OUT TO LUNCH finds Baton Rouge Business Report Editor Stephanie Riegel combining her hard news journalist skills and food background: conducting business over lunch. Baton Rouge has long had a storied history of politics being conducted over meals, now the Capital Region has an equivalent culinary home for business: Mansur’s. Each week Stephanie holds court over lunch at Mansur’s and invites members of the Baton Rouge business community to join her. You can also hear the show on WRKF 89.3FM.
We’ve all heard about the Amazon Effect and how ecommerce is seriously disrupting the retail world. Savvy entrepreneurs are figuring out how to carve a niche for themselves, whether by offering unqiue products or that special personal touch you can’t get online, creating a unique shopping experience , or, by creating a whole new business model.
Mark Peirce is owner of The Royal Standard, a gifts, accessories and at one time antique furniture store. Mark and his wife Krista got into the business more than 20 years ago, selling European antiques. Over the years, as the market for antiques and the retail storefront model in general have changed, the Pierces have changed with it. Today, in addition to their two local Baton Rouge stores, they own three additional stores, an entire wholesale operation that supplies some 2000 retailers around the country with the thousands of products, gift items and womens’ apparel that they manufacture at one of three overseas factories.
Meredith Waguespack is founder and CEO of Southern Football Tees, a homegrown company that first opened as an e-commerce site in 2011 selling T-shirts related to Meredith’s passion – football. As demand grew, SFT entered into more local boutiques and the designs started to evolve. Today, the company’s tshirts are not just about football, they's reflective of Southern living, and they are sold online and in about 40 boutiques across Louisiana and the South.