Traci Claussen Bel of the Week January 2013

Tell us a little bit about yourself.
I’ve been an indie fashionista from the day I was born, refusing to wear anything but ruffled tights with a pink dress custom made by her paternal Grandmother. My mother could not get me to wear pants, even in the cold mid-west winters, until I turned six, no doubt inspired by the indie feminist movement.

My maternal Grandmother designed custom quilts from leftover fabrics she used to make dresses for my mother. In fact, mother’s childhood closet was full of sugar and flour sack dresses that were delivered to their farmhouse.

Traci has been pairing vintage with new for decades. After a successful radio advertising career, Traci returned to New Orleans to launch the REpurposingNOLA Piece by Peace brand, inspired by her warehouse loft eco-renovation in 2009. Since launching her triple bottom line brand, Traci has been featured in Country Living, People Style Watch, Bloomberg Businessweek’s Top 25 Social Entrepreneurs, New Orleans Magazine 2011 People to Watch, and multiple editorial picks in New Orleans WHERE, Times Picayune Wish, Gambit CUE, and Ecostiletto.

What is the inspiration for your work?
New Orleans’ warehouse / CBD inspires me with its bold commercial colors and textures, mixed with streetcars, parades, music and food! Many of the bags are designed in a classic tradition, with quirky elements re-purposed that reflect sights from the City. **For 2013, Traci is inspired by the GEAUX GREEN spirit of the New Orleans Super Bowl Committee on which she is a member. Her Spring 2013 line will be an ECO-SCAPE Collection of bags and clothing consisting of natural vegan leathers, sporto, and burlap.

Where do you see yourself in 2 years time?
We just opened our 1st BRAND SHOP upstairs @ 843 Carondelet Street, after launching as a brand online shop and wholesaler back in 2009. The goal was to have a design showroom for VIP customers to shop, as well as provide a private, intimate experience for our customers and stylists to choose their own fabrics from our picks, and make each bag with the customer in mind. We’d love to add more BRAND SHOPS to share this intimate, unique shopping experience with our customers across the country.

What is your proudest accomplishment to date?
GOSH! Every day brings something fantastic from the Universe! Today, it would be opening our Brand Shop in the warehouse district, which inspired me to launch the company back in 2009. Carondelet is one of the last streets in the CBD with unique buildings begging to be repurposed back to life! I like to say there’s a renaissance about to happen here!

What is your favorite Senica product and why?
SWEETNESS! Anything SWEETNESS! From the moment I smelled the body butter, I was hooked.

Words to live by.
My favorite mantra is: Be cool; do good. Four simple words to live by. My favorite quote is from Oscar Wilde: One’s style is one’s signature, always.

How can we connect with you?
Yes, we launched with an online shop first and have great google recognition if you just type in REPURPOSINGNOLA.



About Bèl of the Week: Bèl of the Week is a feature created by Senica to celebrate beautiful people doing beautiful things. Senica is a beauty brand that offers handcrafted bath and body products for bath, body, hair & home. Inspired by the Caribbean. Made in New Orleans.

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