Putting faith over fear, owner Meredith Waguespack chronicles the 10 year journey of her brand, “Sweet Baton Rouge,” and the opening of the company’s local flagship store.
Inspired by Saturday night lights and Tiger football, Waguespack launched her t-shirt company in 2010. A casual person herself, she wanted a brand that was perfect for tailgating and watching the Tigers play in quality, comfort and style.
“Over time we started integrating more designs outside of game day and started making shirts that encompass all of our culture,” said Waguespack when asked about how the brand has developed through the years. In addition to football themed shirts, Sweet Baton Rouge has a multitude of designs that display an array of Southern vibes and Louisiana culture, such as Mardi Gras, crawfish and even special events like Jazz Fest.
In addition to expanding the company’s apparel to all things Louisiana, Waguespack and her team are all about supporting other local businesses. Throughout the store, one can see other local brands displayed and available for purchase. Partnering with these merchants ignited yet another fire within Waguespack, launching an entirely new, yet not so different business venture.
Hence the creation of Local Pop Up. On top of being the owner of Sweet Baton Rouge, she’s co-founder of Local Pop Up, a company she started alongside her graphic designer, that specializes in curating goods from local makers and bringing them to one central platform.
Starting as a conversation rooted in passion for local business, Local Pop Up officially came to life when it hosted its first holiday event in 2018. A big success, it decided to host the event again the following year, with its most recent endeavor being the launch of its online marketplace. There, consumers are able to purchase items from local merchants and get their local fill.
So, what prompted this new store location that everyone is talking about?
Roughly five years ago, Waguespack decided it was time to move Sweet Baton Rouge into its first office. Two years in, that office expanded into a showroom that, according to Waguespack, “had the feel and vibes of a store but [wasn’t] set up like a store.” It was more so a place where people could come to pick up their online orders and where Waguespack could display new designs.
After seeing an increase in traffic and pop up customers over the last three years, she became aware that opening a storefront location was a possibility that she should explore.
In January, wanting a place that fit the team’s goals and vision, the search process began. The team ultimately selected the electric depot as their new home. “Community and local things are very important to us, and I can see that this space will have those opportunities to create that,” Waguespack said.
Although the originally hoped for a later grand opening date on Aug. 1, Sweet Baton Rouge officially opened its doors. “It’s going to be a fun five years here,” Waguespack said.
Coming up on the fall season, she will be launching the fall version of the Cozy Collection. In addition, everything in the store will soon be shoppable via its website.
Waguespack also noted that she’s extremely blessed and thankful for all the opportunities that she’s been given. When asked about what’s the most rewarding aspect of being an entrepreneur, Waguespack stated that, “To me, two really big, proud moments I have are having the customer support and the employees.”
There’s no doubt that we’re all in for some treats from Waguespack and her Sweet Baton Rouge team.