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M is not for Mardi Gras: An Introduction to Lipstick and French Fries


Emily Carrere, NOLA maven

If you haven’t had a chance to read any of Malcolm Gladwell’s literature, use one of these rainy, humid New Orleans afternoons as an excuse to take one for a spin. The themes can be somewhat repetitive, but his general social commentary is quite insightful.

I am mentioning Gladwell because his book, The Tipping Point, taught me that I am a Maven. Gladwell defines a Maven as an intense gatherer of information and impressions, often the first to pick up on new or emerging trends. In layman’s terms, we like to talk about things we love. Really talk about them. To everyone.

Whenever we discover something mind-blowingly fabulous, whether it’s Mindy Kaling’s book or truffle butter French fries, we want everyone from our mailman to our best friend to hear about it. We don’t really expect anything in return, only to revel in the validation of spreading the good news. It’s sort of like being an evangelical for lipstick and French fries.

So hello there, everyone! I am excited to take this opportunity to crown myself as your local Maven (let’s stick with M for short, shall we?). I will be writing a regular column here on NolaVie dedicated to must-haves, those mind-blowingly fabulous things mentioned above, that every New Orleanian should know about. From their local Maven.

In the spirit of full disclosure, let me introduce myself a bit so you will know what you are getting into (obviously, not all Mavens are created equally).

1) I am a girl/woman/lady/female, so sometimes I may talk about nail polish and eye cream.  2) I do not come from any hipster heritage, but I do consider myself an equal opportunity consumer. And finally, 3) I am not a New Orleans native, but a transplanted spouse from Alabama by way of D.C. and Paris, so please forgive me if I get too excited about things you have known about for decades.

Now, this is where you come in. Gladwell, suggests that Mavens act most effectively when in collaboration with Connectors, who are those with a wide network of trusting acquaintances crossing many social boundaries and groups. Connectors can thus easily and widely distribute the advice or insights of a Maven.

So, it will go something like this: I will tell you about an awesome new jewelry designer at Frenchmen Art Market who makes the most fab genuine leather bracelets ever. You will distribute this information to all of your facebook friends, twitter followers and maybe even your real friends via actual conversation.

And, boom, the next thing you know, Zooey Deschanel is wearing a New Orleans bracelet on New Girl, bringing our town one step closer to complete cultural domination.

Are you with me?

Emily Carrere writes a weekly column for NolaVie bringing you fabulous finds that feature artists, designers and businesses in New Orleans.


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