About Us

Erica Stella  is a Brooklyn dancer, photographer, design blogger, home organizer, stylish chic and non-profit management professional.  Her childhood and adolescence were immersed in ballet training, stage performance, modern dance and the study of movement through space.  She moved to the big apple, and received her BFA from Marymount Manhattan College in Dance Performance/Choreography.  She further studied the two art forms writing her senior thesis on dance photography and capturing a moment from a trained perspective. 

With a background in composition of space, natural eye for style, and instinct to make her home beautiful and unique - she is taking a fresh look at her life and career, to see where the next journey will lead.  The connection between her choreography, how objects relate to each other in a given space; aid in her ability to make any room work, while maintaining comfort, style, organization and individual beauty!  As she explores her ideas and blogs away on StellaBella, she lives and loves life in Brooklyn with her boyfriend Ronnie and one-eyed cat, Lefty.  She appeared on Season 2 of TLC's NY Ink.

Rachel Stella (A.K.A. Baby Stella)
Began baking at the age your parents would start letting you use an electric mixer. It started slow, baking cookies and muffins on snow days and my interest grew from there. Following recipes and baking came very naturally to me. In high school, I wrote extensive reports on the different ethnicities of wedding cakes and vegan baked goods, way before vegan was a household term. Around this time I got my first kitchen job, washing dishes (where all cooks start their careers) and soon moved up to prep cook. Although cooking steaks and seafood was not my preferred medium, it got me hooked on kitchen life.   

I began studying at the Culinary Institute of America's Baking and Pastry Program in June 2000. The youngest in my class at 17, I not only learned from my prestigious professors and chefs, but also my wiser classmates. I received my Associates and then my Bachelor's degree, and graduated in October 2003.

Since graduation I've worked in amazing food cities like San Francisco, more traditional places like Boston, and smaller towns like Ithaca, NY.  Not only have the locations been different, but so have the experiences.  I've worked in fine dining restaurants under renowned pastry chefs like Emily Luchetti, small bakeries creating elegant wedding cakes, running my own pastry kitchen and creating a seasonal menu in hotels and even on the administrative side, as a receptionist. I've always felt a connection to restaurants and kitchens, almost like the feeling of performing on stage, like my big sister growing up.  Isn't going out to eat like a fabulous ballet of wait staff, busboys and cooks working their magic?!?!

Right now I'm doing something completely different, but the Culinary Arts are still very dear to my heart. I cook at home now with my husband Eric (also a CIA Graduate), melding my Italian/Russian heritage with Eric's German/Hungarian background.  We make sure to keep our life in Portland, Maine very interesting!

Nicole Alonge
Her love for travel began back in the summer of ‘99 while studying Spanish and jazz in Burgos, Spain.  After graduating from Purchase College, she got her first job teaching in Tarragona, Spain, an experience that would lead her to pursue her career in education. She later returned to her native New York, where she received an M.A in TESOL from Hunter College. Her many job experiences include working for the New York City public school system as well as various universities in New York City.  She is presently working at the Universidad de Comillas in Madrid, Spain. 

Nicole moved back to Madrid, Spain in 2008 and is currently living there with her husband, Eduardo and daughter, Violeta, who was born in April 2011.  Together they are documenting their traveling experiences and their journey as new parents. 


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