Threads of Africa11/29/2020 09:00AM ● By Jessie Monsivais
By: Jessie Chrobocinski Photos by: Aaron Garcia
Created by a passion for African-inspired art, Lott's of Art offers the Coastal Bend access to international commodities fused with global textiles and contemporary style. From African couture to accessories, gifts, home furnishings, and art, retail shop owner Evelyn Cooper prides herself on the inspiring fashion and products Lott's of Art offers.
Cooper lived in Dallas when she discovered an art gallery specializing in high-quality African-American art of all forms – from print and paintings to collectible items. At the heart of Cooper’s experience was the platform for showcasing and marketing African-inspired designs to the world.
"I just loved going there so much. I thought, ‘One of these days, when I retire, this is what I would like to do.’ I just loved going there, and I loved the atmosphere," says Cooper. "When I did retire, I moved back to Corpus Christi, where I was born and raised. I had no idea where to get anything, so I talked to the gallery owner in Houston. She gave me a trade magazine and said, 'Everything you want to know about this business, you'll find in this magazine.' So I started studying and asking questions."
That magazine would soon connect Cooper with different trade shows and artists around the country. After building a foundation for her passion, she stepped out on her own.
In 1994, the 900-square-foot retail space within Sunrise Mall became Lott's of Art's home until 2004. Solely carrying African art, Lott's of Art also contributed to the community with enlightening events for holidays and commemorative observances, including Black History Month, Kwanzaa, Women's History Month, and more. As the mall landscape began to change, Evelyn decided to shift the business's focus to clothing, accessories, and home decor.
"It was quite a journey. I enjoyed it tremendously. I brought many artists into Corpus Christi, people I met in different places, different trade shows, and festivals. [Lott's of Art] pretty much became a resource to the community. We held different successful events in the mall for schools and community organizations," Cooper says happily. "Although our current space isn't as large as the store we had in the mall, the shop continues to connect with the community."
The African-based retailer inspires customers with its bursting selection of vibrant, beautiful fashion. Breaking retail boundaries and sharing cultural events, Lott's of Art fuses eclectic African apparel and global awareness while offering a heady mix of ready-to-wear clothing for women and children.
The chic selection of covetable accessories and decor make for the best unique gifts for those looking to stand out. Bold, colorful African skirts and infinity dresses interchangeable to be tied any which way are Lott's of Art’s top sellers, according to Cooper.
The globally inspired collections provide the best of year-round trends in art, fashion, and design, including abstract prints, bold colors, and uncommon materials such as African mud cloth. This holiday season, consider adding Lott's of Art to the list of places to shop local.