Situated on bustling Magazine Street, Pippen Lane (2929 Magazine Street; 269-0106; www.pippenlane.com) is filled with artful displays of children's clothing and toys. In the children's corner, little ones play with toy trains, climb a huge stuffed tiger and frolic in a playhouse while their mothers shop.
"It's a true department store for kids," owner Annabeth Goodman says of the shop, which carries girls' clothing sizes 0-16 and boys' clothing sizes 0-14, shoes, toys, linens, books, gifts and strollers. "People love that the store is a one-stop shop."
A native of Bogalusa, Goodman, who is married to actor John Goodman, opened the store in the French Quarter 14 years ago upon returning to Louisiana from Los Angeles, where she had been a clothing manufacturer. Prompted by the void of European clothing for children in New Orleans, Goodman decided to give retail a try and opened Pippen Lane.
"Everything we have is really high quality," Goodman says. "And we have a little something for everyone — conservative, funky."
While the store's inventory has evolved over the years, one of the most popular brands, Lylian Heirloom, remains a fixture. The brand, which consists of handmade French embroidery clothing, is almost 100 years old. Having now purchased the brand, Goodman continues to produce the label to ensure the Lylian Heirloom tradition continues.
"A lot of people are attracted to Lylian," Goodman says. "We even have grandmothers who come in (the store) with their Lylian dresses to look (at what we have)."
Having conquered retail, Goodman finds herself getting involved with clothing manufacturing once again with her creation of Pippen Lane's signature label, Layette. The label features newborn clothing and playwear for girls, all in Pippen Lane's own exclusive prints. Eventually, Goodman plans to expand the label to include boys' clothing and have the bulk of Pippen Lane's clothing inventory be part of its signature brand.
"I feel like right now I'm really starting to have fun," Goodman says. "I love being able to produce my own label. I'm starting a new chapter. It will be fun to see where this ends up."