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Wednesday, August 24, 2011

A Boutique for the Greater Good(s)

It’s been a few years now since I lived in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, but I still try to make it back to visit my sister – and some of my favorite people and old haunts. It’s not too often that I do make it back, and it is less often that I find a new favorite spot in my old city, but now I have, the all things socially conscious boutique, Noelie Harmon

I first heard of the boutique when my sister had a modeling gig for them a year or so ago. The photos were gorgeous, but other than that I knew little about the store. Then my sister showed up in DC this summer sporting the cutest shorts I'd ever seen. She told me they were “recycled vintage,” meaning they had been made from more than slightly worn vintage pieces and given new life – and they were from Noelie Harmon, the same boutique she modeled for. The shorts are made by Josh Holder, a partner with Noelie Harmon and the owner of Time Warp – an amazing vintage boutique (and one of my Baton Rouge must stops when in town).
My beautiful little sister in a stunning dress - in her Noelie Harmon modeling debut.

Wanting to find a pair of said shorts and curious about the boutique, I visited there during my recent trip home. I also had hopes of finding a cool recycled materials type gift to give along with my Hives For Lives honey to the hostesses of my eco-chic shower.

The absolutely fabulous shorts. Photo courtesy of Noelie Harmon blog.
Well, when I walked into Noelie Harmon, I was shocked to discover that it was not only eco-friendly, it was also chock full of charitable, vintage, and local products – pretty much the Mothership for me, They even designate which of the above categories (sometimes multiple) each product falls into! The icons show whether a product is: Eco-friendly, Fair Trade, Socially Responsible or made by a Local Artisan.

So, where did a store this fabulous come from? Appropriately, Noelie Harmon opened on Earth Day, April 22, 2008. The brainchild of co-owners Jennifer Gatz Fowler and Amy Strother Gatz, the store is based on the concept of finding lines of fashion and designs that come from good companies that pay attention to the environment and take care of their employees.

The mission of Noelie Harmon is to provide the local Baton Rouge community with products that are both uniquely designed and made with social consciousness in mind. When Noelie Harmon looks for products to be sold in their store, they diligently research its background and designer and when possible, they even try to personally meet the designer or artist.

During my visit, I was truly impressed with how much the manager, Jo Gremillion, knew about all the products. She could easily point me in the direction of items that were within my budget and met my “socially conscious” mission. Thanks to Jo, I ended up leaving Noelie Harmon with a great yellow vintage skirt that I belted into a dress, a sassy “Mexican style” dress, and of course – four lovely hand crèmes for my shower hostesses. 

The hand crèmes, which are made by socially conscious brand Love & Toast, come in several awesome scents, including Gin Blossom and Honey Coconut. As with Noelie Harmon, at the heart of love & toast’s business model is its simple philosophy: it is just as important to do good as it is to look good. A portion of every love & toast purchase goes to Regional Affiliates of Girls, Inc., a charity that encourages girls of all ages through research-based programs and advocacy.

Girls, Inc.'s programs empower girls to reach their full potential and to understand their value and to assert their rights. In 2009, Girls Inc. reached over 900,000 girls through Girls Inc. affiliates, our website, and educational publications. And, even better - love & toast uses natural and organically certified ingredients whenever possible.

In the end, I not only walked away with fun items for myself and great gifts for others, but I left Noelie Harmon, with the satisfaction that my purchases helped others, as well as the local economy.

I was proud to support the unique boutique and even prouder when I learned that Noelie Harmon donates over 3% of its annual revenues to some of my favorite local Baton Rouge community organizations, including the Manship Theatre, Of Moving Colors, Mid City Merchants Association, and Culture Candy, among others.

So, if you live in Baton Rouge or make it down there for a visit, be sure to check out Noelie Harmon – and keep an eye out for the Rolie Noelie too –it’s the stores new socially conscious moveable store on wheels. To find out more, visit their website or email


  1. I might go broke if this store was near me! Sounds amazing!

  2. Me too! My sister is so nearby and she says it is a constant temptation!