Mardi Gras Field Guide: NOLA Craft Culture


Photo by Nicole Guillen

NOLA Craft Culture sparkles outwardly as an advocate of local New Orleans art culture, and it’s not only because of the glitter.

Nicole Guillen, Managing Editor

Whether you count the days until Mardi Gras season begins or count the days until it’s over, we can all agree that Mardi Gras is a special event that is a significant component to New Orleans culture. With this field guide series, I will single out the key aspects to Mardi Gras and the specific places you can go, either in preparation for the parades or just for fun.

This week, we focus on all things glitter. At first glance, it may seem to be nothing more than a nostalgic staple of first-grade arts-and-crafts projects, but as co-business partner of NOLA Craft Culture, Virginia Saussy states, “It brings out the creativity in people that may not think they are creative.” She agrees that the instant allure of the craft store is rooted in the association it has with youth, and believes that this works in their favor since everyone, for the most part, looks at their childhood with a smile.

NOLA Craft Culture, nestled comfortably in the quirky Mid-City neighborhood, opened its doors on Jan. 4. New Orleans native business partners Lisette Constantin, Eleanor Pritchard and Saussy have all struggled to find places to buy materials for Mardi Gras costumes/accessories. As long-time members of the Krewe of Muses, accessorizing a shoe was a must.

Before creating the store, Saussy spoke with other Muses members, Mardi Gras Indians and second-line participants and found that “the people that followed the unique New Orleans traditions were not finding what they needed in New Orleans.”

Constantin, Pritchard and Saussy saw an unmet need and took it upon themselves to create a store to support the cultural artisans of New Orleans. They aimed to have the store reflect New Orleans’ attitude of celebrating during all four seasons.

The store carries more than 1,000 pounds of glitter, with names as colorful as “Melonball Orange” and “Cold Enough for Pants Blue.” NOLA Craft Culture also sells essential craft supplies, including hot glue guns, modge podge and a wide variety of embellishments.

Artwork by local New Orleans artists is scattered throughout the store. Pieces are sold on consignment. If you feel inspired to make your own creation, you can simply grab the things you bought and work downstairs in the community workspace.

From elaborate headdresses to earrings, you can find something to create for Mardi Gras or for any day of the year.

Check them out: 127 S. Solomon St. /