Soap Dude: So fresh and so clean in Baton Rouge

I’m not the type of gal that has a medicine cabinet brimming with beauty potions, age defying serums, and imported oils that guarantees to make my hair as thick and as a horse’s mane or my money back. The fact that I have a Birchbox subscription is deceiving- try as I may to up my beauty regime I always rely to my tried and true products.

 One thing I do indulge in on a daily basis is handmade soap. None of that artificial, chemical smelling stuff or dried out skin for my inner hippie. One of my new favorites is The Soap Dude. Based in Baton Rouge, Louisiana Jeff Loquist tempted me with two samples of his suds, so how could I say no? Read on to find out how he got started out with soap, and some other random questions I subjected him to. Pick up a bar for yourself here:

Image c/o The Soap Dude

Can you describe the soap making process?

 Ah, the soap making process. I actually use the hot process method to make soap. There isn’t a lot of difference other than I can have the soap ready for use in a few hours rather than weeks and there is a bit more danger to the whole ordeal, which is how I got into soap making in the first place.

Why soap?

My wife, Sara came to me one day and said “let’s make soap”. I was a little apprehensive at first as it seemed like a lot of work, but I figured I would help out anyway. Turns out the use of lye was a little more danger than she was into, but I was hooked from the first batch. I get a kick out of mixing scents and am currently trying to make scents that will mimic things I love, like beer, scotch and cigars 🙂
And now for the hard hitting questions:
Favorite local beer
I’m as big fan of a good ale and Tin Roof’s American Blonde Ale is probably one of my favorites.
Best place to get a bite to eat in Baton Rouge
Man, up until this past weekend I would have sat here for a while thinking about it, but Frankie’s Dawg House is AMAZING. Great specialty dogs. You have to try the…man..I can’t think of the new name, but they used to call it the Chuck Norris. Wrapped in bacon, chili, cheese, grilled onions and jalapenos…so good.
I wouldn’t be caught dead without {fill in the blank}
a notebook and something to write with.
Share a brief funny hurricane evacuation (or staycation) story.
We just recently moved into our new house and one of the things that sealed the deal was all of the great old trees. I was sitting on the couch the day before Isaac hit looking out the window. The trees started swaying, i looked at Sara and said “maybe the trees weren’t such a good idea”. Sure enough, the next day we got a branch through the window before the storm even got started.
Name one reason why you love Louisiana.
Can I wrap up a couple in one? The weather, the culture and being within driving distance to a beach.
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Everything’s White

One of the most exciting things about Etsy is that you can find beautiful, one-of-a-kind pieces which might be difficult to find otherwise.  These items are much more personalized and have the potential to be heirloom items or treasured possessions.  The beautiful crotched items in Joyce Florence’s etsy shop Everythingswhite fall into this category.  As the name implies, almost everything in the shop is made of white thread.  Joyce agreed to do an interview where she shared some more about her lovely creations with us.

Baby Girl Dress- image c/o Everything’s White

Since you have been doing needlework for over 40 years, what prompted you to start your etsy shop “Everythingswhite”? 
I just love to make pretty things, preferably, white lacy things. I was crocheting doilies, doll clothes, bedspreads, table runners, sweaters and scarves for me and an occasional baby set for friends at work. But, you can only make so much and then you don’t have any place to put it all. I loved making things but I didn’t necessarily have to keep them. So I thought I might try to sell them.  I only knew about ebay for online selling so I asked my older sister who also does beautiful needlework if she had ever sold on ebay. She said “no” that she sold on ETSY. She got me started in 2008 but I didn’t actively “work” my shop until 2 years ago. 
All the work I do, whether in my job at the Fitness Center or making things for ETSY, I feel I must glorify my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. I want to convey His love to everyone I come in contact with. I try to be as patient and understanding as I can be, which can be really hard when dealing with the public. When I started my ETSY shop, I asked the Lord how I could glorify Him in this endeavor. That is why in every order I include a beautiful crocheted cross, free of charge. I hope to brighten someone’s day when they receive this little gift. In a way, I feel like I am sharing God’s love to that person. 

Christening Gown- image c/o Everything’s White

Where do you get the ideas for your designs? 
I have to admit that I use a lot of patterns because of the time factor. I have created some items on my own or when a customer sends me a request for a custom order, but I haven’t had the time to really create a lot of my own designs. Sometimes I visualize something I would love to make but it takes a “back burner” when I have customers wanting items that I use a pattern for.  I had a customer who wanted a baby diaper cover so I checked out some patterns but hated them, so I designed my own based on her requests.  If that customer had not requested a diaper cover, I would probably have never thought about making one.  I also worked with a customer to design a baby cocoon. She devised the filet pattern I would use and I made her a baby cocoon that came out beautifully. Fortunately, my mother gave me all her old craft and crochet books that date back to the 1940’s. I probably have over 500 books and magazines that are loaded with some of the most unique and beautiful patterns. I have just barely scratched the surface in the books I have. I look through them periodically and always find something new and different. 

What are your most popular items? 
I sell a lot of baby items. I love working with my customers that are having a baby or grandmothers buying for their new grand baby. They are always so happy and thrilled at the prospect of a new baby. I get caught up in their excitement. Sometimes I hate to charge them. I almost feel like I need to make them a shower gift for free. Of course that would be hard for me to do. I have items in my shop that I think are unique to me. One is my lacy crocheted baby dress made in size 30 crochet cotton thread from an old Magic Crochet magazine pattern and my winter white mohair sweater. I also do very well with christening gowns. I have sold a number of them. My most exciting sale was a crocheted skirt and top that took me 4 months to make. 

White Romantic Women’s Sweater- image c/o Everything’s White

Do you think that living in the South has influenced your designs? 
I have never really thought about this much but now that you ask this question I can see how it probably has. All of my items are very traditional.  I use very simple, elegant designs in just about everything I make. When you think about lace and doilies you think about an old antebellum house with these furnishings. When I modeled my crocheted skirt and top, all my friends said that in the picture I looked like a Southern lady going to a tea party. 
What are your plans for Everythingswhite in the future?  
I really dream that one day I could quit my day job and do ETSY fulltime.  I am hoping to at least go part time in a few years so I can devote more time to my shop. I have sold knitted and sewing items on ETSY but again the time factor stops me from doing a lot of this because I have so many requests for crocheted items.  Sometimes I wish I could have more sales on ETSY. I hear some shop owners talk about having several sales a day.  However, I don’t know if I could make that many items.  I am a “one person show”. I make everything for my shop. I don’t employ anyone else. Right now I am pretty busy with a retail order and a couple custom orders for customers.  Usually I have about 1 sale a week and that keeps me busy. I work 8 hours a day and I am usually training for some running event so I only have several hours at night to work on items for my shop. I also have the weekend, which helps me to catch up somewhat.  Right now, I am training for a marathon at the end of February and I am running 9 and 10 miles every morning. Still I also love to knit and sew, and I do hope to add more of these type items to Everythingswhite one day. I also would like to open another shop on ETSY called “Everythingelse” so I can sell some items in other colors. And maybe eventually have a chain of shops with “Everythings_?___” as the title.
Thanks to Joyce for sharing with us.  Definitely stop by Everythingswhiteto see some more of Joyce’s beautiful crochet work.
Elizabeth McNair
Twitter: slowsouthstyle Facebook: Slow Southern Style

Gator Heads and Oyster Shells courtesy of Half Shell Productions

If you’re still looking for something to complete your Mardi Gras costume (or perhaps you haven’t even started on it yet), Halfshell Productions may have your solution.  Tracy Hamlin in NOLA offers a selection of appropriately quirky Mardi Gras headdresses and bustiers.  Like all good Mardi Gras costumes, Tracy’s designs feature plenty of feathers and beads as well as some more unconventional materials.
Photo courtesy of Half Shell Productions

Here’s a bit from Tracy herself about her unique offerings.
You mentioned in your Etsy shop profile that you started making headdresses for the 2011 Mardi Gras season.  What prompted this?
Costuming is a New Orleans tradition. Sometimes it only takes one item:  a bustier, headdress or top hat, to begin the whole look and feel of a costume. That’s how it was for me. I made a Cajun Carmen Headdress, and then a feathered bustier, to march with Mondo Kayo on Fat Tuesday of 2011. I had so much fun wearing the outfit that I wanted to offer that one piece of “the look” that fires one’s creative process. 
Where does your inspiration for your designs come from?
My designs use local items like preserved alligator heads, feathers, king cake babies and nutria pelts because people in Louisiana have a connection to them.  I designed and wore the nutria skirt and Gator Bustier to the Righteous Fur Fashion Show in Lafayette in October. Nutria pelts are so lovely to work with. The fur is extremely soft, and I try to incorporate it into my designs as much as possible
Photo courtesy of Half Shell Productions

You use so many different elements in your creations.  How do you choose the materials for each design?
 I sold a Gator Headdress to someone in Bulgaria.  Through, I have sold nationally and internationally, so obviously other cultures have connections to the designs, as well. I also like the look of layers: feathers in background and alligator heads and other items in the foreground. I do have some standard designs, but sometimes, I start with a number of items and put them together in a totally different pattern which creates a new design. At times, I have no idea how a piece is going to end up. Adding and subtracting items until it feels just right. I have to keep materials on hand so they can be incorporated into designs. That means that I have to keep collecting and upgrading the materials that I work with.

What are your plans for Halfshell Productions after the 2012 Mardis Gras season ends?  
I love what I am doing right now.  My 2012 plans include creating new designs, working with new materials, and going to more markets to expand my client base.
If you need still some unique Mardi Gras attire or if you’re just interested in taking a look at some of her designs, be sure to check out Tracy Hamlin at Halfshell Productions on etsy.
Photo courtesy of Half Shell Productions

Elizabeth McNair

Twitter: slowsouthstyle Facebook: Slow Southern Style

Such A Doll

Do you love bold accessories? Have a love of feathers?  Then I have an Etsy shop you have to check out.  I had the pleasure of interviewing Jessica Reeves Tullos of Automatic Doll. Automatic Doll is an Etsy shop that sells unique hand-made accessories that are made in Lafayette, Louisiana.  Jessica’s accessories are absolutely adorable and will have you feeling like a doll!  Check out her interview below and then go to her Etsy shop by clicking here.
Tell us how you got into designing your unique accessories.

It all started with my desire to have beautiful accessories to wear, even though I could not afford to buy them in stores. I started making myself flower crowns resembling the ones I loved at Rouge Pony, an Etsy store owned by the beautiful and talented Karin Kirsten. When I wore them to festivals or outdoor events, people loved them. It got to the point where every time I wore any of my handmade pieces, I would find myself explaining to people that I only made it for myself and that they were not sold in stores. So, finally, I decided to create my own Etsy store.
You feature a lot of feathers in your pieces, what type of feathers do you use?

I use mainly rooster tail feathers in my neck pieces and epaulettes, but in my headdresses I use pheasant, peacock, or ostrich feathers as well. The pheasant feathers have beautiful stripes in them, and of course there is nothing as beautiful as a peacock tail feather!

What are your most popular items?

My most popular items are definitely the feather epaulettes. They are meant to be worn either as a pair, or as a single piece worn on one shoulder. They are bright, large, and have a tendency to become the focal point of any outfit. People love them because it instantly transforms the article of clothing you are wearing into a bold, and dare I say, costume piece for the everyday!
Since you are an Etsy shop and you don’t mass-produce your items do you sometimes tweak the colors if the customer request certain colors?

Absolutely! The beauty of hand-making everything by myself lets me give each person who buys a piece from Automatic Doll a unique and distinct wearable work of art. Since it is Mardi Gras season right now in Louisiana, I get special requests from buyers who want feather pieces in the Mardi Gras colors of purple, green, and gold. I love to think I was able to help some one to create her own one of a kind Mardi Gras costume!

Describe the woman that would wear your accessories.

The woman who wears Automatic Doll  is an individual who likes to stand apart from everyone else in a crowd. She is bold, yet whimsical, and wants her look to make that statement. She approaches her personal style with a sense of adventure – ultimately, she is the girl who asks herself before dressing for any occasion, “What costume will I wear today?” 

Since your pieces are so unique do you have any muses?

Yes, I have so many! I have always been in awe of the designs of indigenous cultures. I love the color palettes, patterns, and jewelry made by Mesoamerican, Native American, and African cultures. I love the idea of ritual and ceremonial objects. These sacred objects are aesthetically beautiful, and though the pieces I create are by no means sacred in any way, they are inspired by such objects. Also, Karin Kirsten, the designer behind Rouge Pony, is a huge inspiration to me in terms of my floral headpieces. Her work is effervescent! Lastly, but perhaps in the largest sense, my work is a product of the sort of women Tennessee Williams wrote about. They are women who are full of passion and color, beauty and spunk, innocence and rage. They are the essence of what it means to be an Automatic Doll, and I imagine many of those women would have worn such accessories.
What is your future plans for Automatic Doll?

At this time, I am in the process of making lots of pieces in order to have a portfolio to show to local boutiques and merchants in the hopes of putting my accessories into actual stores. I will be selling Automatic Doll pieces at bazaars and festivals in the upcoming months, and I am excited to see how my work is received. For now I will keep blogging and selling on Esty. 
-Brandy Gaspard
All images via Automatic Doll

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Interview: Kathryn Wilson left me at the Altar

 Clothing designer Kathryn Wilson contacted me about her clothing line Altar, made here in New Orleans. Each of her designs are named after the streets of New Orleans and are reconstructed primarily from vintage materials. She’s offering Slow Southern Style readers 15% off at her Etsy store with coupon code SLOWSOUTHERNSTYLE15. Learn more about Altar clothing by reading the interview below and see what inspires Ryn.

SALE Burnt Orange Textured Satin Top with Sash size small medium - Calliope

Describe the Altar clientele. What type of woman would be drawn to your designs?
A woman with a unique sense of style who wants to appear creative and put together at the same time. Someone who is not afraid to reveal their dark side, but in a subtle way. She reveres their clothing as a personal statement and is confident and sexy inside and out. I think the clothing hints at these elements while the woman emphasizes it in her own personal way.

How does the South, and New Orleans in particular, influence your work?
New orleans seduced me the first time I visited on a short trip many years ago. There is a magic about this city that I’ve never felt anywhere else. I was so excited when I got into grad school here a year and a half ago, because the thought of immersing myself in NOLA was thrilling. There is a thriving art and fashion scene which provides endless inspiration and if I have a lack of ideas I just need to step out my door and take it all in.
For fashion specifically, I am drawn to the lace and frills aesthetic of the south. The white linens and loose gauzy materials capture my imagination. I love to counter that innocence and airiness with a bit of black leather. It’s like the swamp to me, absolute breathtaking beauty to look at, but with a presence of great danger. 
Euphrosine Lace Blouse with Bow Tie and Vintage Buttons XS/S/M/L/XL made to order
Aside from fashion design what are some of your other interests and hobbies?
I am a photographer and video maker, currently midway through the MFA program at UNO. I pretty much spend all of my time working on or researching my clothing designs or my photo/video projects. The time spent researching is some of my favorite because it involves going to galleries, reading books, watching films and talking to other inspiring artists. I also count traveling as research because every time I do I am guaranteed to come home with a new vision and a sketchbook full of notes.
Joliet - Black gray satin lace ballet slip dress tutu XS/S/M/L/XL made to order
 What does the future hold for you?
I have a few possible paths. When I get my degree I plan to apply for photography/art teaching positions. I hope to stay in New Orleans, but I’m open to change. I am also excited about the possibility of attending artist residencies in the US or abroad. Something else that has been on my mind for a long time is moving back to Shanghai (I lived there for a short period in 2008). I’d love to get a studio there to continue the Altar business full time while also working on my other art endeavors. Shanghai is so inspiring and the fabric markets are orgasmic. I definitely need to do that at some point in the future.

Keep up with Ryn by reading her blog or follow her on Facebook and Twitter.

Twitter: slowsouthstyle Facebook: Slow Southern Style

kc thomassie designs

Ladies let’s face it, nothing makes us feel glitzier than a tuft of frivolousness sitting atop our head. Southerners are known for their fanciful headgear, from the Kentucky Derby, to church hats even the crowns our Mardi Gras queens wear we love resembling peacocks.Recent Samford University graduate Kaci Thomassie satisfies cravings for the fantastical with her handmade, one of a kind creations here in Louisiana.
.Tres Femme KTD Couture Headpiece

Drawing from her degree in theater with a concentration in costume design and inspired by vintage clothing Kaci works with a variety of materials including feathers, leather, unique fabrics, vintage buttons, and beads. It’s no wonder why her fascinators are sought after by brides to be, especially on the North Shore. Check out her work in person at this Saturday’s Objects of Adornment at Du Mois Gallery on Freret Street. Can’t make it to the opening? The show will run from October 8th until the end of the month.

KTD Couture Pink and Black Feather Fascinator
Peacock Statement Necklace

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What I Wore- Birds On The Brain

I used to be quite the adventurous dresser. If y’all could see the crazy things I wore in high school you’d laugh and that’s okay because I thought most of it was funny too. I remember my favorite shoes well. I bought them in Belle Promenade mall (ain’t dere no more) and the year was, oh never mind the year they were baby powder blue and had the same sheen as a 1950s diner booth. Oh yea did I mention the stacked wooden heel with white trim? Jeffrey Campbell could probably sell them now and ladies would eat them up for breakfast, or brunch since this is a New Orleans based blog. If anyone from Jeffrey Campbell shoes wants to hit me up I’ll gladly describe them to you. I’ll even let y’all call them “The Christy.”


As a teenager growing up in the South back in the 90’s (there I said it) most of my classmates were pretty conservative and all I wanted to do was rebel and wear outrageous things for the sake of being different. I dress downright dowdy compared to the strange wardrobe choices I made in the springtime of my life. However sometimes you have to live a little and have fun, hence this little friend that I picked up at Freret Market last weekend.

Click through to see the rest of the outfit.

The trick to wearing a whimsical outfit is keeping the entire getup in sync. Here I kept the color palette completely the same throughout with mint green and bright pink so everything tied in and made sense vs. making a hot mess. You can’t just throw on something silly with a pair of jeans otherwise it will look, well silly instead of fun.

Look I even sort of match my new back patio decorations! Our “outdoor dining room” is getting a complete overhaul, complete with a fountain and pond as soon as we get around to it. 
Headband: Dreamer76 via Freret Market
Necklace: seen a million times here
Glasses: OGI via St. Charles Vision
Tank Top: French Connection
Skirt: Forever 21 via Buffalo Exchange
Shoes: Toms via Buffalo Exchange
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Henk Brinkman- Horseshoe talismans

I haven’t done an Etsy interview in well over a month and quite honestly I miss doing them. A few months ago I discovered Henk Brinkman, an interesting guy who creates even more interesting jewelry in Decatur, Georgia.  I asked him to tell me about the origins of his horseshoe nail necklaces and was entranced with his serendipitous story. Here is his tale in his own words. 

For the origin of horseshoe nail jewelry you have to go back to Medieval Eastern Europe and the wandering gypsies. Blacksmithing was one of their renowned skills. If your horse needed new shoes gypsies were most likely to provide that service. Gypsies also believed that anything forged in fire had magical powers and could ward off evil. They would make a talisman out of horseshoe nails and hang it around their children’s necks to protect them. Thus the first horseshoe nail necklaces were created.

Horseshoe 7-Nail Pendant, gun blued (HNP002B)
In 1970 I had been traveling with my best friend from Holland through Europe & Asia and after a few months we ended up in Matala on Crete. One day I changed my routine and took a walk into the mountains. A decision that would literally change my life. I crossed paths with  a guy wearing a horseshoe nail pendant. I was fascinated and he was willing to teach me. I used most of my remaining cash to buy nails and tools and started to make horseshoe nail jewelry.

A week later while selling my jewelry in Syntagma Square in Athens I met an American girl who was looking for a ride to Florence. My friend and I were about to leave for Dubrovnik in Yugoslavia, so I could not help her. I gave her a horseshoe nail pendant instead and told her it was magical and would bring her luck in her travels and happiness.
The odds are astronomical, but I ran into her again two weeks later in Venice, Italy and this time magic happened.  A year later I left Holland, moved to Boston and married her, all because of a few horseshoe nails.
Even though I am very skeptical when it comes to “magic”, it is very hard to ignore the many amazing stories people who bought my jewelry, have shared with me over the years.
What intrigued you about this particular style?
What intrigued me most was the history of this craft. But I was also intrigued by the seemingly endless possibilities of designs I came up with using horseshoe nails. My designs are all original; I never copied anyone else. After I moved to the United States, I sold my jewelry in Holyoke Center in Harvard Square. A  Harvard professor was fascinated in my jewelry and did extensive research in its history. In 1973 we moved to Atlanta and I started to attend craft shows all over the country.
Horseshoe 3-Nail Pendant (HNP035S)
You mention on your Etsy shop that you only design in primary numbers. Can you further explain?
You must understand that I never “designed in prime numbers” It just happened to be the case.
I never set out to use prime numbers. It never entered my mind. I knew most of my pendants were made of an odd numbers of nails, since most have one nail in the middle. But it was that same Harvard professor (mathematics) who discovered that all my pendants turned out to be prime numbers. I don’t know if this is significant, it just happened. In 1976 I was doing a lot of craft shows and I had designed a pendant, using 76 nails. At least I thought I had. I even had a sign that stated that fact. It was the largest thing I ever created out of nails  and it was not for sale.  One day a very observant customer told me that I was wrong about the number of horseshoe nails. It turned out that he was correct. There were only 73 nails in that pendant; which oddly enough is another prime number. Go figure.

Horseshoe 11-Nail Pendant (HNP005B)
Besides creating your jewelry what other hobbies do you have?
I actually gave up making horseshoe nail jewelry 25 years ago when I started to develop arthritis in my hand.  I just picked it up again two months ago. My other “love” is architectural pen & ink drawings, which has been my “other job” for the last 30 years.
I also love doing ceramics and carpentry. Photography has been a hobby since I was 12 years old.

Pick up your own good luck piece at Henk Brinkman’s Etsy shop
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Lacey Du- A Louisiana jewelry designer

I haven’t featured an Etsy artist in a while, simply for the fact that I’ve been inundated with other projects but I still love unearthing talented Southern designers and artists to feature here. When Lacey Dupre, an environmental scientist from Lafayette, Louisiana contacted me about Slow Southern Style I was delighted to share her handiwork with y’all. Here’s what she had to say:

I’m from Louisiana and adore the swamps. I fnd a lot of inspiration while I’m canoeing or atop my stand-up paddleboard.   The sunsets on the Atchafalaya Basin amaze me, with the creaking cypress and dripping moss and I draw lots of inspiration from them. Aside from the grandeur of nature, I get most of my ideas in the spur of the moment. For example sometimes I could be conversing with someone  and a picture morphs in my head, which turns into a ceramic piece or jewelry!  

Citrine and Saffron FUR necklace

As a child, and throughout college I painted, then I became interested in ceramics and now I love making jewelry.   I do all three now but my main focus is the jewelry.  I use lots of natural materials: bone, claws, leather, amethyst chunks, deer antler slices, pyrite, clay, porcelaine, and fabric remnants.  I also incorporate my ceramics into my jewelry; blending these disciplines causes me to dream and expand my collections. 

Amethyst Slice on warm brass by laceyDU

 My latest collection features Nutria fur!  Yes, real, guilt-free fur.  Nutria are an invasive species to our beautiful land here, they tear up the marshes and wetlands with their destructive feeding and are one of the biggest problems associated with coastal erosion.  They roam free and wild until they are put to good use as food and clothing.  Yep, food too!  I’m with a collective called Righteous Fur in New Orleans and many of the other members make coats and hats and such.
Aside from my art, I am an Environmental Scientist and an aspiring Practicioner of Chinese Medicine. I also am really into slacklining, which is akin to tight rope walking combined with a trampoline.  Traveling has also been a focal point of my life, I spent much time in Europe and recently, have been visiting Asian countries.

White howlite charmed by laceyDU

Visit Lacey online at,  or one of her two Etsy shops, for handmade jewelry and vintage finds  she discovers on her travels and for Lacey’s  fine  art photogrpahy and prints. 
Twitter: slowsouthstyle Facebook: Slow Southern Style

maison orleans

Here in New Orleans there is a reason ghost tours are so popular with tourists. This city definitely has a dark side, one that we embrace whole heartedly. From our beautiful cemeteries to tales of Jean-Lafitte everyone loves a sinister story. Janelle of Maison Orleans has managed to capture this mood with her line of jewelry inspired by her deep love of the dark.


Your jewelry certainly has a dark feel to it with a lot of ocean references. Describe Maison Orleans and what your aesthetic is.
I think the atmosphere of New Orleans lends itself to dark expression. I’ve been drawn to both the mysteries of this city and the mysteries of the ocean for as long as I can remember. There’s a certain romance to it, even in our beautiful cemeteries. Where else is a funeral celebrated with dancing and jazz music? As to the ocean, who hasn’t dreamed of sailing the high seas as a pirate or discovering a long-lost shipwreck? My aesthetic might seem eclectic, but I design and create my pieces in the hopes that there is someone else out there who will see and feel that same sense of mystery.

definition of evil charm necklace with glass vial and handmade voodoo tarot charm

How does living in New Orleans help you with your design inspirations?

There is no greater city in the world for artistic inspiration. If you spend even a few hours watching people flow through the French Quarter or travel the river, or walk by the street artists and performers, you can’t help but feel the uniqueness of the culture. Even the architecture is fascinating.

Marie Laveau Voodoo Charm necklace with hand stamped sterling silver accents

Aside from jewelry what are your hobbies?
3. I also paint and make clothing (which will hopefully make it into my shop), and I could spend weeks wandering flea markets and thrift shops. I really love to take something “discarded” and turn it into something beautiful, or at least something interesting!

gulf oyster shell with bronze swarovski pearl
Any big plans in the future?

I never want the kind of success that would mean I couldn’t personally make every single piece I offer. I added Maison Orleans as an avenue for pieces that are close to my heart rather than commercial, and I’m content to continue. In a perfect world, I would share a retail space in the city, mainly for the direct contact that it would provide.

Altered Bone Dia de los Muertos Pendant
Define southern style.

Southern style, to me, is exaggerated in every sense. Whether it’s an elaborate chandelier, a monster truck, a 7-course meal, a mass of second liners, big hair, or unique jewelry, the South does what it does on a big scale, and I love every minute:)

Janelle sells her jewelry in the Maison Orleans Etsy shop.

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