March 15, 2019

Fab Friday Female – Wendy

It is with great pride that I introduce this week’s Fab Friday Female to you. I’d like you all to meet Wendy Bellissimo, LA designer, animal lover, mother to four stunning girls, and wife to handsome musician hubby, Joe. She may have designed baby nurseries for big name celebs, but she is one of the sweetest, most down to earth people you’ll ever meet. I was instantly drawn to her love of family and animals, and I am so incredibly honored to feature her here on my little blog.

  • You are a well-renowned interior designer with your own Wendy Bellissimo brand who has worked with celebs like Kelly Ripa and Brooke Shields. How did you get into the business initially?

I went to college for interior design and international studies.  But I had been doing interior design since I was 15 years old through my mom’s furniture store.  When I moved to Los Angeles, I sewed some pillows for my sofa, and friends loved them, and Joe said, “Everyone loves those pillows, you should sell them to stores around LA!”  I thought he was crazy, but after the store I was working at closed overnight, I decided to give it a whirl, and I purchased an old pea green sewing machine and sewed up 30 pillows from discontinued fabric samples that I had in my trunk and mixed them with some new fabrics that I purchased too.  I stuffed the 30 pillows into Hefty bags and went to Montana Avenue in Santa Monica, and the first store that I walked into purchased 29 of the 30 pillows….I was in complete shock! I had been nearly scared to death to walk into the store and really couldn’t believe that I only had one pillow left.  This was unknowingly, the official start of our branding company.  From that day on for about 18 months, I would sew pillows on my own for about 18 hours a day.  Joe helped me pack and ship and later set up a small factory.

  • What advice do you have for hopeful designers?

If it is something you really have a passion for, be willing and ready to work super hard for it. Pave your own way as much as possible and don’t give up! Plain and simple.

  • What inspired you to create your own line of dog beds?

Dog bed wash day in my house actually gave me anxiety!   It was a fight to get those covers on and off.  So when I was asked to design Wendy Bellissimo prints for an upscale dog bed company, it was crucial to me that the beds were luxurious, looked great in the house, and became a part of the home decor and…….MUST be super easy to clean!

  • When did your love for animals begin?

As early as I can remember I have LOVED dogs.  I was attacked in the face by a neighbor’s dog at 3 years old and ended up in the hospital with stitches. Then at 11 years old, I was attacked again in the back and ended up in the hospital with stitches again.  Neither experience ever changed my love for dogs.

  • How many animals do you currently own?

We have 5 dogs…2 are rescues.  Tango, our first rescue, came to us when our 8 year old daughter was battling cancer and she was stuck in bed for a year. She was extremely sick, on a feeding tube and in a wheelchair for a long time. Tango spent every moment with her.  He even stayed in her hospital bed with her.  He was rescued the very day he was going to be put down.  He is a very special part of our family.  Bogart is our new Pitbull rescue.  He was found nearly starved to death.  When we got him, he was still wobbly from being so thin and on the streets for so long.   He was close to being put down at the shelter because he had so many medical issues. We have had him for about 8 weeks now, and he is doing so well and part of the family already.   Our other dogs are two sweet labs and a Husky mix.  We also have a cat named Stripes of 12 years and four chickens.

  • What made you develop an interest in rescuing animals?

Tango our first rescue helped to save our daughter Cecilia’s spirits and never left her side.

  • What is the most interesting animal you’ve ever saved?

So far, I think Bogart …..he was on the verge of death, and every single day, I wonder about his past because he was so neglected. But even so, he is the biggest, sweetest love on the earth.  I cannot understand it.  It is just in his DNA I guess.  He does not have a mean bone in his body.

  • During the recent California wildfires, how did you help the rescue organizations you support?

I kept up on what was happening at our local shelter and helped to post dogs that were being found.

What is the one thing you wished more people knew about rescue animals?

There are so many incredible dogs sitting in shelters just waiting, waiting, waiting, day in and day out.  It is so sad. Dogs are such special, sweet souls and meant to be in loving homes with humans. They are so sensitive and their feelings are so deep.  To think that Tango was going to be killed the day he was rescued and that Bogart was just days from being killed is so sad because they are such special members of our family and truly sweet dogs!

How can people donate to Bogart’s Go Fund Me page to get him back to a healthy state?

He has a Go Fund Me page here: Help Bogart Get Back on his Paws. Any excess funds will go back to the Shelter Transport Animal Rescue Team.

If you would like to get involved in animal rescue, Wendy is a big believer in Start Rescue. They not only rescue animals from kill shelters in the overpopulated areas of Southern and Central California, but they also fund veterinary clinics to facilitate spaying and neutering services. You can visit their site for more details.

To check out Wendy’s luxurious dog bed covers, visit K9 Ballistics.

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