Mariah Walton has racked up more than 21 years in the fashion and retail industries as a Jill-of-all-trades, working as a sales associate, store manager, writer for a business etiquette column and motivational speaker, among other jobs. Her latest career iteration is owner of Magazine Street's West London Boutique (3956 Magazine St., 504-558-4649; www.westlondonboutique.com).
After years working the retail scene in Las Vegas for fashion houses such as Chanel and Michael Kors, Walton moved to New Orleans in February. The fact that May 1 found her opening the doors of her airy, high-ceilinged shop is pure serendipity. Driving down Magazine one day, a "For Lease" sign caught her eye.
"I just went for it, and now, here I am," Walton says. "What was really funny is that I had just one business card (left). ... I think that if I hadn't had a card to give (the broker), it would have been a tougher sell."
Named in honor of the time she spent studying abroad in London and France, West London Boutique offers women's clothing with both structure and sass. High-necked tops hide striking open backs, and tea-length dresses show just the right amount of skin through lace insets.
"Three adjectives I would use to describe (my selections) are romantic, feminine and dramatic," she says.
Look for pop-ups and sip-and-shops, such as collaborations with Tasting Tuesdays and the Haynes Consulting Group, Kendra Scott jewelry and First Saturdays on Magazine.