THE ICON: Lauren Thom
THE LEGACY: Lauren Thom was a single mother of three when she launched her business with $2,000 from a 2009 tax refund. What started as an online T-shirt store soon morphed into Fleurty Girl, a business with locations in New Orleans, Metairie and Mandeville that has thrived by selling all manner of New Orleans-related paraphernalia. In addition to serving as a source of inspiration to countless other entrepreneurs, the tireless Thom has in a few short years become the personification of New Orleans pride, providing locals with a way to support the local economy while literally wearing their love for their hometown on their sleeves.
THE ARTIST: Jeff Morgan, WhereYart.net
THE INSPIRATION: “New Orleans is my love. My favorite part is working the shop and just listening to the stories. 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. I’ve laughed with people and cried with them. This is exactly what I was meant to do.” — Lauren Thom, in an interview published to the New Orleans Tourism and Marketing Association website