The woman who built a cotton-knit empire on New Orleans pride

The woman who built a cotton-knit empire on New Orleans pride

The Occasions-Picayune is marking the tricentennial of New Orleans with its ongoing 300 for 300 mission, operating by 2018 and highlighting 300 individuals who have made New Orleans New Orleans, that includes authentic paintings commissioned by | The Occasions-Picayune with The place Y’Artwork gallery. Immediately: entrepreneur Lauren Thom.

The icon: Lauren Thom.

The legacy: Lauren Thom was a single mom of three when she launched her enterprise with $2,000 from a 2009 tax refund. What began as an internet T-shirt retailer quickly morphed into Fleurty Woman, a enterprise with areas in New Orleans, Metairie and Mandeville that has thrived by promoting all method of New Orleans-related paraphernalia. Along with serving as a supply of inspiration to numerous different entrepreneurs, the tireless Thom has in just a few quick years turn out to be the personification of New Orleans satisfaction, offering locals with a option to help the native economic system whereas actually carrying their love for his or her hometown on their sleeves.

The artist: Jeff Morgan.

The quote: “New Orleans is my love. My favourite half is working the store and simply listening to the tales. Everybody is aware of somebody who mentioned ‘zink’ or ‘mynez,’ and the shirts remind them of a bit of one thing they bear in mind, they usually like to share it. I’ve laughed with folks and cried with them. That is precisely what I used to be meant to do.” — Lauren Thom, in an interview revealed to the New Orleans Tourism and Advertising Affiliation web site

Discover extra of Jeff Morgan’s work on-line at WhereYart.web and in individual on the The place Y’Artwork gallery, 1901 Royal St.


  • Thom might have regarded herself as a small-businesswoman, however she stood as much as the Nationwide Soccer League early in 2010 when it sued to make her cease utilizing “Who Dat” on her shirts, claiming that it owned the phrase. Many within the metropolis vocally took Thom’s aspect within the struggle, which she received.
  • A second dust-up arose within the fall of 2010 when a enterprise calling itself Who Dat? Inc. contacted native retailers, together with Thom, claiming possession of the catchphrase. Thom fought again by distributing black-and-gold ribbons to clients and different enterprise homeowners whom the corporate contacted. A settlement was reached in 2012.
  • A local New Orleanian, Thom had been a pupil anchor on WWL-TV’s “Our Technology,” a teen-oriented TV sequence hosted by Sally-Ann Roberts.
  • Earlier than launching the enterprise that made her well-known, Thom was a radio DJ and TV information reporter, in response to She appeared on “The View” in 2005 and lined the 2001 Oscar ceremony.
  • Fleurty Woman began small in November 2009, in a shotgun home on Oak Road that Hurricane Katrina had pummeled.
  • To supply a list, Thom used her tax refund to print about 300 T-shirts to promote on-line. In the event that they hadn’t offered, she advised MSNBC, she deliberate to present them as Christmas items for the remainder of her life. However they offered out in a month.
  • Thom is an LSU graduate who, in response to, at all times had a ardour for designing distinctive clothes.

By John Pope, contributing author
Supply: The Occasions-Picayune archives; workers analysis

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