What is LBL: One Member’s Perspective

Last week Chrissanne asked me to respond to a question that she then had videotaped during the Meet & Greet last week.  I stumbled across something today that I wrote almost 3 years ago.  I think it answers the question of what I get out of LBL better than anything else can. The following are pieces of two different blogs I wrote about “Bella” in the early days.


With that in mind, let me share a few of the things that have taken place. When we started to put together the idea of Bella Visàge, we knew that there was a specific look, feel, and brand that we wanted for the spa. We also knew that we didn’t have the time or ability to do it on our own. I’d met Jared and Katie Yates several years ago through Lakeland Business Leaders. Knowing that Jared created logos, we called him up. He listened to us as we shared our vision and ideas for the space. We explained how we were going to use specific furniture, doors and fixtures that had been saved from my dear friend Joe’s house, and about why we chose to use some antiques from our own house.

Local helping Local

Jared began his design process, he spent time with us in the spa as it was being renovated. After several  weeks he shared the fruits of his labor, and wow! We absolutely loved the completed work. The concept, the colors, the fonts, the BV monogram. It was all better than what we ever thought. Our logo and overall brand identity is the first interaction the public has with Bella Visàge, whether it’s on our front door, our shirts or our website, and we are proud to bear the image Jared crafted for us. His vision has become one of the first pieces of the intricate Bella Visàge puzzle.

The Heart of Lakeland

It really is a great example of how a small business can work with another small business to help them get started on the right foot. Y Design Co. is firmly planted in the heart of Lakeland (Jared’s a native Lakelander) and is active in the Lakeland business community. Thanks, Jared and Katie, for your hard work and support!

Some of you know that I have a habit of using a certain F word. While I do use it, it is not my favorite F word.  Here are my top three.

Faith.  Without it Jeanna & I would have never begun this journey. It has been amazing to watch as things “just fell into place.” Jad Tremel was sharing with me and described it as a “season of growth.” We opened our minds and hearts, and HE allowed the right people at the right time to enter our lives. What a ride so far!

Friends. We have made a lot of new ones the last 6 months, and depended on our old ones for strength and support. You know who you are—enough said!

Family. Sometimes it’s your siblings, parents, sons and daughters, etc.  Other times it’s those who you have gravitated towards. You know, the people who know your heart and your dreams and decide that they are in. We are moved by them. They have “it.” It’s hard to define, but you know it when you feel it. That thing that inspires you to be a little better. They take the journey with you; all of it, the good and the bad. They lift you up and support you, and they keep you grounded. When you hear us say Bella Viságe is a family owned business, “now you know the rest of the story.”


Fast forward to now and the sage continues.  Bella is still using LBL members to handle some of our needs. From Maximize Digital Media to others.

“You know who you are—enough said!”  While that phrase summed up my thoughts at the time, what it didn’t convey was that most of those friends “you know, the ones that have it” were LBL members.  The roles have changed but the reason is the same.  Helping each other handle the day to day challenges of owning and running a business.  Asking questions and being asked.


I want to share some insight into “Bella”.  This not to brag or boast, but to show the power of “the community”.  When we started this journey I mapped out our business plan.  In the plan I estimated that we would hit one million in sales by year seven.  We will be at that mark by the end of next year and will probably hit it by midyear.  We have tripled our size and continue to receive 5 star reviews by our new clients.  We would never have been able to do that without the support and guidance from our LBL “friends”.

That is what LBL means to us!


BROUGHT TO YOU BY: mark parker

Middle aged

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Dianne Kaplan mark, I loved reading some about the beginning of your journey! I particularly loved the details about choosing antiques from your home and items from your friend Joe ? All If our journeys are so unique and personal; thank you for allowing us a look inside your story 🙂
6 months ago
mark parker You are welcome. Being more open is something that Chrissanne has been prodding me to do for years. I am getting there.
6 months ago