday, starting with walking the dog and discovering new and extensive walks close to home that I never knew existed, and most importantly having an agenda for the day.   Last week I spent most of my time creating a virtual tour through a number of videos for the North Yorkshire Open Studios who have kindly moved this years event online with tours of artists work and exhibition spaces.”

Ailsa Nicholson on how she is coping with isolation – April 2020.

This week has seen a revamp of my workshop spaces and many coats of paint to try and bring it back to life, I just need to give it all a good tidy now!  As my work rate has slowed down with no impending deadlines I have found myself creating new and exciting pieces and my mind has had the space to come up with new ways of working.  There are still many jobs to do which I normally don’t seem to find the time for, perhaps I might even get my tax return done before the January deadline, now that would be something special!  Stay safe everyone and see you on the other side….. x

Ailsa on her experience of lockdown, April 2020

“Big thank you to all our featured artists for bringing us some wonderful escapism in these strange times. We hope you have enjoyed our selection. Feel free to visit the artists websites and view more of their work.”

susan johnson
bella di notte founder

Sending you Flowers

Sending you Flowers
To make you smile this week the Bella Team are sending you some of our flower and garden pics.
We know so many of you are green-fingered and we would love to see your gardens and how you do it.
Ways to share with us:
  1. Email us – using the subject “Sending you a Smile”
  2. Instagram – tag us in your post @belladinotteuk and/or use the hashtag #SendingyouaSmile
  3. Facebook – tag us in your post @BelladiNotteUK or send us a message via our page.
Please let us know if you are happy for us to share your pics on our blog. Any we choose will get a nice surprise through the post.

#SaveLivesStayHome #SendingyouaSmile

“Daffodils picked from my garden really brighten up the kitchen. The tulips are just coming out and will be next on my table.”

Susan – Bella di Notte Founder

“At the moment I live in a flat with no garden or outside space. So I’m sharing these pictures I took of my parent’s garden last year. I love the rich purple of the Lupins, Rhododendrons and Alliums contrasting with the fiery orange colours.”

Sarah – Digital Marketing

“These are flowers made from my book folding using old or abandoned novels.”

Julie – Warehouse Manager

“I can’t take the credit as my husband does the gardening, but we are lucky to have some nice views. My daughter Katie baked me the cake and picked the Daffodils. I also thought our customers would like to see the baby lambs who appeared this week.”

Julie – Accounts

“This is my first Spring owning a house/garden so I’m seeing what surprises I get. I did plant some tulip bulbs last year and seeing them grow was such a joy. I love the colours!”

Charlotte – Senior Merchandiser

“I’m so excited for our Wisteria buds to explode with colour.”

Natalie – Buying

“Not typical flowers but the kids and I have gathered these for Easter.”

Agnes – Despatch

Share your pics with us:

  1. Email us – using the subject “Sending you a Smile”
  2. Instagram – tag us in your post @belladinotteuk and/or use the hashtag #SendingyouaSmile
  3. Facebook – tag us in your post @BelladiNotteUK or send us a message via our page.

“Thank you to all our lovely Bella customers. Our customer service team, like you, are in isolation at home and so if you would just like a friendly chat, or need some help online, then please give them a call. Whatever you need, we are here for you.”

Call us 01439 770040

susan johnson
bella di notte founder

Colour Me Cheerful

Colour Me Cheerful

Even in isolation and working from home the Bella ladies like to keep it cheerful and bright. So no dressing gowns or pyjamas for us… here we are wearing our favourite pieces from the SS20 collection.

#SaveLivesStayHome #SelfIsolatingInStyle

Courtney, Stock Control, loves our Phillipa top for its vibrant colours and flattering print.
Sarah, Digital Marketing Manager, enjoys her daily exercise on the beach wearing her Brax Summer Denim Jeans and Marcella Top. Currently working from home and isolating in the historic seaside town of Whitby.
Sam, Customer Care Manager, absolutely loves her Suzi top. Perfect for being comfy at home.
Susan Johnson, Founder, packing customer orders and rocking the Ellie Jacket.

Agnieszka, Despatch, tried to take a selfie wearing her Odel top but her son wasn’t having any of it.
Charlotte, Senior Merchandising, loves her Palermo Blouse – it’s the perfect cheer-me- up top but also looks good in the home office!
Amy, Customer Care, looks pretty as a picture in her Lana Jumper.

“Thank you to all our lovely Bella customers. Our customer service team, like you, are in isolation at home and so if you would just like a friendly chat, or need some help online, then please give them a call. Whatever you need, we are here for you.”

Call us 01439 770040

susan johnson
bella di notte founder

Sending you a Smile

Sending you a Smile

With love from the Bella team (and helpers) working from home


The Bella team have been practicing social distancing for nearly two weeks now and as you can see below they have fully acclimatised to working from home. We hope this snapshot into their daily lives makes you smile…

“May the force be with you all”
Baby Yoda knitted by Julie (Warehouse Manager)
Hannah (Customer Care Operative) has a little helper while she chats to customers.
Julie’s kids are also creative – this is the rainbow on display in their window to show their neighbours they care.
Izzy’s (aged 9) letter of thanks.
Jessie’s artwork age 10.
Poppy’s acrostic poems aged 5.
Julie’s kids have also been busy bees planting flowers and cacti in the garden.
Amy’s (Customer Care Operative) son Harley in training.
Tracey has her box of biscuits to help her through the day.
Rachael (Buying Manager) and her daily exercise ‘Chelsea’ the horse.
Customer Care Manager Sam discovered her son made a man cave in the garden.
Natalie (Buyer) is home schooling CEO’s in the making!
Susan Johnson (Founder) sent flowers to the team as a thank you for all their hard work.

“Thank you to all our lovely Bella customers. Our customer service team, like you, are in isolation at home and so if you would just like a friendly chat, or need some help online, then please give them a call. Whatever you need, we are here for you.”

Call us 01439 770040

susan johnson
bella di notte founder

International Women’s Day

International Women’s Day

Celebrate with us – 8th March 2020


An equal world is an enabled world where we can be healthier and more harmonious. On Sunday 8th March we celebrate women in the workplace for International Women’s Day.

Bella di Notte is a business built up from scratch and run by women with the aim to make other women look and feel better about themselves.

When Susan Johnson started her business she hoped to offer women in rural communities more variety, opportunity and flexible working hours. We are now lucky enough have so many talented women, from all types of backgrounds, working at Bella di Notte.

Today we celebrate what it means to be a woman in the workplace.

Please meet some of the inspirational women we work with…


What does work mean to you?

We asked our team what it means to be a woman in the workplace.

“Although in an ideal world I would be a kept woman, I find work empowering and I’ve made so many lifelong friends.”

Tracey – Warehouse Assistant

“I started as an apprentice, learning about all the different departments and after passing with a distinction I now work in the web team.

I’m so grateful for the opportunity as where I live there are not many businesses in the fashion industry. I now have a clear career path and absolutely love the women I work with.”

Madi – Website Assistant

“I really love getting to know our customers and trying to find them exactly what they are looking for. I’ve been striving to become a manager within the fashion industry for the last few years and I’m thrilled to have now achieved this.”

Beth – Shop Manager

“I am the sole provider for my family while my husband stays home to look after our four children. I’m a role model for them and I love that opportunities for men and women are now equal in today’s society.”

Julie – Warehouse Manager

“My work has given me confidence and made me who I am today. The best thing about work is getting treats from my colleagues.”

Hannah – Customer Care Agent

“Offering our customers a quality service with North Yorkshire friendliness is what I love about my job. Also fitting a customer with a new bra can be incredibly rewarding – especially seeing the end result and how thrilled they are with the difference it makes to their appearance and confidence.”

Tracey – Customer Care Agent

“I get immense satisfaction out of achieving my goals and creating new products that people love. Working flexible hours is essential to me. I adore being a mum, but I also love working and one without the other wouldn’t feel right somehow.”

Natalie – Fashion Buyer

“We work together as a team to motivate each other and make each other lots of tea! I have two young boys and so it really helps when your boss is flexible and understanding. “

Amy – Customer Care Agent

“It’s great helping customers get the items they are looking for. Sometimes they have a little chat, which is nice, and it’s fulfilling to know we are making them happy.”

Sam – Customer Care Manager

“Thank you to all the team and our lovely customers for making work so incredibly enjoyable and worthwhile.”

susan johnson
bella di notte founder

I was raised to be a strong and determined Yorkshire lass, as are all the women in my family. They all get involved with the business… even my 80 year old mother gets stuck in when needed!

The women around us constantly inspire our work and products. We love to make women look and feel confident. Thank you to all the supportive women in our lives for letting us enjoy the work we do.