Hi! I’m Meredith Waguespack, CEO and founder of Sweet Baton Rouge®.
The journey with Sweet Baton Rouge® began in October of 2010 when I had a vision to create a t-shirt brand that focused on my passion for Gamedays. You can read more about that here: Launching Your Own T-Shirt Business: A Step-by-Step Guide. Of course, I landed on the brand name after listening to “Callin’ Baton Rouge'' over and over again!
This business has evolved into a platform through which I express my unwavering support for all things local. Whether it's contributing to local businesses and philanthropies, designing Louisiana-themed T-shirts, or managing our Lagniappe Box – a quarterly subscription service that has served as a platform for local businesses for seven years – I’m all about doing anything I can to celebrate the state that I call home. Transitioning from North Louisiana to South Louisiana twenty-five years ago, I love to shine a light on both living experiences.
I am most proud of being a small-town girl who moved to Baton Rouge, Louisiana, and the legacy I am creating through Sweet Baton Rouge®. From having the opportunity to donate over $85,000 to the Baton Rouge Food Bank in honor of the Cajun Navy to the charitable organization we have been able to contribute to through our Geaux Pink partnership with Mary Bird Perkins Center to Thrive Foundation school supplies drive to Flower Fest & Fork Cancer—these opportunities to use our platform to give back are just incredible when I think about what this business has been able to do. You will learn more soon about our own non-profit we are developing that marries my passions for philanthropy and academics, which I struggled with as an adolescent and through college. I believe you are never too old to return back to school and follow your dreams. My journey reflects incredible determination, from moving and struggling with academic challenges to earning a degree in marketing after two failed attempts at college. My journey I have endured demonstrates my commitment to personal growth, overcoming obstacles, and building resilience. Soon we will introduce a non-profit initiative named The Petey’s Scholarship with an essence is to provide a deserving student who may also struggle with academic and financial challenges. I’ve invited my two oldest best friends to sit on the board with me as they witness first hand my challenges and have supported me in every way. This concept has lingered in my thoughts throughout this year amid personal and business challenges but resilience has shown me the importance of pursuing my dreams and building a legacy with Sweet Baton Rouge® despite all obstacles.
Earlier this year, we found ourselves navigating through a period of significant change that prompted us to pause and reflect. Change is undeniably challenging, especially when it catches you off guard. Today, I'm opening up and sharing a vulnerable moment with you. Earlier this year, I relinquished my ownership stake in Local Pop Up, a business concept that was brought to life back in 2016 when we were in our showroom. This journey later began with the Sweet Baton Rouge® Local Pop Up Holiday market at Perkins Rowe in 2018-19, then evolved into a partnership in 2020, and then later transformed into the market series at Electric Depot in 2021, culminating with the launch of Local Supply in 2022. I personally was pulled to step down as the co-owner of both organizations marking the end of a bittersweet chapter, but just the beginning of a new one for both myself and Sweet Baton Rouge® this year. Throughout this transformative period, you have witnessed shifts in designers + varying creative directions and looks. This transition has been overwhelmingly scary—moving from having a single designer for an extended period to taking on the role of project manager and collaborating with multiple designers to breathe life into each unique concept. Needless to say I’ve never felt so empowered as I have this year.
We're propelling ahead with clear visions and ambitious goals for this brand, and having you on this journey with me adds a special layer to it all! Witnessing your love for these new challenges and designs has been incredibly meaningful and more than words can be expressed. Making difficult decisions is difficult for a reason. However, 2023 has been a lesson in perseverance during hard times, reminding me not to stop, and to keep GEAUXing forward. You have also witnessed a transformation in our brand identity t hanks to the team at X Design this year that beautifully encapsulates the evolving vision of Sweet Baton Rouge®. With 13 years of an incredible journey it still feels surreal to reflect on building a business from $500 and selling t-shirts out of my car to what it has become today. The journey is truly remarkable, and I owe it all to your unwavering love and support for our small business all 13 years, and to my exceptional employees who have been an integral part of this incredible journey.
Let's end on a thrilling note with a big reveal! Now that you have a more in-depth understanding of our origin, we're excited to share a significant announcement: Sweet Baton Rouge® is moving from Electric Depot to Perkins Rowe. While this transition won't happen overnight, we encourage you to keep a close eye on our emails and stay connected on social media for updates. Our target date for the grand opening is set for the week of Thanksgiving allowing us to celebrate BFCM and Small Business Saturday (Emblem Bag SBS Special) with you in our new space. It's a full-circle moment from our curation in the 2018-19 Sweet Baton Rouge® Local Pop Up at Perkins Rowe.
We're moving between Barnes & Noble and Versona and across from the new Caroline's Cookies inside Perkins Rowe. Sweet Baton Rouge® will be featuring an incredible wallpaper design crafted by Aline Prints + Design not just for our store but also for an exciting announcement we can't wait to share that also may begin with someone else's Origin. As you exit Barnes & Noble, we'll be the first store to your left as you head into Perkins Rowe, proudly situated across from our friends at Carolines Cookies. Get ready for a splash of purple on the left side of Perkins Rowe and the future home of Sweet Baton Rouge® as we end 2023 and begin our new adventures in 2024 and years to come.