Popular New Orleans-based jewelry designer brings her nature-inspired forms to Camellia Boulevard.
Written by Leslie Turk
New Orleans native Mignon Faget is expanding her popular jewelry line to the Hub City, opening a location of the store that bears her name in Parc Lafayette at the intersection of Kaliste Saloom Road and Camellia Boulevard.
Mignon Faget is taking over the 1,744-square-foot corner space formerly occupied by Studio M, a men’s clothing store that is relocating to the old Imelda’s spot. The company is now accepting applications for a number of openings — including a full-time manager and full-time assistant manager.
Mignon Faget spokeswoman Jennifer Rowland tells ABiz the Lafayette store plans to open by mid-November and will carry the company’s full lines of jewelry, home goods and accessories and baby items.
New Orleans designer Mignon Faget’s Bamboo collection was inspired by the giant, woody grass that grows in her own New Orleans garden.
In designing her jewelry, Faget uses natural and architectural forms found in and around New Orleans. Her design career, however, actually started in 1969 when she launched a ready-to-wear collection. According to the company’s website, the success of the collection prompted her to explore accessories to enhance the collection. This early exercise, along with her studies in sculpture from Sophie Newcomb College at Tulane, inspired her career in jewelry design. She’s since expanded her design portfolio to include home and baby items — the latter ranging from forks and feeding bowls to linens.
Her formal training in the arts began at Sophie Newcomb College, where she earned a bachelor of fine arts degree. She also studied at l’Atelier de la Grande Chaumiere in Paris and the Parsons School of Design in New York. Faget returned to Tulane University to take post-graduate classes in botany and other areas of personal interest.
An active preservationist and art advocate, Faget uses gold, sterling silver, bronze, precious and semi-precious stones in her pieces. After Hurricane Katrina in 2005, she promoted the fleur de lis as the symbol of “rebirth” and donated a percentage of sales from this line of jewelry to Louisiana Rebirth through the Louisiana Cultural Economy Foundation. More recently, she designed a pin to protest the end of daily circulation of The Times-Picayune and donated the proceeds to DashThirtyDash, the T-P’s employee assistance fund for laid-off workers (copy editors have traditionally used -30- to indicate the end of a news story). “The value of the daily Times-Picayune goes way beyond transmitting news,” she said in announcing the project. “It is a medium of real and tangible value, the source for all of the people to connect with the culture of this city through fine journalism. We should not be deprived of this right.”
Mignon Faget has three galleries in New Orleans: Lakeside Shopping Center, The Shops at Canal Place and at 3801 Magazine St.; and one in Baton Rouge at 7350 Jefferson Highway. The company’s headquarters, studio and workshop are also located on Magazine Street.
David Calhoun and Elizabeth “EB” Brooks are the first two employees of Lafayette Central Park Inc., the nonprofit charged with turning Lafayette Consolidated Government’s 100-acre Johnston Street Horse Farm property into a passive public park. Calhoun was named executive director, and Brooks is director of planning and design.
There will soon be a whole lot of shakin’ going on at Benny’s Sportshack Supplement Depot, a new concept by Opelousas native Benny Nele. Located at 2002 Johnston St., the supplement shop, smoothie bar and café, featuring hot off the press paninis and wraps, plans to open in late May.