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Take 10: Jade Wagenbach

Ten things you didn't know about the owner of Belle Mie...

by Peoria Magazine |
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Opening a boutique was a lifelong dream for Jade Venovich Wagenbach, and with some help from her late grandmother, Gena Belle, that dream became a reality nearly 15 years ago. Located in the Junction City Shopping Center, Belle Mie is a staple of Peoria-area fashionistas, offering elevated designer clothing and accessories for the brand- and fashion-conscious woman.

Born and raised in the Peoria area, Jade attended Tremont High School and Bradley University. She has always been interested in fashion, style and shopping in general, which eventually led her to New York, where she worked as an assistant buyer for the Fortunoff chain of department stores. Upon learning that some of Peoria’s iconic boutiques were closing after many years in business, she took a leap of faith and moved back to central Illinois, opening Belle Mie in 2006.

Jade and her husband Andrew have been married for six years, but they actually met all the way back in kindergarten. After dating through high school and college, they reconnected years later and now have two children: Remington (5), who attends kindergarten at Brimfield Grade School, and Kaia (3), who attends Everyday Discoveries Day Care. Of course, their family would not be complete without Coco, their Yorkshire Terrier—“our four-pound ball of fluff in a little body!”

In addition to collecting designer handbags, Jade loves to shop, read, go for walks outdoors, and travel—although she doesn’t get a chance to do that as often as she’d like. Work and family keep her very busy!

  1. Person who’s had the greatest impact on my life: My grandma was the most amazing woman and truly my best friend.
  2. Wagenbach 3What is your most marked characteristic? Probably my blonde hair, which is ironic because I have naturally near-black hair! 
  3. What was your first job? Concessions attendant at EastSide Centre Water Park.
  4. Three words that best describe me: I allowed my husband to answer this one: Hardworking, adaptable, and… I’ll leave the last part out!
  5. What would you say to your 20-year-old self? Don’t be so hard on yourself!
  6. What is something that always brings a smile to your face? Seeing my children run to me at the end of the day!
  7. What was your first car? A purple Geo Prizm! We called it the “purple people eater.”
  8. What book do you think everyone should read? Overdressed: The Shockingly High Cost of Cheap Fashion.
  9. What’s one thing you should throw away but haven’t? My husband would say everything! Haha. I have a tendency to hold onto treasured items.
  10. Words to live by: A poem by Walter D. Wintle, altered a bit: “If you think you can, you can. If you think you dare not, you don’t. If you think you’d like to win, but you think you can’t, it’s almost a cinch: you won’t. For out in this world you’ll find success begins with a person’s will; it’s all in a state of mind. If you think you can, you can.” PM

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