By LEIGH GUIDRY, The Advertiser
LAFAYETTE, La. (AP) — Rachael Robichaux has been painting for as long as she can remember.
The 39-year-old from New Iberia has art and creativity in her blood, with a father photographer and other family artisans.
She pursued her art into adulthood, but didn’t think her work was good enough to sell. Still, she thought she would give it a try by opening an online store on Etsy’s website. She named it Cajun Trinkets in honor of her Acadian upbringing and the variety of her work.
“It’s been pretty much anything from jewelry to paintings to keychains,” Robichaux said. “That’s why I call it ‘trinkets’.”
The Trinket Umbrella allows her to try out new techniques and art forms. More recently, she has started learning how to make things with resin and epoxy and is excited to see where it’s taking her.
Robichaux started her Etsy shop before the pandemic, and when COVID-19 sent everyone home for a long time, she poured that time and effort into her art and her shop.
The items then began to sell.
“I have painted all my life; I always loved it but never thought I was good enough to sell it,” she said. “Then I was selling and I was like, ‘Wow, maybe I can. “”
So she kept going, making shimmering Mardi Gras earrings and creating paintings on the facades of clients’ houses. These are some of his best-selling and favorite projects, along with LSU and New Orleans Saints-themed items.
Custom House Paintings combine his love of painting old buildings (like Saint Peter’s Catholic Church in downtown New Iberia) with the ability to capture something special for his clients. They take a picture of the front of their house and Robichaux preserves the memory in paint. A recent client of hers commissioned a painting of her parents’ house to remember after they moved.
“It’s special for people,” she said. “They can give it as a gift.”
When not making art, she is the mother of her three children, aged 18, 14 and 11, and does less creative painting. They are renovating their house right now. She also takes care of her mother and participates in local arts and crafts shows.
“My schedule is definitely full all the time,” she said.
Robichaux involves his children. His eldest son is gaining hands-on accounting experience by helping him balance the books of his business, and Robichaux hopes his daughter will pick up the art one day.
“She’s 11 and doing better than me at her age,” Robichaux said. “I tell him, ‘It’s going to be yours one day’.”
In the meantime, Robichaux will continue to create.
This time she is working on an entry for the Gumbo CookOff World Championship Poster Contest.
“It’s my special project right now,” she said.
Robichaux’s Cajun trinkets can be found on Etsy and Facebook as well as in person at Bird on the Bayou, a boutique on New Iberia’s Main Street.
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