Online business

LSU student and alum turn e-commerce into storefront: Marem Boutique | Entertainment

Emily Rodrigue and Marlo Rodrigue have loved fashion since they were young.

“What made me love fashion more was helping other people choose outfits they love and feel confident in,” Marlo said.

Starting a boutique together was something the two cousins ​​and friends talked about, but they never imagined it would happen so soon.

On July 25, 2020, Emily and Marlo opened Marem Boutique as an online store. Just two years later, on September 16, 2022, Emily and Marlo opened a storefront at 4250 Burbank Drive.

Marlo and Emily Rodrigue cut the ribbon at the Marem storefront window opening Sept. 16, 2022, at 4250 Burbank Dr. in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

“Even after opening the online store, we never saw a storefront in the near future,” Marlo said. “It became something that tugged at our heart strings, and we knew if it was meant to be, it would happen.”

The showcase opening day was a success. Marem Boutique has hosted many different pop-ups in its store – from cookies to permanent jewelry to Bubbly. From the buyer’s point of view, everything went smoothly. Shopping in Marem gives you all the feeling of being with your girl gang. The store gives you a place to feel confident trying on clothes.

Marem shop

Emily and Marlo Rodrigue help one of their first customers at the Marem Boutique store opening on September 16, 2022 in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

The name Marem comes from the two women’s names combined into one – “Mar” from Marlo and “Em” from Emily. In their late teens and early twenties, starting a business was hard work for Marlo and Emily, but their passion and dedication kept them going.

Emily described the first three months as an entrepreneur as a stressful time. She said today they look back and laugh because everything they were trying to figure out is now second nature to them. Emily is completing her final year as a marketing major at LSU. Marlo graduated from LSU with a degree in marketing in August 2022.

“There’s no blueprint for how to do things, but there are so many resources that we used to help us through the tough times,” Marlo said.

Using social media and hosting events are great ways for new businesses to gain exposure. Marlo and Emily knew this would work especially well in a place like Baton Rouge, where there are a lot of college students.

Marem Boutique has participated in pop-up events all over the city since the opening of the online store. While Marlo and Emily enjoyed setting up temporary retail spaces, Marlo said it was a lot of work. The women are delighted to have their own permanent shop window.

Being able to meet customers and see the clothes come to life is a feeling like no other, Emily said.

The clothes Marem sells are what many college girls want their wardrobe to look like – from everything you might need for game day to all the different styles of colorful dresses. The store sells a wide range of products. The store has a shoe for every occasion and jewelry that ranges from subtle pieces to statement pieces.

Shop Marem

Marlo and Emily Rodrigue pose for a photo in their new Marem Boutique storefront on September 16, 2022 in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

Marlo and Emily love buying trips to markets and trade shows to stock their shop. Marlo said they divide and conquer. They each pick a side of the store, choose what they like, then walk through each room together. One of the main factors they look at when choosing what to buy is whether it fits their price and their customer base, Marlo said.

“There are definitely times when you like one article and another don’t,” Marlo said. “We usually compromise.”

Like the choice of clothes, responsibility for the Marem social network, @shopmarem, is assumed by the two Marem women.

“We like to post four to five photos a day to show off as many products as possible,” Marlo said.

Marlo is responsible for posting photos, while Emily is responsible for creating and posting social media posts. They both take and edit photos of outfits, depending on who has time in their schedule.

Marlo and Emily are grateful for the support they have received from family, friends and clients. Both are excited to continue making their mark in Baton Rouge, a community they know and love.

“From restaurants to sorority houses, we love them all,” Emily said. “They’re one of the reasons we’re opening the showcase now.”