Thursday, July 23, 2009

Things That Make You Say "Oo"

One of the coolest old buildings in The Heights has to be the one that houses OoLaLa. And OoLaLa has to be one of the coolest shops in The Heights. It's a great place not just because of the cool building and all. More than any other shop in the area, Oo La La represents what The Heights offers.

Six or so years ago, Judy Pfardresher wanted to open a shop. She was living outside of Houston, around 290 and the Beltway. She could have opened her shop out there but would the neghborhood want what she wanted to sell? She wasn't sure. Judy has family in The Heights, though, and felt with great certainty that an area like this would buy what she was planning to offer- funky and eccelctic merchandise from as many local artists and ccraftspeople as possible. She knew here she could offer unique items and they would be appreciated. She loved the small town feel of The Heights and, even if it couldn't be her home, it would be a great home for her store. Six years later, she feels she made the right decision. Fans of her wide array of handcrafted items have suggested neighborhoods all over Houston where they would like to see OoLaLa, but she is comfortable and feels at home in The Heights. The neighborhood has supported her business and by doing so has also supported its own.

I popped in this week to check on what Heights-made goods Judy was offering up these days:

Heights jewelry maker Dorie Kerr has some wonderful pieces available. These were my faves but there was something for every taste. From big and bold (my style when it comes to jewelry) to delicate and refined.

This bad, bad picture really doesn't do the beautiful jewelry of Vanessa Parker justice. Vanessa is giving the Houston art scene a good name by being featured on HGTV . If you click on the picture, it will expand full screen and the photo quality improves. Hey, I'm an amateur blogger, not a photographer ;)

Heights resident and Mom, Paula Wells makes these great coasters and Heights t-shirts. However, she has stopped producing the t-shirts so if you want one, OoLaLa has about 6 left.

There is some great pottery by Elizabeth Wells, who also made these wonderful necklaces:

I looove these retro aprons that Judy makes. So cute!

And more fun stuff (including photography by Christoph Eicken):

And, of course, here is Judy herself at the helm:

As anyone with kids in The Heights knows, last year Tulips & Tutus moved from it's 19th Street location in to the OoLaLa building (in to the space which originally housed New Orleans transplants Kaboom Books"). As a mom of a boy (now 2 boys), I stayed away from the overwhelming pinkness of T&T for the most part. However, since I do try to buy as much as I can from local shops, gift giving has brought me in to T&T more recently. Low and behold, a wonderful thing has happened!! T&T, owned by another Judy (Myers), has seriously expanded their selection for boys!!

Judy still only carries boys' items up to 24 months, but is open to customer suggestions. She says area moms have asked for her to carry larger sizes, but the things she brought in went unsold. She is still to listen and provide what customers want and no mega-store or retail chain will do that as readily. This fall she has a lot of fun boy stuff coming from lines like Deau Par Deax, Zutano and Kicky Pants. I looove the eco-friendly and super soft bamboo clothes from Kicky Pants for my wee one and can't wait to see the new stuff!

I may have to go back and buy this awesome raincoat for my toddler!

And, Tulips & Tutus is the only place I have seen where you can buy these incredible Aiden + Anais muslin blankets individually. They are perfect for swaddling (they're HUGE) but I use them for anything and everything in the summer- to cover the stroller, keep the sun off, protect from bugs without over heating.

Of course, the store is still bursting at the seams with girl stuff so sweet it will make your teeth hurt! Luckily for me, I have 4 nieces.

One good Judy deserves another. Judy Myers of Tulips & Tutus:


  1. Oalala Judy is a treasure and a survivor of the Great Studewood Redo. She deserves your accolades. Good work, ladies!!!

  2. Hello Lucky, just up the street, is way cooler.

  3. I am totally rolling my eyes at that last comment... So, we can't support more than one business? We have to go to the "cooler" one? What an absurd comment.