Lauren Thom loves New Orleans. That’s evident in her many Facebook and Twitter posts on any given day.
“My favorite part is working the shop and just listening to the stories,” Thom told GO NOLA in 2010. “Everyone knows someone who said ‘Zink’ or ‘Mynez’ and the shirts remind them of a piece of something they remember and they love to share it.”
The New Orleans native bleeds cocktails and king cake. Thom, a single mother of three, had a dream and chased after it with gusto, using $2,000 from her 2009 tax return to get her t-shirt business off the ground. Four shops and a little matter with the NFL later, Fleurty Girl is synonymous with New Orleans… and is a lot more than just t-shirts.
Lauren is always running from store to store, but she slowed down for a moment to answer…
SW: When you decided to sell t-shirts, people said you were crazy. How’d that turn out?
LT: It turned out pretty well! Just opened our new headquarters on St. Charles Avenue with a mini-storefront, so that makes five retail shops in four years. Not bad for crazy.
SW: In your wildest dreams, did you ever imagine yourself presiding over a t-shirt empire?
LT: Never. I still sometimes wonder if the alarm clock is going to go off and I’m going to wake up.
SW: The NFL is…
LT: A big conglomerate with REALLY good attorneys.
SW: What is your favorite thing to do in New Orleans?
LT: Stroll the Quarter. With a to-go cocktail in hand. And no agenda. There’s beauty all over the place here and friends to be made around every corner and it’s all best enjoyed when you’re not in a hurry.
SW: You’re stranded on a deserted island and the only food available is king cake. Whose king cake could you eat for the rest of your life and would it be traditional or filled?
LT: Traditional. Manny Randazzo’s. No contest. Am I by myself on this island? Then I get the baby. Even better