Bee and Dabney with their finds.
Before blogs, Facebook, or even websites two art teachers went looking for adventures in Asia. In 1978 Bee Fitzpatrick and Dabney Jacob took in the sights and smells of China, wading through the hustle and bustle so different from their laid back New Orleans. Amidst this whirlwind of new cultural experiences, Bee and Dabney found beautiful antiques, unique art objects, and most of all inspiration. This fateful trip would be the founding of Orient Expressed.
They began selling these distinctive objects in their native New Orleans. Bee and Dabney continued to return to Asia again and again, finding more goods to bring home. Their annual shows in and around New Orleans, featuring exotic asian antiques and artwork, became a wonderful success.
When their daughters were born, inspired by the beautiful fabrics found abroad and a desire to dress their children in uniquely beautiful clothing, Bee and Dabney began designing their own line of children’s clothes. They channeled their creativity and artistic personalities into designing and manufacturing hand-made clothing for boys and girls. Their small business soon grew into a national homeshow company, with reps all over the country. Orient Expressed continued to flourish and expanded to include a print catalog in 1996. These two innovators continued spear heading the homeshow field of business and developed their own website in 1999. Their beautifully detailed and colorful garments have a large audience for their design, quality, and competitive prices.
Dabney and her first grandchild
OE has remained a family business throughout its years. Forty-two women gather for work at 3905 Magazine Street. In our three renovated shot gun homes is the heart and soul of Orient Expressed. After thirty-four years, OE is a family that includes three generations of mothers, daughters, and even grandchildren. Bee and Dabney’s grandchildren now wear our clothing and many of our OE babies can be found in the catalogs!
After many years of creativity and customer service, OE loves that our new generation of employees in their 20’s and 30’s is adding a large dose of young and fresh design ideas and approaches to the needs of today’s young moms. Combined with the expertise and experience of our long term staff, we have a winning team that will meet the needs of our wide-range of customers from grandmothers to the newest moms.
Bee and her first grandchild
As we continue to evolve, Orient Expressed will always be a family that remains true to our belief that “dressing a child beautifully is one of life’s greatest pleasures.” Stay tuned for more from OE Expressions!