Lafayette, La. - Thrifting became more fashionable over one year ago as Lilou Thrift Shop opened its doors in Downtown Lafayette at 535 1/2 Jefferson St near The Wurst Biergarten.
Seasoned fashionista of 20 years, Mitzi Guidry, returned to her Acadiana roots with a vision of curating and providing sustainable and stylish clothing to the Lafayette community.
After ten years in the fashion industry, Guidry became more and more aware of the negative aspects of overproduction and fast fashion. Around the same time, Guidry started her own domestic leather goods manufacturing company called Los Angeles Leather Craft. While genuine leather can be a controversial topic, Guidry likes to educate others that leather is the only by-product that is also a renewable resource; products made out of leather can truly last forever.
With the knowledge and the experience she gained throughout her time in fashion in Los Angeles, Guidry moved back to Lafayette, and with her came a unique business model. She was inspired to create a physical retail space where people could access gently preowned vintage clothing and reimagine what shopping for used clothes could look like and feel like. Lilou also provides hot and cold coffee offerings and has become a popular hang-out option for downtown residents and employees.
When asked why she chose to open Lilou in the Downtown District, Guidry said, "I wanted to connect more to the types of organizations that are downtown, and I love that it's made up of independent businesses. The urban community feels most comfortable to me, plus from a visual standpoint, Downtown Lafayette is both beautiful and quaint."
During the past year, the shop has allowed Guidry to reconnect with the Lafayette community and meet new people in a "new city," as she hasn't lived in Lafayette since 1995. On a professional note, she's most proud of the positive response as she introduced a nontraditional business concept.
As far as the future of Lilou, she wants to expand on the product assortment and begin bringing in more new sustainable brands. Guidry just started selling the brand Girlfriend Collective, a size-inclusive activewear line made from post-consumer plastics, which is a perfect example of the types of brands that she wants to bring into the store.
“Lilou is a breath of fresh air in Downtown Lafayette”, said Anita Begnaud, CEO of the Downtown Development Authority. “Mitzi brings fun energy and product offerings to downtown, and we look forward to continuing to add unique shops like Lilou to our growing retail industry base.”
Join Lilou Thrift Shop and Downtown Lafayette for the first-anniversary celebration held on Saturday, October 9, 2021, with a ribbon-cutting ceremony at 6:00 pm. All are invited to celebrate the anniversary of Lilou in Downtown Lafayette.