So Close Yet So Far
“Whew, it’s hot!” seems to be the preferential idiom in this town. The first ten seconds of any conversation, no matter for business or pleasure, are inevitably about how one is surviving the elements in the tropical urban jungle that is New Orleans in summertime. We fight to tame unruly hair and nearly lose a layer of skin when we peel off of bikes or the seats on the streetcar. The eternally lovely and polished WDSU meteorologist, Margaret Orr, uses words like “sultry,’ “sizzling” and “fiery.” She is not describing Tom Ford’s current runway looks, but the temperature at 7:00 AM. Summer after summer I search for methods to maintain my physical and mental composure, and I have recently come across a few fantastic local finds to abet my muggy mental state.
Are you an Instagram addict? Glued to Pinterest? A savvy shopper? All of the above? Then the app, the Nearby, was developed with you in mind. Laura Vinroot Poole, owner of Boutiques Capitol and Poole Shop in Charlotte, North Carolina created the geo-targeted smartphone application when she found herself struggling to compete with large e-tailers like Shopbop and Net-a-Porter. “I created it as a marketing tool and as way to be in constant contact with my customers.” stated Poole. The clever app allows you to follow your favorite shops near and far so that you never miss out on what is new and happening. Buy, “like”, or “chat” directly with sales staff at local boutiques and be the first to know about new shops or hidden gems in your neighborhood.
As a stylist and personal shopper, the Nearby is the ultimate tool for market research. I gave it a whirl and discovered three new posh shops in the New Orleans area: Loomed NOLA, Jade and Rise. So instead of posting your vibrantly hued sno-ball du jour on Instagram, download the Nearby and view all the colorful summer wares in your local shops. At the moment, there are 16 New Orleans boutiques on the Nearby; download the app and follow them all!
To download the Nearby on your Smartphone, visit the App Store.
If you would like the Nearby to feature your boutique, visit www.thenearby.com/start
Meet the Weavers
There has been a bit of buzz regarding my recent find, Loomed NOLA. After hearing other fashion folks singing the praises of the shop’s authentic Turkish linens and then following it using the Nearby app, curiosity got the better of me.
Loomed NOLA is a quaint boutique and new addition to the Rink on Prytania Street in the Garden District. As a textile aficionado, I was elated to be surrounded by hand-woven and hand-dyed linens. The inventory is a lush and plush wonderland of scarves, head bands, beach wraps and custom robes (I ordered mine immediately.) For the home, Loomed NOLA offers every size of towel, blanket and tablecloth, and any of their luxe textiles can be fabricated into pillows and bed covers. The organic textiles are not only beautiful, but unbelievably durable and absorbent. The colors and patterns are astounding and the lightweight fabrics are perfect for New Orleans’ steamy climate.
“Hand weaving is all but extinct,” explained co-owner Molly Pittman. “By shopping at Loomed, you are supporting the artisans and helping to keep the weaving tradition alive.” Every piece is crafted by members of the nine remaining families who practice traditional hand weaving in Turkey. Whether organic cotton, linen or silk, Loomed fabrics will last for over 20 years if properly treated. After a brief tutorial on the difference between a pestamel, a peskir and a plush, I promptly added to my basket hand towels for hostess gifts and a few delicious soaps made from Molly’s mother’s goat’s milk. On my wish list is a divine “Missoni-esque” plush blanket and a lime sherbet-hued cotton scarf.
2727 Prytania St., Ste. 13
Stay cool and happy shopping!