New Orleans native Mignon Faget is expanding her popular jewelry line to Lafayette, opening a store in Parc Lafayette at the intersection of Kaliste Saloom Road and Camellia Boulevard.

     Mignon Faget

The 1,744-square-foot shop is opening in the corner space formerly occupied by Studio M, a men's clothing store that is relocating to the old Imelda's spot. A post on Mignon Faget's Facebook page notes that it 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.

Designs from Mignon Faget's Bamboo collection.

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, with a concentration in sculpture. 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.

Earlier this summer, Mignon Faget designed a pin to protest the end of daily circulation of The Times-Picayune and donated the proceeds to the T-P's employee assistance fund for laid-off workers.

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."

Faget has three galleries in New Orleans: Lakeside Shopping Center, The Shops at Canal Place and at 3801 Magazine Street; and one in Baton Rouge at 7350 Jefferson Highway. The headquarter offices, studio and workshop are also located on Magazine Street.

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