with Loretta Grella

A quick trip to scenic downtown Melbourne is nothing short of a pleasant experience, especially when it comes to high-end shopping without the cumbersome commute. Proud owner of Downtown Divas, Loretta Grella, has made it a point over the past decade to provide exceptional customer service to her shoppers with their favorite brands. 

“I am productive by nature,” Grella says. “After working in the medical field for 20 years, I decided to buy a boutique store.” 

Grella not only loves fashion, but also the satisfaction of making her customers feel beautiful in what they wear. 

“Our style is eclectic, therefore I usually have something in my store that anyone from 16-70 years old would like. Our motto is ‘not recommended for women who wish to go unnoticed,’ and our customers are the best. I especially like the young girls that have worked with me over the years, having watched them grow and move on to great things in life.” 

Owning a successful business on the Space Coast isn’t the only thing that’s occupied Grella’s time over the years. In fact, she actively serves on the board of directors for the Space Coast Ballet Company.

“My love for ballet and the arts threw me into a new project in 2001,” Grella explains. 

It was at that time Grella and her husband embarked on a journey to bring “The Nutcracker” to the King Center, accompanied by some newly met dancers from Russia she had recently met. 

“In 2003 when the curtain went up for our first “Nutcracker” performance, the audience was in awe of the sets and costumes, which were hand crafted in St Petersburg, Russia and shipped to Melbourne,” Grella says. “The show was beyond successful and continues today with this year being our 16th anniversary.” 

What sets this organization apart from the rest is its standing within the community. Welcoming all dancers from schools throughout the county to audition, Grella couldn’t be more proud of the reputation that’s been built over the years. 

“We bring in a lighting director from New York City and our stage manager is from Carnegie Mellon,” Grella says. “Combine this with our artistic directors and it is truly perfection.” 

Grella explains that being part of the Space Coast Ballet Company’s “Nutcracker” gives children on the Space Coast an opportunity to dance with professionals on stage and to learn from outstanding artistic directors. Space Coast Ballet Company is a not-for-profit organization that operates solely on a volunteer basis. 

“Each year we send approximately 150 underserved children from the Space Coast to The Nutcracker production and our goal this year is to raise enough money to send even more,” Grella says. ◆