By Seva May

When the company your family income depends on is bought out by a bigger company you might start thinking about doing something else.  Like buy your own franchise and watch it blossom so much that you’re able to quit the corporate game and be your own boss.

Jamie and Tim Kochakian did just that when Jamie got into the Novus Glass business. She worked hard for several years until Tim felt confident enough to quit his job and work Novus full-time.

NOVUS Glass is part of Fix Network, the world’s fastest-growing automotive aftermarket services network. The Kochakians knew, probably from personal experience, that sooner or later every automobile owner would experience a chip in their windshield. They also discovered that Novus had a stellar reputation and provided the credibility, tools, and products to help the Kochakians succeed.  They now have two locations to serve Shreveport and Bossier City.

Once Tim came on board, Jamie was able to focus on opening a gift shop – a dream she had for as long as she could remember.  Much thought went into this decision.  One, of which, was what kind of gifts would she feature in her shop.  One other was what should the name be.  She decided early that she wanted to carry Louisiana-themed gifts and products and to promote locally sourced items. Her mother then came up with the name that originated from a traditional Cajun waltz popularized in the 1940s.  It’s sometimes called “the Cajun National Anthem.”  The name was music to Jamie’s ears, and she was off and running.

Located in the same building as Novus Glass, Jolie Blonde gifts often spills over into the glass shop’s waiting room.  Tim has no problem with that because he knows Jamie is living her dream. And what a dream it is.  You’ll discover as soon as you step through the doors that you have found your go-to place for all your gift-giving needs.  You’ll find everything from jewelry to tea towels made from recycled water bottles.  Baby gifts and signed children’s books from local authors.  An incredible selection of bath bombs, lotions, and candles. You can even find that hard-to-shop for men’s gifts such as LSU Tiger coolers and travel bags, novelty socks, Toad Fish for fishermen, and grooming items. Gifts for the home, florals, food items – y’all she has Mayhaw jelly from Cumberland Farms, and cookbooks. 

Seasonal décor, unique watchbands, wreath sashes, garden flags, and purse straps. The list goes on and on and each time you visit you are sure to find something you hadn’t seen on your last visit. Jamie goes out of her way to find Louisiana suppliers. She began by working the Facebook angle to find her sources.  Now, with a solid reputation and customer satisfaction to back it up, suppliers are reaching out to her. 

 Jamie will always focus on carrying Louisiana and Local artists’ products.  Jamie doesn’t think she’ll ever retire and says, “It’s been neat to watch local artists grow.” One visit to Jolie Blonde and you’ll know just how much love she pours into her work. You should “waltz in” sometime and experience the wonders of Jolie Blonde. 

Jolie Blondes is located at 9210 Wallace Lake Road, Suite A in Shreveport (Right next to Novus Glass)