Specializing in Character Costume Design and Movie Replicas
History of Bbeauty
It all began after a conversation on wedding dresses. Everything was coming out strapless and speaking to several women who didn't like that option, our company was born to answer a very specific need: accessories for women who wanted sleeves or not to show their arms. Our first line was faux fur, satin, and velvet wraps and jackets that could be worn with wedding dresses to add sleeves or cover the arms. We began selling directly to brides and attending tradeshows and eventually sold within bridal boutiques across the U.S. Later on in the year we added jewelry, gloves, and other small accessories to our website offerings.
As our first collection was more popular in winter seasons (jackets and wraps were not worn much in the hotter months), we began to look at other niche markets. We opened our first location inside a quilt shop as a sewing and alterations destination and added a partner that was skilled in tailoring and sewing. We also bought our first embroidery machine and began with small projects creating patches, making hats, embellishing jackets. During these years we did a lot of hems, alterations, and independent projects while we grew our business.
In 2009 we met a client that changed our business forever. A princess company had come in with a stack of costumes that were badly made and in need of major repair. As we went through each piece, an idea came to mind to create our own line of high end princess costumes and sell to this market. We spent the year creating our first popular character designs to sell to the princess company market. We also started selling costumes to individuals during Halloween season and built up our costume portfolio. By the end of the year, we were ready to move into our own location, a 1,000 square foot facility in Morgan Hill where we'd have enough space to make costumes, have a front showroom, and sew sew sew.
In 2011 we had our first set-back. After the financial crash of 9/11, the high end costume market had come to a standstill and our bookings took a drastic hit. It was important to us to keep things going so we looked for other avenues of income. During this time period we ended up getting military, medical, and industrial contracts for sewing. We made straps for guns, cases for medical monitors, cast holders for children, gloves for robotic hands, and all sorts of odds and ends. Of course these contracts were just to make ends meet, and even though we did well with the contracts we decided to branch out into fashion with our free time. We did evening dresses, ready to wear lines, and children's lines. We did several fashion shows out in the public to show off our work. We also helped independent designers produce their lines to take to factories. At the end of 2012 our 2-year military contract ended and it was time to make decisions about the next direction for the business. We decided we loved being a handmade business and that we weren't going to pursue fashion (factory produced) or industrial (assembly line) type projects. Handmade all the way.
In 2013, it was time for change. Our large facility was hot (no air conditioning) and the summers were killing us sewing in the heat. The facility was too big to be affected by portable AC so we moved to a new location with central heating and AC where it was much more manageable. As well we began to market ourselves as a handmade business and launched our Etsy store to start selling designs. At this point the business had several options in generating income - Industrial projects, children's lines, costumes, fashion, alterations, embroidery were just a few. Both partners couldn't agree on which direction would be the focus so they decided to split. One partner took the industrial projects, children's lines, fashion, and alterations. The other partner, Heather Rosales took costumes, bridal, and embroidery and continued under the Bbeauty name as sole owner.
As sole owner, it was now time to bring focus into expanding the business. Originally the business had been located in Morgan Hill, the half way point between both partners (Gilroy and San Jose) and now that the partnership had ended, she eliminated the commute and brought the studio back to San Jose. By this time the business had a wide costume variety including 4-5 versions of all the popular Disney characters. But in looking at our offering, it was time to fill in the gaps. Since princesses were covered, we added princes, villains, and other characters from the movies. We also introduced better accessories, bringing in a propmaster and metal worker to produce metal crowns, necklaces, and molds. It opened the door to more difficult costumes and we did more costumes with molded pieces, metal accessories, and such. We were also receiving more requests for costumes outside the Disney realm and started to do more movie replicas, anime, TV shows, and statement pieces. We started organizing our studio by movie title grouping character designs together. We did the same with our website so it was easier to see each of the movies we did and all the characters in it. Cosplay's popularity was also on the rise and became huge for us as well. The level of difficulty of costumes had also risen. Our design team was now tackling multiple mediums within a character. We even started designing and printing our own fabric, painting, dying, and embellishing fabrics. But there were still needs to be met. Our customers were having a hard time finding good vendors who could do shoes and wigs. We started by doing a few painted shoes, and then got into covering and embellishing. We added a wig styling station to our studio and started off with some simple cuts and styles. And so bridal wasn't left out we launched a custom dyed and embellished shoe line with collector boxes.
Now that we had a few new collections started, we focused on expanding these areas with new styles and options. We started adding updo and multi-piece wig offerings. Larger more complex wigs were available particularly like Rapunzel, Cinderella, and Jasmine. By this time we had over 6,000 commissions under our belt and it was time to work on something new. We launched Fairytale Couture - a line of dirndl's inspired by Oktoberfest. We also dabbled in some historical costumes particularly civil war and regency eras and launched categories for historical costumes on our website. And to appease our existing Disney fans, we added a new collection of Fantasy Fairytale - over the top versions of characters. Along the same lines, we were getting a lot of requests for replicas from the series Once Upon a Time. We were thrilled to duplicate these over the top looks as well. Men's costumes also began to rise in popularity and we began to change our traditionally colored pink and black girly colors for a more neutral color scheme to appeal to a more neutral audience.
With men's costumes on the rise, we started attracting customers from new markets. We did a major project, Dr. Strange that was by far our most elaborate costume to date. As well we got contacted by a number of professional Santas who were unhappy with the options for costuming in their market. It was a big project in deed to dive into that market. We decided that doing a full holiday costume offering was definitely in our future, but our calendar was so full it was hard to fit anything else in. Preliminary work was done for the future site North Pole Wardrobe which will be Bbeauty's future holiday costumes sites. Until launched, we started doing sketches and individual commissions until it's ready to release as an official line. We ended up not doing any more work on new designs this year as happy news - Designer Heather Rosales became pregnant with her future daughter Bonnie! Inspired, we launched Bbeauty Baby with outfits for children inspired by cosplay characters. Meanwhile request for Star Wars and Harry Potter costumes were on the rise and we launched new categories for these films on our website. After that no new designs were accepted as Designer, Heather Rosales went on maternity leave.
2018 brought Designer Heather Rosales's daughter Bonnie into the world. Goals are to work on adding to the following collections: Bbeauty Baby outfits, Historical Collection - addition of Marie Antoinette styles, continued progress on North Pole Wardrobe designs and prototypes. As well we are continuing to add to our costume and wig portfolios as we complete commissions.