For Meredith Bell Alvarez of Bell Papel, fulfillment is found in life’s most meaningful moments. After years spent under the spotlights of the live theatre stage, her many roles have prepared her to build her own business, and to now point the spotlight on her clients as they work with her to prepare for their own special occasions. From managing the needs of her growing client list, to managing the needs of her growing young sons, to managing her hours of dedication to the San Antonio community, Alvarez does it all with a passionate heart ignited by her background in the arts, and the grace inspired by the example of her mother.
On her creative background:
When I graduated from college, my passion and my focus was on performing live theatre. Like many young artists, I took day jobs as a means to help support that end. In Chicago I worked in retail and I was a host at an upscale wine bar/bistro. In New York City I managed sales for a luxury event planner and I was general manager for a new-concept beauty salon. Looking back now I see that all of those experiences, along with the creative passion I have for theatre, came together to create Bell Papel and helped drive me to where I am today. This journey taught me how to feel comfortable living in new places and meeting new people, it allowed me to better understand my clientele, and it gave me experience on how to efficiently manage my time when working on a wide range of projects. I would not change a single day.
On the bespoke experience of Bell Papel:
At Bell Papel, no two projects are the same. All of my work is customized, collaborative, and concludes only when my client is happy. I work closely with each client to create an original design reflective of their needs, while also accommodating a wide range of budgets.This whole endeavor started for me when I was planning my own wedding over 12 years ago. I was frustrated with the lack of original options when putting together our invitation suite. Nothing I found off the shelf felt like it told our story. So, I designed it myself. It doesn’t matter if my client is a bride-to-be, a new mom, a non-profit organization, or a for-profit business; I want each Bell Papel client to feel the customized creative experience inherent in a bespoke design.
On family and community impact:
My two amazing and energetic little boys are my reasons for everything and their smiles are the best part of each day. In raising them, I hope to instill the values that self-belief and hard work will earn them success, that smiles are infectious, and that helping others is the greatest gift we can give. While there are many causes that I am passionate about, above all, I’m an advocate of the arts – specifically supporting live local theatre. I would not be the person I am today without my experience as an actor, and I hope that with Bell Papel’s continued success, I can give back to the theatrical community that has given me so much. Live theatre inspires, it challenges, it unites us and allows us to reflect on and cherish the human condition. It is vital to our community and our culture, and I will always work to ensure that live theatre thrives.
On her personal female hero(es):
There are two women I have known my whole life who are my heroes: my mother and my sister. My mother is the oldest of three girls who grew up with her South Texas Army Colonel father and her Italian-Australian sugar cane-farming mother. As an Army brat, she attended 12 different schools by the time she graduated high school, but the continuous movement never stopped her determination. While her family was stationed in Germany, she made the decision to attend Carnegie Mellon University, where she was one of four female Math majors. My mother is smart, soft spoken, and selfless, but more than all of these, she is resilient. She has faced every challenge in her life with grace and dignity, and I am so lucky to have her as a mentor and supporter. My sister is the smartest woman I have ever known, and I have looked up to her since the day I was born. She has shown me that in today’s fast-paced culture, it is possible to have a successful career and at the same time be an amazing mother and a supportive wife. She helps me to remember the power in balance, and that laughter is the best medicine for all of life’s troubles.
This profile was (Em)Powered by Bell Papel.
Edited from an interview by Eleanora Morrison.