Take a moment and recall the most creative thing you’ve experienced? And the next? And the next? And the chances are, the majority of those moments of pure creative gratification can be found in the artistic fusion that is Bella Love.
Interview by Nicole Camack
From the most audacious artist to the illest poet to the guiltless guitarist, to that little boutique simply beautiful in all of its uniqueness, is Bella Love. As a justifiable movement of the people, Bella Love connects people through local arts and entertainment, with marvel mimicking a beautifully spawn web christened with morning dew. So for the artist or art crawler, musician or music lover, creative or performer, the Bella Love community fulfills a creative appetite with fresh cultural and artistic perspective. This is no garden-variety arts and entertainment organization. At the crux of everything, Bella Love epitomizes local loyalty by only spotlighting local talent, partnering with local businesses, and keeping 100% of the money in the local community.
“I don’t think it gets any more local than relationships, than people you can touch,” says Founder Case Warnemunde. And in this digital age when the Internet reigns and hails reproduction from around the world, that sense of authenticity can get lost behind foggy windows. And what about the people? The experience? Warnemunde believes as connected as people are, we are still quite disconnected. “The coolest things come out of building relationships with people. Local is the only thing you can physically touch and be present in right now,” he says.
The coolest things come out of building relationships with people. Local is the only thing you can physically touch and be present in right now.
And yes, mind-blowing local talent exists and Bella Love will find it in Charlotte and all the smaller cites that hug the metropolitan. “There’s a lot more than what meets the eye, a lot more under the surface. There’s an undercurrent of some really strong creativity, some really brilliant minds,” he says of small cities normally overlooked.
Bella Love is not about making millions or being the biggest, loudest organization on the block. “The heart of Bella Love is to be a part of building creators and changing lives through connecting the dots, through finding people a new way to connect with their neighbors,” Warnemunde says. “It’s not just all about the people. Bella Love is the people.”
And with that, a people’s movement was born. The conception wrought in the throes of an undeniable passion. Cincinnati-born, Marketing-degreed Warnemunde, the mastermind behind Bella Love, unmoved by the 9-to-5 expectation of his post-degree life, relocated to Charlotte on a whim, immediately inspired by the layers of talent surrounding him. Quickly dismayed by a reality come too soon, he refused to lie in wait any longer for a creative hub to seduce the area. “Everyone was having to hang it up to do things that they don’t love: go work at restaurants or a 9-to-5. I continually met people who weren’t doing what they felt like they were made to do. And that really got the wheels turning. It wasn’t an overnight thing and still to this day is continually forming itself,” he says. “It’s a bigger force, an organization that can allow people to do what they love and keep doing it.”
This force has already taken downtown Cornelius and surrounding areas by storm. “Even the town is excited about what we’re doing, and amazed at the talent and artists that are right down the street,” says Warnemunde. “I want to change the world. It’s good to see the results in a small local area like this. The spirit and excitement are part of what drives this forward.”
Closet artists, under-discovered talent, and by-night creatives, perhaps it’s time to snatch that forbidden fruit and wake up in the arms of your passion. “If it’s something that you really want to do, there’s ways to achieve it and be successful financially, and I believe those passions are placed in us for a reason and meant to be pursued and not meant to just be a side project or a hobby,” says Warnemunde. The reality? There’s a pretty good chance you wont make the money you would in a corporate world doing something you don’t love just to be able to retire with a fraction of a preconceived “American Dream”. But at what price does happiness and fulfillment come?
So, dreamers, visionaries, creatives: you got this. Maybe you, too, are Bella Love. Drop everything and indulge in your vision; chase that dream, rein it in, harness that bitch and be moved by your inner provocations. It’s the new normal. And so what if it’s not. 4