New Orleans Jewelry styles fly off store shelves
(New Orleans, Louisiana) Ten days after Hurricane Katrina tore through the Gulf Coast, Anne Dale and her family sat in her Covington home with no power, no running water and a battery-operated TV, rigged with a coat hanger as an antenna.
For the first time since the storm hit, Dale saw what the rest of the world had been seeing for 10 days.
“When I saw those images come on TV, I couldn’t believe what I was seeing,” said Dale, who owns Anne-Dale Jeweller in Mandeville. “When I saw the police officers speaking, the idea came to me to give recognition to first responders.”
She created a Hurricane Katrina “badge,” a sterling-silver pendant with the slogan, “I know what it means to love New Orleans.”
“Everyone has a Katrina hero,” Dale said. “No matter what walk of life you’re from — rich or poor. A badge represents something about a person, their courage, nobility, honor.”
Dale already has sold 3,000 badges to people in Louisiana and as far away as Australia, Finland and California with proceeds benefit victims of Hurricane Katrina.
Dale even tapped into the celebrity market.
“Dan Akroyd bought 500 to give to the New York City police and firefighters who came down to help,” said Dale. “He happened to be in town and the Harahan police chief called me and said, ‘If I give Dan Akroyd my badge, will you give me another one?’ I said yes, of course. And then Dan Akroyd called back and said he wanted to order 500 of them. So I met him in front of a bowling alley in Harahan. He came incognito but he was very nice, serious and businesslike but nice.”
Akroyd took the badges to New York where he gave them to New York police officers and other first responders who helped New Orleans after Katrina.
Dale is far from the only retailer taking advantage of Louisiana pride.
Earthsavers in Mandeville is selling “Save NOLA” T-shirts complete with a fleur de lis symbol.
The Mignon Faget jewelry store is selling sterling silver and 14-karat gold fleur de lis pendants, bracelets, necklaces, earrings, brooches and rings.
On the South Shore, retailers are selling T-shirts, jewelry and other clothing.
Metro Three, a Magazine Street store specializing in men’s, women’s and children’s clothing, is selling T-shirts with the logos “Make levees not war,” “New Orleans: Still proud to call it home,” “New Orleans is for lovin’ ” and “Go with the contraflow.”
T-shirts and sweatshirts with the “Defend New Orleans” logo also are selling at Turncoats Clothing Exchange on Magazine Street in New Orleans, and Vicki Adjmi, owner of Jean Therapy, is selling “Save NOLA” T-shirts at her Lakeside Shopping Center location.