ALTON - Over a year in the making, Bella’s Fashion 305 is celebrating their grand opening this weekend with food, a bounce house and lots of great clothing and products.

Located at 1300 East Broadway, Bella’s Fashion 305 will sell clothing, perfume, accessories, candles and various household products at an affordable price. From 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Aug. 25–27, they will also sponsor giveaways and cookouts to mark their grand opening.

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“I just want to give the community something different,” owner Aaron Crowder said. “My clothes come from Miami and California. I pick out my own clothes, and I just want to give the community something different and cheaper.”

He aims to choose clothing in styles that people might not usually find in the Alton area. In addition to clothes, the store will offer several personal and household items, including LED mirrors, wireless earbuds, wall prints and more. His goal is to keep every item under $20.

This opening weekend is a little bittersweet for Crowder, who has spent the past year grieving the woman who convinced him to open the store in the first place. Crowder explained that Yvonne Campbell was a driving force and major encouragement. Campbell, who owned My Just Desserts in Alton, passed away unexpectedly in July 2022. Devastated, Crowder’s plans for the business stalled.

“It was a bumpy road. Last August…was the worst time of my life,” Crowder said.

Campbell was a beloved face around town. In the weeks after her passing, the doorstep of My Just Desserts was flooded with flowers from community members. Crowder still has those flowers a year later, as a tribute to her. It will always be difficult, but these days, he can talk about her with a smile.

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“She was the one who got me started,” he remembered. “I was going to give up, and then I had faith.”

As Bella’s Fashion 305 celebrates its grand opening, My Just Desserts and Kim’s Kitchen are providing food throughout the weekend. On Friday, the store is sponsoring a $10 fish fry. Saturday and Sunday will include a barbeque at $10 a plate. Kids eat free and can also enjoy a bounce house and giveaways on Sunday.

“I want to give back to the kids,” Crowder explained. “I want to pass out Bibles and gift cards, and I’m going to give them money.”

It’s important to him to support the Alton community, especially as so many people have supported him in the journey to open Bella’s Fashion 305. When he looks around at the people in his corner, he can’t help but notice the person who’s missing. But he also sees a lot of people who have made Bella’s Fashion 305 possible.

“It makes me feel good,” he said. “It’s making me smile again.”

And of course, a picture of Campbell looks over the store, her own smile wide.

Bella’s Fashion 305 will be open from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday. This weekend’s grand opening celebrations will run from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. until Sunday, and everyone is welcome to come out and enjoy.

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