Lucy Rose (3318 Magazine Street; 504-895-0444; www.shoplucyrose.com) stands out in a bustling shopping district with its affordable collection of women's clothing and home decor items. The bright, spacious shop is owned and operated by two sisters, born nine years apart — Kaitlyn Alvarez and Lindsay Alvarez Laws.
"We've always wanted to open a store together," says Alvarez, the younger sister, who graduated from Louisiana State University with a degree in fashion merchandising. "We just never knew how or when."
With the help of family and friends who work in fashion retail, the sisters opened Lucy Rose as a clothing boutique in 2013. A year later, they added a large home and interiors section, where Laws — an interior designer — puts her expertise into play. The name Lucy Rose is a combination of Laws' nickname, Lucy, and Alvarez's middle name, Rose.
As for apparel, Lucy Rose is stocked with classic items and on-trend pieces like cape jackets, kaleidoscopic flare pants and mod-style shift dresses. Alvarez notes that bold floral patterns are popular this season, defying the assumption that flower prints are only for spring.
"There are flowers in the fall, too. It's not just leaves," Alvarez says, laughing. Watercolor patterns, which Alvarez describes as wearable works of art, are also in vogue.
Other items hanging from the racks include faux fur vests, silky blouses and rompers. One section of the store hosts a display of swanky New Orleans Saints game day T-shirts, ankle booties, clutch bags and artsy jewelry ranging from cuff bracelets and tassel necklaces anchored by glossy stones to golden ear climbers.
The home and interiors portion of the boutique is furnished with gold leaf-embellished abstract paintings by local artists, patterned throw pillows, antique-style votive holders and Louisiana-inspired picture frames made from oyster shells.
Lucy Rose has the essentials for hosting a dinner party, including gilded glassware, coasters and colorful cocktail napkins emblazoned with cheeky quotes such as "This wine is making me awesome."
With their expertise in fashion and design, Alvarez and Laws are able to help customers assemble outfits and find unique treasures for their home. Their friendly, hands-on approach helped build a devoted clientele that includes locals and tourists, many of whom shop on the Lucy Rose website after they leave New Orleans. Business is good, and the sisters plan to open a second store, despite their busy lives (Laws is the mother of a toddler and Alvarez is planning her springtime wedding).
"There's always going to be something," Alvarez says of the timing for opening a second store. "But you can't hold back when an opportunity is in front of you."