After 35 years, a St. Charles Parish fixture will soon close doors at both of its locations after its owners have decided that it’s time to retire.
Millie Derveloy and her husband Bob took over the Foxy Lady Boutique in 1974 and turned it into a burgeoning business with stores on both sides of the river. It is currently the oldest ladies boutique in the parish’s history.
“This was a very hard decision, but we felt like it was time for both of us to retire,” Millie said. “At our age, we need to slow down, and now we have time to enjoy our children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren.”
Foxy Lady is the definition of a family business, with Millie’s daughters Rhonda and Susan both having a huge hand in the stores’ success over the years. For Millie, that’s one of the things she will miss most about the business.
“During all these years, our two daughters, Susan and Rhonda, were our greatest assets,” she said. “Susan managed the store in Destrehan while Rhonda worked with me in our Boutte store and both have done an excellent job. I will miss the daily connection I had with them while working together.”
In addition, Millie said she also had several hard workers who helped the business stay afloat for 35 years.
“I do think we had a big influence on a lot of the girls who worked for us,” she said.
The Basketry owner Kristi Brocato, who worked at Foxy Lady in high school, said she credits Millie with her current business success.
“The lessons that I learned from Millie were so valuable because they were things that I never would have learned in school,” Brocato said. “Her store is an icon, and working there was a contributing factor to a lot of my success.”
And one lesson Brocato learned has stuck with her more than any others.
“Because of Miss Millie, I learned never to stand around my business and do nothing,” she said.
And Millie won’t stop moving around anytime soon. The great-grandmother has plans to visit out-of-state family after Foxy Lady’s doors close, but first she is holding a retirement sale.
Both the West Bank and East Bank locations have lowered prices on their entire stock, including the fixtures, and in several instances the merchandise is being sold below wholesale prices, Millie said.
“This gives the customers a good deal on fashion clothes during this economic downturn,” she added.
For Millie, that’s the least she can do for her customers, who have remained loyal to the store over the years.
“We will all miss seeing our customers and friends who would come into our stores on a regular basis,” she said. “We sincerely thank them for their patronage and good will, plus for advertising us to their friends.
“This is just a good time for us to move on.”
The Luling store is located inside the St. Charles Plaza on Highway 90 and the Destrehan location is at 1970 Ormond Blvd.