It always made sense for Monique Sobrino to own a business, so when the opportunity to purchase her grandmother’s Little Miss Muffin Hallmark store came about in 1992, Sobrino took it and reopened Little Miss Muffin in a new location and renovated it into a modern gift and clothes store.
Sobrino, raised around family-owned businesses and trained to work in them since the age of 14, saw the opportunity as “an emotional quest to continue the success of the [grandmother’s] store in the same way.”
Sobrino allowed for the store to grow and evolve, offering traditional items for home furnishings such as stemware, plates, frames and candles. There are also many gift items that pertain to entertaining, Sobrino says, as well as a selection of traditional infant clothing and preteen wardrobes.
In 2003, a space opened across the street from Little Miss Muffin, and Sobrino with her mother Gayle Terrell (who is the owner of the Lazybug stores) opened Shoe Envy.
“We wanted a cross between traditional shoe lines and contemporary,” Sobrino says. The store, an immediate success, offers many brand lines—Yellow Box, Matisse, Aussie Dogs, to name a few—and has styles as diverse such as sandals, clogs, boots and moccasins. And because of the vagarities of New Orleans weather, Sobrino and Terrell decided to have a variety of fun and colorful weather rain boots and rain clogs.
Even with two booming businesses, Sobrino remains humble and focuses her attention to the stores’ details, but more importantly, customer service. “From service to wrapping to walking [items] to their car, if customers ask, we provide it.”
This article appears in the November 2004 issue of New Orleans Homes & Lifestyles