Annual shopping gala is official start of local holiday shopping season
The Shreveport-Bossier Opera Guild is bringing a slice of the Big Apple to Bossier City this week with its annual one-stop holiday shopping extravaganza.
The 38th annual Les Boutiques de Noel has captured the essence of New York's Central Park at Christmastime with this year's theme. Co-chairs Maria Caston Jeanette Mladenka said the decorations inside the Bossier Civic Center are meant to make guests feel like they are shopping along 34th Street and 5th Avenue in the heart of New York City.
Mladenka said Les Boutiques de Noel is a popular event because it really kicks off the holiday shopping season in Bossier/Shreveport.
“It's the first holiday party. There's not another one before this and I think people really look forward to our preview party as the first big party of the season,” Mladenka said.
The show features local and out of town vendors from around the country, representing 10 different states. Mladenka said vendor spots typically fill up months in advance because of the kind of show it is – family friendly and at the heart of the Ark-La-Tex.
“A lot of our local merchants use this show as a chance to preview and break out their new, hot items for the holidays,” Mladenka said.
Booths cover an array of items from clothes, accessories, home and garden, kitchen tools and home décor. With so many selections, Les Boutiques de Noel prides itself on having a gift for every member of the family.
“This is the place you can bring your whole shopping list and find something for everybody,” Mladenka said. “It's great if you want to buy a $10 gift or a $300 gift.”
Jennifer Frierson, new owner of Imelda's Fine Shoes in Shreveport, said her selection of shoes, clothes and accessories fit every price point. Their collection of shoes feature styles from Baneli, Vince Camuto, Sam Edleman, Matisse Volatile, Kelsi Dagger and Steve Madden.
As an Imelda's shopper turned owner, Frierson said she has brought in exclusive boutique items that won't be found anywhere else in town. Manager Caroline Samper said the show has opened doors to regional shoppers and is attracting attention from both sides of the Red River.
“We really appreciate the show because it creates a good Bossier market,” Samper said.
Not only are there specialty boutique items for sale, but items that are one-of-a-kind jewelry selections. Brenda Sones, owner of Glitz and Glamour in Jackson, MS, will be turning heads with her selection of assorted designer inspired jewelry. Of the specialty items offered, Glitz and Glamour have hand made embossed leather bracelets adorned with Swarovski crystals and agate stones.
“No two bracelets are alike,” Sones added.
Of the 12 states the visit, Sones said the three and a half hour drive to Bossier City is well worth it.
“This is a wonderful show,” Sones said. “We do a lot of business here.”
Also at the show is an exclusive selection of custom, European inspired, luxury bedding by Pandora de Balthazar from Florida. Jo Dee Cattrell said their business is not about selling pillows, but helping people cope with physical or mental limitations.
Cattrell said their products help with insomnia, sleep apnia, surgical recovery and even cancer patients. The products are machine washable and very functional, Cattrell said.
“It really is a great investment,” she said.
Les Boutiques de Noel show hours are Thursday, Nov. 15, from 9 a.m. until 6 p.m.; Friday, Nov. 16, from 9 a.m. until 8 p.m. with a Happy Hour from 5 p.m. until 8 p.m.; and Saturday, Nov. 17, from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m.
There will be an opportunity for children to have milk and cookies with Santa Saturday from 2 p.m. until 4 p.m. as well as an autograph signing with Miss Louisiana 2012, Lauren Vizza.
Admission is $10 and there is a $5 military and senior citizen discount. Children under 12 are free.
All proceeds from Les Boutiques de Noel are dedicated directly to the Shreveport Opera, which uses the money to fund shows, employees and educational programs. For more information, call (318) 470-7385 or visit www.lesboutiquesdenoel.com and their Facebook page.