Home Life Bayou Belle Traders reopens antique mall on East Texas Street

Bayou Belle Traders reopens antique mall on East Texas Street

Five-year-old Maria picks through the selection at Bayou Belle Trader's new location. (Jennyne Pinter/Press-Tribune)
By Jennyne Pinter, jpinter@bossierpress.com

Bayou Belle Traders, a little antique shop which was located at 1540 Barksdale Blvd, has moved to 2041 East Texas Street.

“I think we’re going to like it,” said store owner Beth Carr as she looked around the shop, still in the process of unpacking.  “There’s a lot more traffic on this street. Barksdale Boulevard, they had torn up and redid and there’s no traffic over there.”

Carr was referring to the East Bank District redevelopment project which changed the layout of the street, design standards, and infrastructure as a part of the $15 million revamp.

“Down at the west end between Hamilton and Traffic it was a 4-lane street.  They tore it up and made it a 2-lane street with a big bike lane and a lot of stop signs. They were supposed to be revitalizing the area but they didn’t add any businesses or anything down there.  We lost about 80% of our business down there.”

The shop is now located in Suite 100 of its new building and is spacious with nearly 2,500 sq. ft.

While the Carr’s have a variety of antiques of their own for sale in the front of the store, Bayou Belle Traders also rents booths, display cases and floor space to vendors with smaller collections. Carr explained that items are priced by each vendor and the sales are made through the front of the store. For people looking to sell a single antique here or there, consignment sales are also offered.

Joann Eck is a vendor at Bayou Belle Traders who has made the move with them.  Her space is already set up and actively displays brightly colored antiques, from children’s items to furniture and classic prints.

“I guess I always shopped where I was buying old things instead of new things,” Joann said.  “I’ve always like children’s stuff, vintage children’s books, old games and dolls, stuff like that.”

Eck has been selling antiques for about 25 years, But the Carr’s have not been in the business long at all. The couple moved from Indiana where Beth was a school teacher to nearly all grades throughout her career, and Dennis was an associate pastor and Christian-school principal.

Carr said that it all got started when she found herself having accumulated a mass of collectibles from her family members’ passings.

“People come in and they say ‘Oh, it’s so nostalgic in here! I remember when my mother had this,’” she said. “It’s a fun business.”

As favorable as it may be, the relocation is in fact a bit rushed. It was by pure happenstance that just as business dropped dramatically on Barksdale Boulevard, the building the Carr’s were renting there failed to meet city code, and they were compelled to move sooner than later. In the whirlwind of uprooting their store, supporting their vendors’ moves and having to manage the leftover thrift store items, the Carr’s found generosity and help from complete strangers.

“A lady came in one day last week and she just volunteered to help us! And she brought three other ladies in to help us. Another lady came in whose starting a consignment shop in another little town near here. An older lady who couldn’t help us move brought in meals to us! It’s just amazing, what folks are doing to help us.”

Bayou Belle Traders is open Monday to Saturday from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday from 1-4 p.m.

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Sean Green is managing editor of the Bossier Press-Tribune.