Valis was teaching art when she created her first design to decorate her husband Steve's pottery. "I fell in love with majolica glazes," she says. Her subject matter comes naturally to the New Orleans native; Valis grew up crabbing and fishing with her family. Her uncle, J.M. Lapeyre, invented a device for peeling shrimp in 1949 that revolutionized the industry.
Growing up in a family of entrepreneurs, the homegrown business comes naturally to her. "The images are a folkloric expression of my personal background," she says. Valis started selling the design in 1991 as original artwork. A divorce convinced her to change her business model, and she licensed the design to a large china company, which mass-produces the line. "Handmade pottery isn't lucrative," she says, "but this particular design sold well as original artwork." The line of china sold so well she developed a second line, called the Seafood Buffet Collection, which incorporates another Louisiana food icon, Tabasco sauce. The image of a Tabasco bottle in the midst of crabs, shrimp, crawfish, speckled trout, oysters, green onions, lemons, garlic and peppers unites the marketing power of McIlhenny Co. with the originality of Valis's design. Valis is delighted with the deal. "I've passed marketing 101," she says. "Now I'm a seasoned businesswoman."
Seafood Celebration and Seafood Buffet Collection can be purchased at Accentrics in downtown New Iberia. Call 367-6880 for more information.
Law enforcement agencies are participating in a "Louisiana Heroin Summit," designed to address the recent rise in heroin use and drug-related deaths around the state.
State education officials are preparing to release performance scores for public schools and public school districts.
Saints coach Sean Payton is starting a new week by emphasizing, repeatedly, the many good things he noticed during New Orleans' latest loss.
Tuesday's Blogs from the Bog!
Oscar de la Renta dies; Pistorius sentenced; World Series begins and more national and international news for Tuesday, October 21, 2014.
We will be offering our recommendations on the constitutional amendments tomorrow.
Three bedroom in Lawtell or two bedroom in Rayne
Fall's new darling
The justices did not comment in leaving in place lower court rulings that dismissed the lawsuits against BP and other companies involved in the worst U.S. offshore oil spill.
White registration is down by 7,700 voters while black registration has shot up by 7,100 voters.
Even though it had been rumored for months, U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu finally pulled the trigger recently on a major campaign shakeup that moved control over to a few Big Easy insiders.
Acadiana's nightlife guide.
Louisiana's health department says it will seek law changes to stop billing sexual assault victims for exams and tests.
An investment group led by Macquarie Infrastructure and Real Assets will buy the Louisiana power company Cleco for $3.4 billion.
It wasn’t the historic slashes to higher ed funding or the ensuing tuition spikes that recently had LSU’s student body and faculty riled up in collective outrage.
"I feel it is appropriate to speak up when there are topics that are being bandied about with little or no factual data to back them."
Will $400 be enough for the re-election campaign of LPSB's Hunter Beasley to overcome two years of holding our school system hostage and hurting the education of our children all because of a personal dislike of the superintendent?
Saints tight end Jimmy Graham said Friday he expects his playing status in Detroit to be decided by coach Sean Payton on Sunday, shortly before the game.
Two bedroom cottage in Lafayette or three bedroom traditional in Erath
Gulf Brew ready threads
Lawmakers have sidestepped a decision on whether they accept claims from Gov. Bobby Jindal's administration that the state closed last year's books with a nearly $179 million surplus.
Coming off the high of a fourth quarter comeback against Tampa Bay and a helpful bye week, linebacker Junior Galette sees a real turnaround coming for New Orleans' struggling defense.
Former President Bill Clinton, the Democratic Party's most popular surrogate this fall, is heading to Louisiana early next week for a campaign rally with U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu.
Time and again you hear people say DA Mike Harson is unbeatable because he's doled out political favors over the past 20 years. But a new lawsuit could end that speculation.
We welcome nominations from readers and leaders throughout the business community in Lafayette and the five surrounding parishes.
Acadiana's nightlife guide.
Ebola is kind of terrifying if you watch too much Fox News and CNN. Especially Fox, which makes everything look terrifying because, well, War on Christmas and Obama and all.
Local developer’s Lake Charles Gardens LLC purchases buildings and leases; land still owned by Dugas family.
One bedroom townhouse or two bedroom townhouse in Lafayette
Hit the barre for a good cause