Eclectic Eye has been carrying the New Orleans line, Krewe for several years. We love so many things about the line and the direction the company is going. As always, we love to be able to tell the story and really relate the line to our customers. Krewe is no exception. The origin story of founder Stirling Barrett taking money he had saved for a down payment on a house and purchasing a couple thousand sunglasses to sell from a bike in the city of New Orleans is awe inspiring. Krewe is always evolving and thinking of ways to bring their experience into stores outside of the New Orleans area.
For instance, they have hosted a Krewe Fete the last two years to celebrate the brand and also introduce prospective clients and media as well. I had the opportunity to attend the event this year, and let me tell you, Krewe knows how to throw a party!
I arrived in Nola on Friday super early, and though my room at The Ace Hotel was not quite ready, they were kind enough to hold my bags while I explored the city. I went to the Audobon Zoo, and walked around that area of the city. Wow… so much beautiful architecture!
After I received the call that my room was ready, I hopped in my Uber and headed back to the Ace to clean up and get ready for the nighttime festivities!
We began the night in the lobby with some cocktails and a HUGE bottle of champagne popped expertly outside the lobby, then hopped into a private streetcar for a ride through the Historic Garden District. Our final stop was a family dinner at the home of Sara Ruffin, a great friend of the brand for some authentic red beans and rice, plus cornbread, and cookies! Krewe then shuttled us home to the Ace to rest up for the next day’s schedule of events.
Saturday morning was an early one. We all met at Stumptown Coffee for a quick pick-me-up, and jumped into the perfect Saturday morning ride, pedicabs to the Kingsway Mansion for a Jazz brunch and Q+A with Stirling Barrett and Adam Selman. I asked a lot of questions and also got a sneak peek of some new goodies coming to the line at the end of this year and early 2018.
We then had an impromptu Second Line led by a wonderful trumpet player as we walked over to the Historic Preservation Hall for more drinks, and wonderful music by Little Freddie King, Flow Tribe, and more!
Just after noon I walked to the Krewe storefront located on Royal Street in the heart of the French Quarter. I was taken aback at the loveliness of the Tiny House and how well it encompasses the entire brand and feel of the street. In the store, there is a warm welcoming feel, even with the stark white walls. The plant life is incredible and really made the whole place feel alive. The clean lines and pops of color truly speak to the brand as a whole, and though it was my first time at the shop, I felt like I was part of the family—so much so, that I started selling to one of their customers! She bought two pairs of sunglasses and gave me permission to take a Boomerang of her dancing in Conti in Interstellar that I picked out for her.
Then it was time to get down to business. Keelan, our wonderful rep, took me to the Tiny House for the buying appointment. Let me tell you, there is SO MUCH GOOD STUFF coming, y’all. I could not stop dancing, which was causing the frames to literally jump off their shelves at me. I can’t give away all the good news yet, but I have added some very sneaky pictures for you to get your minds rolling.
We walked back to Preservation Hall to enjoy the rest of the jazz and funk sets, and then made our way to Royal Street to enjoy some authentic Po Boys. There I met with Matt Rosenthal who has been with Krewe for a little over a month and specializes in Sales. We spent a lot of time talking and he really picked my brain for ways that Krewe can continue to grow relationships with wholesalers.
I was then treated to a Grape Drank from Lafitte’s Blacksmith shop (the oldest bar in North America) then a tiny little shopping trip to Freda next to the Ace, where I bought some beautiful earrings as my souvenir from the weekend. Saturday night was a recovery & rest night, because I REALLY wanted to get up early and be a total tourist since I have never spent any real time in NOLA.
Sunday morning, I woke up early for beignets at Café Du Monde and a walk around the city. The history and architecture in New Orleans is amazing. I found a perfect house if on the off chance, I ever had to move there…
I asked for a Po Boy recommendation and the kind staff directed me to a small, hole-in-the-wall place called Hobnobbers on Carondelet street just a few blocks from the Ace Hotel. Outside I was greeted and escorted into the restaurant and ordered the perfect duo of corn and crab bisque and a shrimp Po Boy. This food was incredible. I highly recommend you head there immediately the next time you’re in Nola!
It was time to head head home after this, so I grabbed my bags, said goodbye to the lovely Ace Hotel, and hopped in an Uber to the airport.
My time in New Orleans was short, but wonderful, and I am already itching to go back. I want to thank Krewe, especially Keelan and Stirling, plus Robbie and Mike Weinberg for this incredible opportunity to build an even better relationship with the amazing Krewe brand in the amazing city of New Orleans.