- by Lisa Monti from Lisa Monti's Notebook
photos by Ellis Anderson
Fleurty Girl founder Lauren Haydel can’t imagine opening one of her New Orleans-centric shops in a market that doesn’t have a connection to her hometown. “And I can’t replicate it unless I truly have a love for the place,” she said.
Lauren is so fond of Bay St. Louis that she and her family recently bought a house here, and a small office building at 201 Main Street.
On Monday, Fleurty Girl closed the sale on 216 Main Street. That historic building currently houses California Drawstrings, another women-owned, New Orleans-born business (CD owner Linda Keenan will remain at this until the end of the year).
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Bay St. Louis will be the eighth Fleurty Girl location and the first outside Louisiana. Opening is set for fall of 2020.
Fleurty Girl is known for New Orleans-inspired merchandise that includes clothing for the whole family, home accessories, gifts and jewelry tied to Mardi Gras, the Saints, seafood and other local iconic connections.
Lauren was a single mother of three when she used a $2,000 tax refund to get her online t-shirt business off the ground. Now she has locations in New Orleans, Mandeville, Kenner, Metairie and Gretna.
Lauren said Cicada, a New Orleans architecture firm, is working on plans to renovate and improve the retail space as well as the two residential units in the building. Lauren says she’ll also have a "she shed" on the property to use as a pop-up venue.
Fleurty Girl will have six employees at the Main Street store. Anyone interested in applying can send an email to email@example.com. Put BSL in the subject line.
California Drawstrings owner Linda Keenan says she's going to take some time off to travel after the first of the year, but after that, she'll be considering opening a smaller location in the Bay-Waveland-Pass area.