Where + wear: Andrea Chen, executive director of Propeller_lowres


How'd you get started with Propeller?

I was a volunteer in the beginning (from 2006-2011). I'm one of the founders, but it (had a) different name — it was called Social Entrepreneurs of New Orleans. It was about people taking action on the problems around them ... which goes above and beyond social entrepreneurship. We became more of an accelerator program (and changed the name).

Propeller staff members are on the media and branding committee for the New Orleans Tricentennial. How did you become involved with the planning?

Our brand is strong with recent college grads, (and in) the 20 to 40 age group we have strong name recognition. When they were envisioning the committee, they wanted someone who had their finger on the pulse of the interests of that group, so we were asked to work on the marketing campaign.

What Tricentennial event are you most excited about?

The Data Center ... is running a series of essays and releasing data related to the Tricentennial. An essay (written by a Propeller member) was selected and will be published to coincide with that data release. It's about the history of business in New Orleans ... and recommendations for the future. It's very focused on racial equity and the history of different demographic groups and how entrepreneurship in those groups has grown.

What events are you most excited about this holiday season?

We're throwing a holiday party for graduating entrepreneurs, and I'm attending the Tulane (University) president's party for past fellows.

Holiday parties can be marathons. What are your tips for dressing appropriately?

I would wear comfortable heels and make sure I have a few (bandages) just in case. I have a few tried-and-true pairs of heels. I'd probably pack a pair of ballet flats too, and take a handbag with a shoulder strap so I could be hands-free in case there's dancing in the street.

What do you plan to wear?

Something bright and bold and maybe sparkly. I'll definitely dress in layers — something I can pack away in my purse if I need to.

What's your favorite place to shop?

I'm trying to downsize right now ... (but) I recently went to The Elizabeth Chronicles. If there's one thing I do shop for, it's notebooks. They have really cute notebooks. I also like to shop at Swap Boutique on Magazine Street, LifeStride [for shoes] and J. Crew.