Putting your best foot forward, in terms of fashion anyway, without breaking the bank is the goal at Shoe Envy (785 Harrison Ave., 488-6832), opened a year ago by the fashion-savvy team of Gayle Terrell and her daughter, Monique Sobrino.
Terrell, who has operated the women's clothing store Lazybug in Metairie for three decades, says she and Sobrino, who owns Little Miss Muffin across the street from Shoe Envy, opened the shoe store to provide women with a wide variety of the latest designs in footwear without the designer prices.
"Shoes, as of late, have become the accessories of the woman's wardrobe, and now that shoes are available at lower prices, you can almost buy two or three pair for what you would pay for an expensive scarf," Terrell says. "We're trying to choose merchandise that becomes an accessory to the outfit, just like a necklace would be an accessory. We like to get things that have an edge, so customers can wear a plain dress and the shoes will make the outfit. We try to run the gamut from casual to career and top it off with dressy styles."
She estimates there are as many as 200 different styles of shoes in the store from makers such as Bernardo, Matisse, Yellow Box, A. Marinelli, Jeffrey Campbell, Aussie Dogs, Michael Antonio and many others. Shoppers also will find scarves, jewelry, sweaters, lace ponchos, hats, T-shirts and washable leather jackets. In addition to its focus on shoes, the store also has a large selection of handbags in all shapes, styles and colors.
"Handbags have become an important part of our store," Terrell says. "The handbags we carry are reminiscent of designer lines (such as) Coach, Marc Jacobs and Hermes, but cost a lot less."
Shoe Envy is not a discount store, Terrell says, but offers reasonable prices on the latest styles of footwear and handbags for customers who want to look good but also demand value.
"In this world, when there are so many things going on and the family has become so important, people are spending more on education and development for their children," she says, "so for a woman to get a good price on a handbag or shoes that look great is important.
"We spend a lot of time at market looking for the taste level of our customers but at a moderate price point. There are so many new companies that are creating designs reminiscent of the great shoe designers. It gives places like Shoe Envy an opportunity to give customers the great shoes, but at a moderate price."
A Thursday Night Jewel
Symmetry Jewelers (8138 Hampson St., 861-9925; www.symmetry-jewelers.com), best known for its custom designs and handcrafted one-of-a-kind creations, now will stay open late on Thursdays to accommodate the busy schedules of its customers.
The Riverbend jewelry gallery will be open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday, with those hours extended to 8 p.m. on Thursday.
"We just decided it was a good time to do this," says Richard Mathis, who owns the store with his brother, Tom. "We have a lot of people who call to get special appointments after regular store hours and this should help fill that need.
"There is a wonderful new restaurant opening next door in October. The chef from Clancy's is opening up that restaurant. Also, Yvonne LaFleur is open late that night across the street."
The Mathis brothers opened Symmetry in 1975 and next year will celebrate its 30th anniversary. Although styles of jewelry have changed over the past three decades, Symmetry's dedication to providing unique, quality jewelry pieces in a gallery setting has not.
In addition to handcrafted designs by Tom Mathis, Alan Hill and other in-store jewelers, the store also carries works by hand-selected nationally and internationally recognized jewelry artists such as Akiyo Matsuoka, Tim Cook, Carol Ackerman, Judith Evans, Caroline Tyler, Christian Bauer and others.
Treating jewelry as fine art is one of the cornerstones of Symmetry, which was the first local jewelry gallery in the city to feature jewelry artists instead of standard lines of mass-produced jewelry, according to Tom Mathis, who says the gallery also stands out because of its in-store expert engravers and artists who still hand make original pieces. Symmetry is a full-service jewelry store and graphic design studio and offers antique jewelry restoration and all types of jewelry repairs.
Meet the Artist
Admirers of Lladró porcelain sculptures have a chance today (Sept. 21) to meet the youngest son of one of the world-renowned Spanish artist who made the Lladro name famous. Artist David Lladró will visit Bailey, Banks & Biddle jewelry store (Lakeside Shopping Center, 3301 Veterans Memorial Blvd., Metairie, 834-4844) today to unveil Lladró's latest creations and sign customers' new sculptures from the Yoga Collection. Lladró has been a respected name in porcelain for 50 years.
- Women's footwear from casual to dressy is the focus of Shoe Envy, which also offers customers fashionable handbags, jewelry and clothing accessories.