Janet Bell Gallery first opened its doors in November 2007, just days after Janet and her husband Sean moved to Beaumaris from a tiny village outside Chester. Janet had been a professional artist since 2004, whilst working for several galleries, boutiques and design-led stores, including Habitat. The time had come for Janet to open her own gallery. Being half-Danish, and having lived most of her life in Wales, Janet was seeking somewhere where she could connect with the landscapes around her. Ynys Môn (Anglesey), with its beaches, woods and views of Eryri (Snowdonia), was everything an artist could ask for in building a home and business.
The first iteration of the gallery was simply Janet’s studio in a converted chapel then known as The Forum, and sold a selection of prints, cards and originals. In 2009, the business grew when Janet and Sean moved to a former bank on Castle Street and little by little, and with no real plan or design, the gallery began to stock items that complemented Janet’s work. Given her background in interior shops, this felt like a natural progression, and led to a further expansion of the business in 2015, when a second branch opened on Wall Street.
Having a home store and a gallery was a dream come true. The home store had a strong concept and only stocked items that Janet and Sean would have in their own home, from handmade artists and designers that they loved; whether it's a card that they would send, a pair of earrings Janet would wear or a painting that would adorn their wall. It all came together as a beautiful and quirky mix of unique products that appealed to all ages and guaranteed a smile. As the business grew, so too did the team and the family business began to extend into hiring like-minded people.
By 2018, the business and team had managed to outgrow both premises and so Janet Bell Home, and Janet Bell Gallery were relocated with their ten members of staff to the current premises on Church Street. Having both sides of the business under one roof allowed Janet to join her love of creating with the curation of products available in the home store and Janet Bell - Gallery & Lifestyle was born.
Janet’s artworks are now created in a dedicated studio space at her and Sean’s home where she continues to be inspired by the beauty of the Welsh landscape around her, and her Scandinavian heritage. Over the years, her style and techniques have expanded to incorporate different mediums and methods. In 2021, this led to the creation of the Studio:b range and writing of Janet’s first book Five Miles, both a response to the limitations imposed by the previous year, that ultimately resulted in further growth.
In Spring 2023, a new opportunity arose, with the possibility of fulfilling Janet’s long-held ambition of opening a shop in Rhosneigr. As Janet is fond of saying, “Beaumaris is home, but visiting the other side of the island feels like a holiday”. Shop doors opened on Janet Bell Rhosneigr on Saturday 6th May and received a warm welcome from locals and visitors alike.
Though the business has grown, the ethos remains the same. Janet is known for her diverse taste, her championing of quality over quantity and combining substance with style, and she is still very much the driving force of what items are sold in store. Sean works closely with his wife creating an ever expanding range of in-house products, often in partnership with other local, independent businesses, and always with sustainability in mind.