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The Short List By Lee Cutrone Becoming a mother inspired Angelique Short to open Angelique Baby. Six years ago, when Angelique Short opened Angelique (7725 Maple St., 866-1092), the first of her three clothing boutiques, becoming a retailer of contemporary women's clothes seemed like a natural career move. Friends routinely complimented her effortless style, coveted the contents of her closet and asked for her fashion advice. A reflection of its owner's tastes and lifestyle, the store quickly became a destination for women who wanted a youthful, yet sophisticated look. But as her life has evolved, so has her business. Having gone from single working girl to newlywed, to working mom juggling the demands of career and family, it now takes three stores -- the Maple Street boutique, a Baton Rouge location (17455 Perkins Road, Baton Rouge, 225-757-5905) and Angelique Baby (3719 Magazine St., 301-2583) -- to fully reflect her passion for fashion. "A lot of my customers have seen the shop grow with me," says Short. "When I started, I was 26 and getting married; now I'm 32. I know how to dress a college girl, a business woman, a mom and children."

The Uptown store, which shares its space with Victoria's -- a high-end boutique for European and American shoes, purses and accessories -- carries pieces from more than 30 lines including Alice & Olivia, Madison Marcus, Christopher Dean, Bensoni, DVF, Theory, Vince, See by Chloe and LAMB. The Baton Rouge store, which Short opened with Lauren Bailey several months after Katrina, expands on the New Orleans store's concept with its mix of pieces for various occasions, and customers will find the same customer service and comfort. The baby store, owned by Short and Coleen Eastman, offers fashionable maternity wear, specialty clothing and gift items for children (from infants up to age 10), all presented in a fresh-scrubbed, whimsical environment of whitewashed walls and pastel papier mache cutouts. Rather than carry traditional items like hand-smocked frocks and jumpers, Angelique Baby caters to the fashion-forward tyke with an assortment of playful, updated pieces and hosts events like cupcake decorating parties designed to make shopping fun for parents and kids.

The goal at each of Short's stores is the same. "We buy things that you're going to want to keep for a lifetime," she says. "Or a one-time thing that's the talk of the event where you're going."

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