Earlier this year, DeeAnn Broussard took the leap and opened up The Sweet Olive, an art and antique store in Prairieville. What used to be a feed store has been transformed into an eclectic haven for artists and art lovers alike, filled to the brim with one-of-a-kind pieces showcasing local talent. We spoke to Broussard to learn more about the businesses, as well as what exciting things she has planned for the future.
1. When did you open The Sweet Olive?
My grand opening was June 2, 2022.
2. Why did you decide on that name for the shop?
The sweet olive is a very fragrant plant that grows in Louisiana. Some people call it the tea tree. My mother actually had one that grew outside of her kitchen window. When it would bloom, we would break off a branch for me to keep on my car dashboard. So it’s kind of an ode to my mother and our connections through that beautiful, fragrant tree.
3. What does your shop carry?
We constantly have a new influx of art, woodwork, candles and macrame, so it’s just an ever-evolving flow of new items. I have work from more than 30 artists in my shop right now.
4. What’s the customer experience like in the shop?
I have a sofa and a sitting area, and I encourage people to just sit and take in the shop. I want you to experience the shop, not just come through and buy something. I want you to stop and look at the art and appreciate it. I am forever talking about my artists. I guess I like to think of myself as a curator.
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5. What does a typical day look like on the job?
It’s just being surrounded by gorgeous artwork and meeting amazing people. I love meeting people. I love talking to people and learning what interests them and what drives them. And every artist is so unique and special.
6. What is the main goal you’d like to accomplish with The Sweet Olive?
Our primary focus is to truly allow local Louisiana artists to have their work displayed, sold and marketed in an appropriate way, and for them to be able to express themselves. I have a corner of the shop dedicated to the Saints, LSU and Southern, but the largest percentage of what we sell is just the whatever the artist wants to express.
7. What are your best-selling products?
That’s easy: my custom vintage jewelry, my 100% soy candles, and the goat milk soaps.
8. What’s your favorite part of running the business?
I guess I have to say my favorite part is working with my artists and getting to know my customers. I am forever enamored with their abilities and talents. And as I said before, I just love talking to people.
9. Is there anything customers should know about The Sweet Olive that they might not already?
Everything that I have is one of a kind. I don’t sell prints, only original pieces.
10. What else is coming up at The Sweet Olive?
I host workshops from time to time, so keep an eye out for those. I also recently hosted a trunk show for my vintage jewelry maker, which was amazing. I also had a visit from Omar Girona from Oakwash who does tiki mugs. He actually works with Disney Imagineers, and he did a demonstration here a couple of weeks ago. It was it was very well received, and he’s an amazing up-and-coming artist. We’re going to have more and more workshops as we figure out how to best host them and market them.