Editor’s Picks: Five New Orleans Creators We Love

This post was originally published on NOEW.org. New Orleans Entrepreneur Week is an annual festival celebrating entrepreneurship and innovation in New Orleans.

People from all over the world come to New Orleans to hear the magical jazz music made here. They come en masse to see the fantastic floats that roll down the streets in parades during carnival. But if you explore New Orleans beyond the main streets overflowing with music and Mardi Gras, you’ll find more. You’ll find a community of makers in New Orleans who are creating incredible goods. From gorgeous hand-crafted woods to delightful artisan perfume oils. This week’s Editor’s Picks features five local makers whose work we are weak in the knees for.

1. Good Wood NOLA

Owners Michael Dalle Molle and Jordan Daniel Gurren were working on the construction of the Road to Berlin exhibit for the WWII museum when they first met. When Michael was approached to design a shelf for District Hand Pie & Coffee Bar, he recruited a couple of buddies to help him. One thing led to the next, and before they knew it, they were tasked with doing all of the interior work for District Hand Pie & Coffee Bar. Soon after, Good Wood NOLA was born. We looove these custom coasters and serving boards. Can we get our hands on some of that good wood?


2. Lionheart Prints

As a child, Liz Maute Cooke spent a lot of time playing with office supplies and making signs for her bedroom in Microsoft Paint & Publisher. Little did she know that it was the beginning of her eventual career in graphic design. Liz Maute Cooke is a native Oklahoman living in New Orleans. She studied journalism with a focus on Advertising and spent the better part of a decade experimenting with tangible crafts and integrating them into digital form. Lionheart Prints’ core message is about being brave, taking bold risks, and spreading messages of light and love. We’d have our skinny latte in the Hustle is Real Mug.


3. Flying Fox

Founder Tiffany Napper was on the hunt to find the perfect clear purse that would meet the requirements for newly implemented rules for NFL games. So she stopped looking and started creating. And Bats on Strings was born. From the success of her first collection, she expanded and explored her life-long obsession withleather goods and relaunched as Flying Fox. Beautiful leather and unstuffy silhouettes are the focus of the design process. Each bag is designed in New Orleans and entirely handcrafted by artisans in New York. Effortless yet luxe is what Flying Fox aims for. Each piece is inspired by and named after the women in Napper’s family. She created Flying Fox with the hopes of creating a line that blends a French sensibility with an American practicality. We’re into it! We’ll take one of the Cole totes please. Merci beau coup!


4. Locally Preserved

Chef Emily Vanlandingham grew up in a small farming community in southern Maryland, where she picked and preserved seasonal fruits and veggies with her grandmother, Dorothea. She spent days in the kitchen making jam and canning preserves. She arrived in New Orleans in 2007fresh out of the Culinary Institute of America/Hyde Park. She’s since worked with star chefs. She started Feed Me Eat Pretty, a small, local catering business in 2010. When it took off, she returned to making all-natural small-batch, seasonal jams, jellies, and syrups. In 2013, she rebranded her products as Locally Preserved.We’re now drooling over the decadent jars of sweet potato butter. That’s healthy, right?

Sweet Potato Butter

5. Smoke Perfumes

Kathleen Currie started blending essential oils in her French Quarter apartment in 2010. She’d just moved to her neighborhood and was also just discovering the magic of essential oils. She started experimenting with different essential oils for herself. She loved one particular blend, and began wearing it everyday. And when she did, people started asking about it. Her brother encouraged her to create larger batches, and so she gave it a try. She tweaked and perfected the original blend, and brainstormed the name, and decided on Smoke Perfumes. Ooh la la! We love everything about Smoke Perfumes and are not-so-secretly hoping that Santa will drop the Body Oil Gift Trio in our stocking this year.

SmokePerfumePhotograph: Randy P. Schmidt

Summer Suleiman, Editor of The Distillery

Summer Suleiman is the Editor of The Distillery. She writes about the real experience of entrepreneurs in New Orleans.

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