Places & Faces
Etie's, A Children's Shoppe
5/3/2018 9:08:08 PM

Old photographs, heirloom gowns, and memory-filled hope chests have been resurrected in Sulphur as residents welcome back one of the community’s oldest family-owned businesses to the downtown area. 

With the fourth-generation owner now taking the helm of the newly-reestablished business, Etie’s, A Children’s Shoppe is inspiring laughter and sentimental tears for generations of families who recall fond childhood memories of shopping at Etie’s.

"I knew what reopening the store would mean to our family, but I was not prepared for the overwhelming, amazing, and joyous response from our community,” says Abby McMurry Ferguson, owner. 

When Etie’s closed its doors in 1998, the business had been part of Sulphur’s downtown landscape for more than 80 years. Ferguson’s great-grandparents, Charles and Cora Etie, opened the store in 1918. The couple originally sold hats and piece goods. In 1928, after saving their money for a decade, the Eties built their own storefront building on Huntington Street in the heart of downtown Sulphur.

"The store was my great-grandmother’s passion and she poured everything into it,” Ferguson said. "It was the place people shopped back then.” 

The Etie family had one daughter, Jeannette Etie McMurry. As an adult, McMurry and her husband, Buster, carried on the tradition of the family business and eventually passed it on to their youngest daughter, Debbie McMurry Abel, who managed the store until it closed in 1998. Abby Ferguson’s father, Mark McMurry, is the only son of Jeannette McMurry. He has maintained responsibility for the building on behalf of the family since the store’s closing. 

Recently, the building became vacant after longtime tenant Randy Broussard, an architect, retired. That’s when Ferguson had an idea to restore the building to its original purpose. 
"We didn’t want to let the building go, and as a mother of two young boys, I have struggled to find quality, unique boy clothes,” Ferguson explained. "When the building opened up, we decided to go for it and bring back the Etie’s that everyone knew and loved.” 

Ferguson’s goal is to provide a wide selection with lots of styles to choose from for both boys and girls. "Parents want unique, one-of-a-kind pieces to dress their children for special occasions and also for everyday wear, and I want to offer a place that meets the needs of area children today.”

The store features a display of Etie’s memorabilia with the original glass display cabinet, an antique cash register, and photographs from the original store’s early days. At the time it closed, Etie’s was the longest single family-owned and operated business in Sulphur. 

"I know that I have very big shoes to fill, and I am honored to carry on the legacy of Etie’s for my family and for the entire community,” Ferguson said.

The new Etie’s also offers specialty toys, a playroom, and a book room for children while their parents shop. Ferguson plans to host regular story times throughout the week and once per month on Saturday mornings.

"It’s a love project for me and my family. I cherish every memory that I have been honored to be a part of -- both past and present. And I look forward to making memories with Southwest Louisiana for many years to come,” she said. 

For more information, visit the Etie’s, A Children’s Shoppe Facebook page, or call 337-888-3019.
Posted by: Victoria Hartley-Ellender | Submit comment | Tell a friend

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