Homemade Specialties // Bayou Craftin’

South Louisiana prides itself on its deep-rooted history and culture and locals use that culture as an inspiration for their own creativity and crafts.

“Everyone has different stories. In South Louisiana, people bring their stories to life through various types of art,” says Alex Gwinn, a craft-show regular and Thibodaux native. “Just like a pot of gumbo, you can add varying ingredients to make something really special and unique.”

The Bayou Region is home to many craft shows including Southdown Marketplace, Thibodeauxville and Poche Plantation Arts and Crafts Charity. And even when the main focus isn’t on crafts, local arts are almost always present at the many festivals across the state. From jewelry, bath and body products, cards, artwork, personalized items, candles, bows, and more, local artisans bring their culture and heritage to life.

Hailey Cortez, Thibodaux native ad owner of Grey Handcrafted, makes essential oil jewelry and says crafting is all about connecting and community.

“[South Louisianans] already love to talk, so talking about something you personally developed and hearing the background of businesses is really easy, fun and enjoyable,” Cortez says.

Gwinn, who grew up spending weekends going to craft shows and markets and now drags her friends along, says supporting local businesses and people is important.

“The really cool part is learning the background of the item or business,” Gwinn says. “It’s fun and it makes you appreciate the product and the person who made it.”

by Jenna Quick, photo editor