As interior designer Beth Claybourn celebrates 30 years in business in Baton Rouge this year, she is also working toward a late April opening of a long-planned New Orleans location of her namesake design firm.
“This has been a dream of mine for 10 years, and for the past two years I’ve really worked concertedly to find the right location,” says Claybourn, founder and owner of Beth Claybourn Interiors at 17731 Highland Road. “What I finally found was a corner on Natchez and Tchoupitoulas, and it’s a perfect spot for me.”
Claybourn has purchased the roughly 5,000-square-foot space at 401 Tchoupitoulas St. in the city’s downtown area and renovation is underway. Claybourn says she’s spending about $2.5 million on the new location, including the building purchase and renovation.
“I’ve had it completed gutted and I’m going to go with a more industrial look. It’s going to be very different from what I’m doing up here,” she says. “I’m very excited, and I’ve already told my husband, if this doesn’t work out and they spank my butt and kick me back to Baton Rouge, you’re going to have one of the nicest buildings in New Orleans.”
Though she’s a native of Mississippi, Claybourn and her husband are former residents of New Orleans, and their ties to the city remain strong. Claybourn also has a sales office in the Destin, Florida, area, but this will be her first retail gallery outside Baton Rouge.
“I just love it,” Claybourn says of New Orleans and her long desire to open a location in the city. “Once you’re in New Orleans it just gets in your blood. Baton Rouge is my home and I love it here, but New Orleans is just so different.”
While Claybourn will be able to better serve her existing clients in New Orleans and expand clientele with the new location, she says she’s really aiming to tap into new business via the millions of tourists who visit the city every year. That’s why she hopes to have the renovation completed in time for a late April opening.
“Because that’s Jazz Fest week and you’ve got a lot of tourists in the city who have a lot of capital income, and they’re in the city to spend it,” she says.