Our cover star this month is 10-year old Bella Avery. Photographer Sabrina Suppers borrowed a wicker peacock chair from Kate Harvey, arranged the loan of a beautiful white dress from designer Oswaldo Machín in San Bartolomé and headed up to the dunes of Famara, with Bella chattering and whistling all the way. The location and the light were perfect, and once the evening sun caught Bella’s gorgeous red hair, we knew we had a winner…
Where were you born, Bella? And how long have you lived in Lanzarote?
I was born near Cardiff, in Wales, in 2011. I’ve been living on Lanzarote with my mum for four and a half years. I love it! You always meet nice people here, and I don’t ever want to leave.
Do you remember any of your time living in Wales?
Not really. I remember when we left and saying goodbye to everybody.
Which school do you go to?
I’m at the Colegio in San Bartolomé. I’ve been there all the time and I like it a lot, although the teachers can be mean sometimes, especially if you shout an answer without putting your hand up.
What are your favourite subjects?
I like English, lengua (Spanish language), P.E and religion. I’d like to do communion!
Do the other children tease you about your hair?
Your mum Rachel told me they call you Ginger at home, so you’d get used to teasing, but redheads don’t seem to get teased in Spanish schools. No, they like it. My friends call me Zanahoria, which means carrot.
It’s beautiful hair. How do you look after it?
I wash it every day, and I brush it, although that can be hard when it gets tangled.
Redheads often have pale skin. Do you have to take special care here?
I need to wear sun cream, but sometimes I forget. I also got sunburn on the parting in my hair once, and it started peeling. But I get tanned too, just playing around outside.
Do you have any pets?
I’ve got four cats called Oreo, Kit-Kat, Annie and Caspar. Oreo’s black and white, like an Oreo cookie, and Caspar is white and ginger, like me, with a tiger tail. I’d like more pets, though. I want a bird, a grey, white and brown dog, a horse and a ferret. They’re so cute!
Did you enjoy the photo shoot?
I loved it! We went up to Famara, and I was sweating because it was hot and I was a little nervous, but it was great and everyone was really nice.
Is it not a bit tiring sitting around being photographed?
No. At the end my cheeks were hurting because of all the smiling, but I wasn’t smiling because Sabrina told me to. I was smiling because I was having fun.
So what do want to be when you grow up? A supermodel?
No! I want to be a doctor or a lawyer or a teacher. I want to help people.
What’s your favourite place on Lanzarote?
The water park! I’ve only been once, but I want to go again. I got stuck on the big red slide and people were coming down behind me, but I learnt that you should get wet before you go on the slides.
Oswaldo Machín, who lent us the lovely dress that Bella modelled for our photoshoot, is one of Lanzarote’s foremost designers, an artist whose wedding dresses are a reference for elegance and quality on the island. But Oswaldo does far more than wedding outfits, and the pandemic has made him diversify even more.
Oswaldo, Many people have postponed weddings until they’re sure they can celebrate with fewer restrictions. How has this affected your business?
The wedding commissions were difficult for a while, but of course that’s not all of what we do here, and so we immediately decided to diversify. That has worked well for us and, since the lockdown started, I’ve only had to furlough employees for a couple of months.
How did you diversify?
First I made masks! There was a sudden demand, so we got to work. Then, because celebrations were on hold and carnival was cancelled, we focused on uniforms. We’ve created the uniforms for staff at the Fariones Hotel, and also San Bartolomé’s Municipal Choir, among others. Communion celebrations also came back fairly soon, we’ve had enough work to do since January, at least.
Are most of your clients Spanish?
No, they come from all over. I can’t forget one day last year when a taxi pulled up outside and two British women stepped out. They were tourists who wanted cocktail dresses for a party.
What about the future?
Restrictions are being relaxed and weddings are now starting to happen again, so now I’m focusing on the Si Quiero wedding fair, which will take place here in San Bartolomé later this year.
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