Shop offers unique ‘finds’ for treasure hunters

By By Lance Traweek / American Press

The inspiration for creating “La Trouvaille: Antiques and Afterthoughts” was from owner Terri Wells’ countless years of being

exposed to the antique world.

“My mother had an antique store in

Jasper, Texas for many years, so I guess it’s instilled in me to hunt

for the timeless

treasures,” Wells said. “I felt my love for the old and unique,

plus the eye I have for display and decorating, I could bring

Lake Charles something different without them having to travel

elsewhere to find.”

How did you come up with the name? What does it mean?

A lot of thought went into choosing the

name for our store. I knew I wanted it to be of French meaning. One

night of brainstorming

amongst a group of friends, which one spoke French, we came up

with La Trouvaille. Meaning, “the find,” just felt appropriate

for what the business was about. Everyone loves “the find” when

antiquing.

What sets your business apart from others like it in Lake Charles?

I feel what makes La Trouvaille unique

is that we offer such a variety of items. We have furniture that ranges

from Victorian

to primitive. There is one-of-a-kind home décor accents from the

past and also newly repurposed ones for the present. This

is a store that both men and women can enjoy.

Where do you get your merchandise?

Several times a year Lloyd and I go into Texas and hand pick our merchandise. It’s usually five days of serious “junking.”

Being in this type of business, people will call wanting to sell items from estates, and anytime we travel, we are always

in the hunt mode. Needless to say, our inventory is acquired from all over.

We have more than 4,500 square feet of

merchandise that is forever changing. Dealers who have been in the

business for many

years like Kiss A Fat Dog, Urban Habitat, Gypsy Treasures, to name

a few, take pride in finding the most unique items to fill

La Trouvaille with. I also enjoy the hunt for an item that we

might not have. Just add it to my list, and I will seek it out.

Customer satisfaction from finding that desired piece is very

rewarding to me. We will have a very large area at Flea Fest

on Nov. 16-17, 2013, at Burton Coliseum with items that have not

been offered at the store yet.

What are your price ranges?

We offer merchandise that fits into

everyone’s budget. Affordable handmade jewelry from vintage pieces to

furniture that is

purchased and passed onto our customers at the best price we can

offer them, is a few examples of how we pride ourselves on

our prices. I feel like everyone should be able to afford

something from the past to keep history alive.

What are your most popular items? What do you get the most feedback or inquiries about?

We never know what people are looking

for when they come in. I find the most popular things that sell are

items that reminds

people of their childhood. Whether it be that vintage Cosco stool

that was in their grandmothers kitchen to the rustic tool

that was in their grandpa’s shop. Younger age people are buying

more antique furniture these days. They like the fact that

its affordable, well built and unique. One of our biggest sellers

is CC Caldwell Paint. Repurposing and distressing furniture

is a big trend now.

• • •

Send your Businesswise suggestions to Lance Traweek, American Press, P.O. Box 2893, Lake Charles, LA 70601; or email suggestions to ltraweek@americanpress.com .

Business Snapshot

• Location: 3400 Ryan St. Right

Owners: Terri Wells and Lloyd Lauw

Services provided: Retailing antique furniture, décor, vintage jewelry and clothing.

Hours: Wednesday thru Friday 9-5:30 and Saturday 9-4

Years in Business: 10 months

Phone: 564-6855

Email: terri@ltantiques.net

Website: “Like” us on Facebook to see our new merchandise, specials, and paint classes offered.