The Ellis family traces its history of working with plants to the late 1800s, when they operated a pottery-manufacturing company in Texas. Current-generation family members build from their familial expertise at all five of their store locations, spread between Louisiana and Texas. Twice a year, the Ellises travel overseas to identify upcoming horticulture trends decided by UN meetings in The Hague. This has expanded their decorative focus to include all aspects of home décor to complement greenhouses filled with tropical blooms and locally grown shrubbery. Clocks, lamps, and vases score homeowners extra credit in interior-design classes, and fountains and outdoor furniture make gardens hospitable for warm weather. For those who want to get ahead on holiday decorating, they offer an extensive selection of seasonal decor and accents year round. The Ellises encourage creativity with hands-on classes in subjects such as making centerpieces, weaving wreaths, and tying ribbon into perfect bows.
The friendly staff at Martha's Hallmark equips visitors to disperse season's greetings to friends and families with a rotating collection of heartwarming cards, thoughtful gifts, and oodles of LSU-themed merchandise. Their treasure trove of greeting cards takes on a variety of motifs inspired by the holidays and life's momentous occasions, such as high-school graduation or the first time successfully licking one's own elbow. Customers can woo olfactory senses with a perfumed candle from the Tyler Candle Company ($7) or entertain tykes with the Jingle All the Way book accompanied by a dog stuffed animal that barks out the words of the story ($29.95). Patrons can celebrate unwavering school pride with a Louisiana State University picture frame that can proudly display snapshots taken at an LSU football game or engagement portraits with the game-winning football ($32.98).
Along the hot-pink accent wall at GlamRus, hangers teem with equally vivid dresses, palazzo pants, and other ladies’ apparel. Jewelry and accessories top off each outfit, such as bejeweled necklace and earring sets and gauzy scarves strung through charms. GlamRus’s inventory changes with the seasons as well as with trends, stocking outfits for football season; wreaths for Halloween, Mardi Gras, and Tax Day; and ensembles and embellished candles for winter holiday parties.
In 1976, Jean Bernheim founded Sunshine Health Foods with the vision of improving customers’ health and well-being through vitamins and herbal supplements, all-natural household products, and wholesome, delicious food. After 30 years in the business, Jean passed on her expertise, knowledge, and jewel-encrusted scepter to her protégée, Shelia, who now helps clients treat common ailments and promotes a healthy lifestyle with a wealth of minerals, sports supplements, and essential nutrients. After guests peruse shelves stocked with herbal shampoos, homeopathic pet products, and omega-3 supplements, they stop for a nosh at the café, which tempts diners with a spread of nitrate- and preservative-free deli meat, fresh carrot and fruit juices, freshly baked muffins, and colorful, crisp salads.
A Mother's Touch, LLC bundles newborns and youngsters up to age six in vibrant costumes and darling outfits from designer brands. As parents cobble together wardrobes from items such as a pink Posh tutu dress ($42.95) or a woolen knit cap ($24.95), tots can frolic, check their play-phone voicemail, or pen the foreword to their memoir in a kid's play area. Suit up juvenile gentlemen in a flannel button-up shirt ($48) and Wonderboy pants ($54), before topping the ensemble off with a DMO baby tie ($19). With youth-friendly art, décor, and accessories, guardians can also deck out little ones' bedrooms or spaces. A Steve Joseph-Backpack ($24.95) bears schoolbooks, pencils, and Rolodexes stocked with cards from important business contacts.