From Peggy’s recent trip to New Orleans:
Helping animals and helping reuse clothing often are linked in the world of thrift shops.
Nearly every city has at least one thrift shop run by an animal rescue group. New Orleans is no exception. The No Fleas Market, a resale market supporting animal rescue, also welcomes pets inside its doors. When we visited, two twin kittens were there to greet guests. Shoppers’ pets are welcome too.
The resale shop also is unique in its Mardi Gras focus. There’s a tradition where two of the Mardi Gras crewes, Muses and Nyx, throw a decorated shoe or handbag to the crowd from their floats. The rules limit how many they can throw (30 shoes and 20 handbags), so crewe members spend time fashioning works of art. The No Fleas Market helps out by selling single shoes and damaged purses for $1.
“Those who ride (in floats) find it very helpful,” manager Heather Casey said of the unusual offering of single high heels. More decorated shoes and handbags, customarily wrapped in plastic and tied with ribbons, are presented by crewe members to special guests before the Mardi Gras parade begins.
The six-year-old shop has been run by the Louisiana Society for the Protection of Animals since July, 2016. Since New Orleans is a city of festivals, the shop takes its donated clothing on racks, creating pop-up thrift stores for crowds attracted by jazz, oysters, fried chicken or whatever festival is running in this party city.
“People are always in a great mood at a festival and love to shop our clothes,” said Casey, as she readied a rack of clothes for the upcoming Beer Fest.
The brick and mortar shop, located in the eclectic and very shoppable Magazine Street, also carries menswear, housewares and, of course, pet supplies and accessories. Seniors over 55 get a huge discount on Tuesdays – 50 percent.
And true to form, the shop’s racks carry Mardi Gras costumes. We barely resisted a beautifully handmade devil’s outfit, complete with a stuffed, forked tail, for $12.
No Fleas Market, 4228 Magazine St., New Orleans, LA 70115. www.la-spca.org/nofleasmarket. 504/900-1446. Open Monday – Saturday 10 a.m. – 6 p.m., Sunday noon – 5 p.m.