What's a retired school principal to do when she's got a large collection of vintage clothing, records and photos? In the case of Elizabeth Pfeffer Williams, she opens up a vintage costuming and memories shop in downtown Covington in a building her father owned near his attorney's office.
Closet" features just about anything one would need to jog a few
memories from the 1950's and beyond, from aprons and jackets to boots
and dresses. She also has on display a large number of photos, posters,
and sheet music from years gone by, including several featuring Elvis,
on the inside curve of the downtown pocket park on Tammany Trace near
the corner of New Hampshire and Gibson Streets, the shop has brought her
and her friends many hours of delightful reminiscing. She's open two
days a week, plus "by appointment," so the venture doesn't take away too
much from her family and grandfamily activities.
served in the school system as a teacher and administrator for 33
years, and now she is enjoying minding the shop, meeting visitors to
Covington, and interacting with the young people who have re-discovered
the clothing styles of long ago, as well as the joy of listening to
vinyl LP's and 45's.
come to me looking for clothing for themed weddings and birthday
parties," she said. "And the English Tea Room has those themed teas
every month, so I have a lot of people coming in and looking at hats for
has also had a number of movie costume directors visit her shop.
Whenever there's a movie being shot in Covington, she can expect to be
discovered by the costumer. With her low prices, they are often
overwhelmed by what's available. "They've come in here with empty
roll-around clothes racks and just filled them up for the movie
production," she said.
visitors from out of state, many of them staying at the Southern Hotel,
will come by the shop to enjoy the walk down memory lane, trying on
things, and asking for advice on where to eat and what to do while in
Covington. "I have menus from local restaurants that I just give them,"
she noted. One time two visitors arrived at her door, not only from out
of state staying at the Southern Hotel, but also having done their
homework ahead of time seeking out vintage clothing stores in the area
to visit while they were here.
"I meet a lot of interesting people," she smiled. "They come and take pictures with me."
shop was scheduled to open on August 30, 2005, but a windstorm named
Katrina had other ideas. The doors were officially opened in November of
that year. The shop is named in honor of her mother Rosemary.
things interesting is her specialty, changing inventory seasonally, and
making sure there is a variety of new items to keep return customers
happy. Elizabeth has been honored by the Playmakers theater group for
her costuming efforts, and two years ago she won the Best Actress award
for her on-stage performance.
her many years in the school system, on theater stages, and with a
solid Covingtonian background, there are many people who have come to
rely on her shop, her knowledge and her expertise. She does all this to
help bring a smile to people's faces, and they appreciate her efforts to
help them recapture the look and feel of happier times. "I just tell
them to come play dress up," she said.