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You know M. as a store that sells a modern mix of clothes, shoes and accessories from well known brands and up and coming designers, where price points intermingle and where they always seem to have exactly what you need (and some things you didn’t know you needed). Shops like this don’t happen by accident - here is the story behind the store.
M. is more than just a store, it’s a family - and at the helm are the Mother and Daughter team of Martha Marrs Thomas and Laura Thomas Baudoin. They both grew up surrounded by clothes - here are their stories.
Martha was influenced at an early age by her mother’s dressmaking talent. She remembers spending many Saturday mornings in fabric stores searching for different bolts of fabric, buttons , trims and looking at patterns. In the 70’s she majored in Fashion Merchandising at Louisiana Tech. During those college years Martha spent a summer in Rome, discovering the fashion houses of designers like Emilio Pucci and cementing her love of textiles and design.
Martha started her career as a Selling Supervisor and Merchandiser in the Boy’s Department at Macy’s in Houston, but was often found in the Couture Department intrigued by the fabrics and designs. She didn’t realize her life would become just that.
Her life journey took her to New Mexico where she found inspiration and a love of the Southwest. Her buying career started in Ruidoso where she made many buying trips for the Attic & Friends. After marriage and her first two babies, Martha came home to Shreveport.
In the 80’s Martha opened her first store, with her sister, The Pink Cactus, one of Shreveport’s first boutiques. She sold it 13 years later and moved to Santa Fe where she worked retail for another 11 years. In 2012 her roots called her home once again to be with family.
Her creativity, talents in marketing, and attention to detail certainly didn't appear by chance. It's probably more accurate to say that she was naturally groomed and is unflinchingly driven.
Laura grew up as a ‘shop baby’ spending afternoons, summers and weekends in The Pink Cactus. She kept herself occupied by putting together head to toe looks and taking Polaroid pictures of them. It was in her blood.
By the age of 10, Laura was attending markets with her Mom, by 16 she was an Assistant Buyer and was already an asset to the store. After the store was sold Laura moved to Lafayette, La for college and pursued a degree in Accounting from UL. During her time there she continued to build her skills. She managed a women's store, and also made custom jewelry pieces. Her choice of graduating in Accounting was not without a plan. Although never knowing exactly when or how, it was always in the back of her mind that her love for fashion would never completely give way to the mindset of a "desk job" and that the two would somehow come together.
You know how this story ends, the right time had arrived and Laura and Martha were ready to put all of their talents in one place. The M idea had begun.
The Mother and Daughter team opened M. in August 2012 and expanded a couple of years later to add a shoe studio. It is now 3500 feet of hand-selected fashion and accessories. With all their years of experience Martha and Laura know what feels right, what feels new and don’t simply follow trends, but thrive on creativity and a true passion for helping every customer express themselves with confidence and style.
The people of Shreveport know there will always be a warm welcome, a smiling face and they will be treated like family. With the launch of the online store Martha and Laura can bring their expertise to a wider audience. Be prepared to have found your new favorite store.