Gather round my friends and you will hear the story of a Louisiana couple who persevered. Once upon a time Mindy owned lingerie shop on Decatur Street in the New Orleans French Quarter. In the wake of Hurricane Katrina the city was in turmoil, and full of construction workers who didn’t need lingerie. Desperate to save her retail space Mindy put the same artistic talent she had used to do the graphic designs on her lingerie to use on handcrafts.
Enter David the limo driver. Katrina also did a number on David. Leaving 10 feet of water in his home and making the need for limo drivers, even 25 year veteran limo drivers, basically non-existent in the Big Easy. It looked like David needed a plan. So with no place to stay and no job David moved to the French Quarter to try to find work. What he found was Mindy. Mindy needed someone to work her table in the French Market and David needed a job. Sounds like a plan to me.
Mindy and David took their plan and a prayer and together turned a floundering lingerie shop into a flourishing business. These guys with camera in hand went around the area taking pictures of New Orleans landmarks, hotspots, and businesses. In a 3 day process that demonstrates detailed workmanship they create distinctive works of art in each beautiful glazed tile coaster, magnet and apron that are loved by locals and visitors alike.
Appreciating their efforts to keep intact some of the culture and history of the city, people started bringing in old grocery bags, matchbooks, notebooks, etc. The rest as they say is history, three years worth.
Next time you are in the French Market look for David and let him share some of his wonderfully nostalgic NOLA stories or stop in to see Mindy at the Milk Studio headquarters at 1309 Decatur and check out the new line of soy candles. You can also visit David and Mindy at firstname.lastname@example.org
I am inspired and humbled by the innovative people all over this great state, people like David and Mindy, who have suffered through devastating hurricanes, the aftermath and just rolled up their sleeves, picked up the pieces and kept right on going. Don’t you just love happy endings, it does a body good!
By Sharon Denise Talbot
New Orleans and Music are virtually synonymous. I love music, all kinds. I have my favorites like everybody else, but one of the things I love about New Orleans is there is music everywhere. I knew early on that I would never be a “Star” since I have no musical talent to speak of, so it is no wonder that I am in awe of those who do. After lunch one afternoon my husband handed me a CD on his way out to an appointment and said “A client gave me this. It’s her daughter. Listen to it and see if you want to catch her live performance later. She is playing in the Quarter tonight.” I figured I’d listen to the CD first, before deciding.
So after seeing him out, I picked up the CD again. “Alexis Marceaux” I read. “Pretty name”, I thought. The picture on the cover showed an attractive young lady lying in the grass. “Cute picture” was my next thought. I guessed her age to be very early 20’s at best. Still unsure this would be something I ( in my old age) could relate to, I popped the CD in and “pretty and cute” were not what I was thinking as this big amazing voice filled the room. Wow, could I relate and I definitely had to reevaluate. “Powerful” and “Beautiful” were just the beginning. Of course I was going to see her perform live. Alexis’ “Elevator Ride” had just become my new favorite song.
The revelations kept coming. Alexis, young as she might be, was no new kid on the block. She had played her first public venue at 7 years old and had written her first song at 13. This young singer-songwriter is also an accomplished piano, harmonica and guitar player. “Talented.” A New Orleans native, Alexis and her family had lost everything in Hurricane Katrina and had to start completely over. Katrina might have taken her home, but not her dream to play music. “Gutsy.” Her dream to play music in New Orleans, a city she loves. “ Heart.”
Check out Alexis Marceaux, the young lady with a powerful, big, beautiful voice who is also a multi-talented performer with guts and heart. I have seen and heard “Stars” with less to recommend them. I should have known better than to judge a book or, in this case, a CD by its cover. Find out for yourself. Alexis plays live venues all over the greater New Orleans area and is scheduled to perform at the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival in April. For more about Alexis and her scheduled appearances visit her website: http://alexismarceaux.com/
By Sharon Denise Talbot