Emily Rodrigue and Marlo Rodrigue have both loved fashion from an early age.
“What made me love fashion more was helping other people pick out outfits that they love and feel confident in,” Marlo said.
Starting a boutique together was a topic the two cousins and friends talked about, but they never imagined it would happen so soon.
On July 25, 2020, Emily and Marlo opened Marem Boutique as an online store. Just two years later, on September 16, 2022, Emily and Marlo opened a storefront at 4250 Burbank, Dr.
“Even after we opened the online store, we never saw a storefront in the near future,” Marlo said. “It became something that was tugging on our heart strings, and we knew that if it was meant to be, it would come to fruition.”
Opening day for the storefront was a success. Marem Boutique hosted many different pop-ups inside their store — from cookies to permanent jewelry to Bubbly. From the shopper’s point of view, everything went off without a hitch. Shopping at Marem gives you all the feels of being with your girl gang. The store gives you a place to feel confident trying on clothes.
The name Marem comes from both women’s names meshed into one — “Mar” from Marlo and “Em” from Emily. Being in their late teens and early twenties, starting a business was tough work for Marlo and Emily, but their passion and dedication kept them going.
Emily described the first three months as an entrepreneur as a stressful time. She said today, they look back and laugh since everything they were trying to figure out is second nature to them now. Emily is finishing up her senior year as a marketing major at LSU. Marlo graduated from LSU with a marketing degree in August 2022.
“There is no blueprint on how to do things, but there are so many resources that we used to help us through hard times,” Marlo said.
Utilizing social media and hosting events are great ways for new businesses to get exposure. Marlo and Emily knew this would work especially well in a place like Baton Rouge, where there are a lot of college students.
Marem Boutique has attended pop-up events around the city since the online store opened. While Marlo and Emily enjoyed setting up temporary retail spaces, Marlo said it was a lot of work. The women are excited to have their own permanent storefront.
Being able to meet customers and see the clothes come to life is a feeling like no other, Emily said.
The clothes Marem sells is what many college women want their closet to look like — from everything you could possibly need for game day to all different styles of colorful dresses. The shop sells a diverse range of products, striving to offer a style for every shopper. The store has a shoe for every occasion and jewelry that goes from subtle to statement pieces.
Marlo and Emily love going on buying trips to markets and trade shows to stock their boutique. Marlo said they divide and conquer. They each pick a side of the store, choose what they like, and then, go through each piece together. One of the big factors they look at when choosing what to buy is if it is within their price point and fits their customer base, Marlo said.
“There are definitely times where one likes an item and another doesn’t,” Marlo said. “We generally compromise.”
Just like the choosing of the clothes, the responsibility of the Marem social media, @shopmarem, is taken up by both of the Marem woman.
“We like to post four to five pictures a day to show off as many products as we can,” Marlo said.
Marlo is in charge of posting photos, while Emily handles making and posting to social media stories. They both take and edit photos of outfits, depending on who has time in their schedules.
Marlo and Emily are grateful for the support they’ve received from family, friends and customers. The two are excited to continue making their mark in Baton Rouge, a community they know and love.
“From restaurants to sorority houses, we love them all,” Emily said. “They are one of the reasons that we are opening the storefront now.”