Shopping

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

New Orleans: We're getting a Trader Joe's (well, Metairie is)

Posted By on Wed, Jul 8, 2015 at 4:33 PM

CREATIVE COMMONS/MIKE MOZART
  • CREATIVE COMMONS/MIKE MOZART

Much-loved grocery chain Trader Joe's will be opening its first New Orleans-area location next year, according to a report from WWL-TV:
The Los Angeles-based grocery store company announced it is opening a store at the corner of Veterans and N. Labarre in Metairie. The store will open in the second half of 2016.
The news still isn't on the company's web page where it lists upcoming openings. WWL-TV reported the store will not open until late 2016.

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Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Girl down: Big Freedia's memoir hits ... as does "Big Freedia in Your Pocket"

Posted By on Tue, Jul 7, 2015 at 3:58 PM

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Popular New Orleans bounce artist Big Freedia’s memoir, Big Freedia: God Save the Queen Diva, officially goes on sale today. The Queen Diva's autobiography deals with her upbringing and the “relationship between her personal life and her career as an artist,” according to a summary on the Octavia Books website. Freedia will be appearing at Octavia Books (513 Octavia St.) on Fri., July 10 at 6 p.m., where she will be reading from the book and signing copies.

Also available for sale this week is a new product called “Big Freedia In Your Pocket,” a small plastic soundboard that, when pressed, emits some of Big Freedia’s catchphrases (a la "Cajun in Your Pocket" and "Mr. Okra in Your Pocket").

Among the familiar Freedia-isms are “You already know!” “Release your wiggle!” and “Big Freedia, Queen Diva, you besta believa!” The gadget is available on the Fleurty Girl website for $10. 


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Thursday, June 18, 2015

West Elm holds an Etsy pop-up shop Saturday, June 20

Posted By on Thu, Jun 18, 2015 at 4:21 PM

West Elm features goods crafted by more than 200 designers nationwide, including 11 locals.
  • West Elm features goods crafted by more than 200 designers nationwide, including 11 locals.

From 1 p.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday, June 20, West Elm (2929 Magazine St., 888-922-4119) hosts a pop-up shop curated by Juley Le, founder of New Orleans lifestyle blog Upperlyne & Co and food editor at The Everygirl. Le rounded up eight of her favorite local Etsy sellers to promote at the event, which will feature food by District Donuts and music by DJ BabyGirl.

"We have artists and jewelry makers and someone who specializes in furniture," Le says. "Online shopping is great, but there is nothing like experiencing that product so you can make a good decision as to whether you want to invest in it."

Below, Le shares her thoughts on the pop-up shop and the makers who will sell their goods there. (All vendors are new to West Elm and Magazine Street.)

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Friday, April 10, 2015

A preview of Warby Parker Frame Studio

Posted By on Fri, Apr 10, 2015 at 4:59 PM

The high-ceilinged space features original floors, beams and brickwork. - MISSY WILKINSON
  • MISSY WILKINSON
  • The high-ceilinged space features original floors, beams and brickwork.

Warby Parker
was launched in February 2010, when its four cofounders were still in business school. Featuring stylish in-house design, a charitable "buy a pair, give a pair" program, a $95 price tag for all glasses and a free home try-on system GQ dubbed "the Netflix of eyewear," the online business thrived. Though Warby Parker doesn't release sales information, the company has donated 1 million pairs of glasses, according to reporting by Wired — so it's safe to say they've sold that many, too.

Now the retailer is going brick and mortar. Its first storefront opened in New York City's Soho neighborhood in 2013, and its 12th location opens tomorrow in New Orleans at 3964 Magazine St.

"[The growth] happened organically," says Warby Parker communications manager Kaki Read."Our brand philosophy is that it has to be a blended experience — online and offline. When we launched, we experienced people wanting to try on and touch the product and experience the brand."

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Tuesday, March 24, 2015

CUE presents The Warehouse Sale Sunday, March 29

Posted By on Tue, Mar 24, 2015 at 10:40 AM



Shoppers peruse racks at last fall's Warehouse Sale. - PHOTO BY SOPO NOLA (WWW. SOPONOLA.COM)
  • PHOTO BY SOPO NOLA (WWW. SOPONOLA.COM)
  • Shoppers peruse racks at last fall's Warehouse Sale.

It's a trope of femininity: sample sales where women wrestle over discounted handbags and strip down to their Spanx in communal dressing rooms. On Sunday, March 29 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., this rite of fashionista passage takes over a banquet room at the Mellow Mushroom's Metairie location (3131 Veterans Memorial Blvd.).

"It's down, dirty and aggressive, but you will leave with the best deals from the most amazing boutiques in the city," says stylist Aimeé Gowland, who launched The Warehouse Sale in 2012 with partner Corrie Pellerin. "We like to call it controlled chaos. It's not a pretty thing."

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Friday, March 20, 2015

ULTA Beauty celebrates its grand opening today

Posted By on Fri, Mar 20, 2015 at 1:02 PM

ULTA Beauty celebrates its grand opening in Magnolia Marketplace today.
  • ULTA Beauty celebrates its grand opening in Magnolia Marketplace today.

ULTA Beauty
celebrates its grand opening in Magnolia Marketplace (2900 S. Claiborne Ave., Suite 400) this weekend with giveaways and free makeovers. On Saturday, March 21 and Sunday, March 22, the first 100 attendees receive a "beauty treat" worth $5 or $10, as well as a free skin or hair service.

"It's the first 100 people in the store regardless of timing, each day," says general manager Leslie Teal. "It varies how early people get to our stores to line up. Some customers come two hours before and some one hour before. Doors open at 10 a.m. Saturday and 11 a.m. Sunday."

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Friday, March 13, 2015

ETCH Studio presents laser-cut jewelry at Southern Design Week

Posted By on Fri, Mar 13, 2015 at 4:40 PM

Mallory Estopinal (left) and Zoe Ganch turned an Instagram shop into a thriving business in less than a year. - KATIE HOPE
  • KATIE HOPE
  • Mallory Estopinal (left) and Zoe Ganch turned an Instagram shop into a thriving business in less than a year.

Mallory Estopinal and Zoe Ganch are full-time LSU students in their final year of architecture school. They're completing projects, looking for jobs in industrial product design and, in their spare time, running a jewelry business, ETCH Studio.

The best friends started ETCH on whim in January 2014. Since then, the business has racked up more than 900 orders, 10,000+ Instagram followers and a $4,500 prize from the the Louisiana Business & Technology Center’s Venture Challenge, as well as its Audience Choice award.

"This semester has been hectic and crazy, but we've managed to work it out," says Estopinal, a New Orleans native. "I'll go check on the website or work on production while I'm taking a break from my studies. ETCH doesn't seem like work."

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Friday, February 6, 2015

Meeting of the makers

Posted By on Fri, Feb 6, 2015 at 1:58 PM

From left: Kathi Keppel, owner and designer of DVRA, and Patti Dunn, owner and designer of Tchoup Industries, in their shared storefront. - MISSY WILKINSON
  • MISSY WILKINSON
  • From left: Kathi Keppel, owner and designer of DVRA, and Patti Dunn, owner and designer of Tchoup Industries, in their shared storefront.

On a sunny Thursday afternoon, customers drift in and out of a weathered 19th-century space, chatting over a sewing machine's occasional staccato whir. Three businesses occupy the petite storefront's 690 square feet: local bag companies DVRA and Tchoup Industries, plus record label Disko Obscura.

"We share the responsibility and rent. I couldn't have done it myself," says Patti Dunn, owner and designer of Tchoup Industries.

Prior to opening the joint venture at 1113B St. Mary St., Dunn shared a French Quarter space with Kathi Keppel, owner and designer of DVRA. Her business was online only at the time, but Dunn dreamed of opening a brick-and-mortar shop. Keppel's husband Joey Buttons also wanted a physical home for the record label he founded in 2009. When the St. Mary Street address became available, the three "jumped on it," Dunn says. 

"Sharing the space takes a lot of pressure off, which I think is necessary if you want to take creative risks," Keppel says.

"And it is cool having Joey's records in here, because it brings in a whole different crowd and is great cross-promotion," Dunn adds.

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Thursday, January 29, 2015

Five ways to use scents in your home

Posted By on Thu, Jan 29, 2015 at 10:52 AM

Jonathan Steadman in his home studio.
  • Jonathan Steadman in his home studio.


Jonathan Steadman, creator of Obeah fragrances, has "always been intrigued by scent." The Slidell native and current NYC resident's first perfume was a love potion that combined six aphrodisiac scents: sandalwood, vanilla, jasmine, rose, orange and licorice. "I was going on a date, and I wanted some help," he says.

Steadman's new collection includes room sprays, linen sprays, bath crystals and custom perfumes. An art director for luxury brands, he designed the Obeah logo and chose black Italian glass bottles for his scents. At home, Steadman uses fragrance the way most people use lighting, accessories and other design elements — to create a mood. He'll whip up a custom scent to complement a dinner party or cocktail soiree.

"I am big about matching scent to activity in the home," Steadman says. "For a cocktail party, you do something like relaxing and warm like an amber. If I make Moroccan food, I might make a scent that has a spice and apricot note."

The right smell, Steadman says, is nothing short of magical, which is why he named his brand after folk magic that originated in the Caribbean islands and made its way to Louisiana as part of voodoo.

"[Scent] can change the environment or mood in the room or take you back to a place or time you’ve been," he says. "For me, that was magical, and that's why I decided to name [my product line] after something magical."

Below are five ways Steadman sets a mood with scents.

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Thursday, January 15, 2015

Home decorating tips from HGTV's John Gidding of Curb Appeal

Posted By on Thu, Jan 15, 2015 at 3:15 PM

John Gidding has a master's degree in architecture from Harvard Graduate School of Design.
  • John Gidding has a master's degree in architecture from Harvard Graduate School of Design.
This weekend, the NOLA Home Show hosts more home improvement experts, professionals and celebrity guests than you can shake a spade at. Among them is John Gidding, architect turned host of HGTV's Curb Appeal. On the show, he helps homeowners make their house exteriors more eye-catching.

Gambit interviewed Gidding for tips on maximizing the appeal of porch-centric NOLA homes.


Gambit: As I’m sure you’ve noticed, New Orleans has some beautiful architecture. What do you like about the homes here?
John Gidding: I've always been drawn to porches, covered verandas and balconies — all of which are expressed beautifully and in a multitude of ways in New Orleans. They're a much appreciated extension of the interior and a way of bringing in the exterior, but what I love is the sense of community they engender. Neighborhoods with porches and balconies encourage the kind of casual, unplanned interactions among neighbors and passersby that create stronger communities with the additional benefit of better upkeep and maintenance. Just what the Curb Appeal guy likes.

G: What does "curb appeal" mean, and is it something only people selling their homes should be concerned with?
JG: It was initially a real estate term. When people pull up to a house for sale, it's the first thing to judge by -— but HGTV's long-running show with the same name has taken the term to a broader platform, and for good reason. All too often, home improvements are for the benefit of an upcoming sale — when they'd be much better appreciated by the inhabitants of the home as they lived in it. This is especially true for curb appeal: it affects your neighborhood, it improves safety, and also impacts how you feel when you get home. These are things that people should create for themselves and benefit from, and that's why I think Curb Appeal has developed broad appeal.

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