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Vanessa Broussard takes community inside her new boutique ZaZa’s

NEDERLAND — Vanessa Broussard’s eye for fashion is no secret.

Dressed in a crisp white shirt, white jean jacket paired with lemon-yellow ankle-length skirt and tan heels complete with belt and necklace, she appears as if she could be stepping out of a Hallmark Channel movie — and into a small town boutique.

And she is.

Broussard is preparing to open her own boutique, ZaZa’s at 3500 Nederland Ave., in Nederland in the site of a former Verizon store.

The building is being gutted and remodeled, going from a store filled with technology to a girly boutique.

“I didn’t want anything big, just small and quaint, welcoming. It was perfect,” Broussard said.

The Emmy nominated news anchor, producer and KBMT 12News Daybreak anchor has been thinking of opening a boutique since 2013 and has already had her DBA, or “Doing Business As” name registered for seven years.

“Life happens, a lot of excitement, a lot of sorrow, ups and downs,” she said. “It’s the perfect time. The building was available and it’s the perfect location.”

And no need to worry, Broussard will still have her spot at 12News. She’s just adding boutique owner to her career.

The name ZaZa’s comes from a family nickname for her. As a toddler she couldn’t say “Vanessa” — it came out as ZaZa. Her family still calls her this and now here she is with her own boutique, ZaZa’s.

“I wondered, am I crazy? We’re in the middle of COVID,” she said. But she knows a thing or two about the area. “Southeast Texas welcomes new businesses and supports them,” she said. “I have friends from other boutiques, and we don’t see each other as competition.”

Broussard recently walked around inside the building pointing out where the counter and dressing rooms will be and noted a section for a coffee bar; an addition to make it even more welcoming.

From midway in the room she looked toward the back area noting it looked like a giant closet. “What girls wouldn’t want their own house-sized closet?” she said.

Vanessa Broussard gestures to an area that will hold a coffee bar in her new boutique, ZaZa’s, in Nederland.

The inventory

Broussard loves the ladylike look and her comfy clothes. As soon as she is finished from the morning newscast, she jumps in her PJ’s.

Her online appearance often catches the attention of viewers, who contact her to ask where she bought a particular shirt or male viewers who say their wives love her shoes, where can they get them?

This being said, she will have a section for some of her favorite on-air picks.

And if a woman wants some help picking out an outfit, she’ll be there to help.

Merchandise will include a variety of dressy items to what you would wear while watching a Hallmark movie and everything in between, as well as jewelry. And she plans to work in a few private labels too.

“I went to market last week for the first time in Dallas,” she said. “All those clothes, stores and vendors, I bought a little of everything. There was so much to find. It was a girl’s dream, floors and floors of clothes and shoes.”

Broussard plans to open the boutique by the holidays.

Importance of small businesses

Kay DeCuir, executive director of the Nederland Economic Development Corporation, said small businesses are the backbone of the community.

Recently a group of 29 Nederland businesses who have been around 50 to 131 years were honored with a dinner, reception and certificates from Gov. Greg Abbott.

Since there are so many of these businesses, another group that’s been around 25 to 50 years will be honored next year and the year after that will be for businesses 25 and under.

“All of these are mom-and-pop, family-owned businesses, not franchises,” DeCuir said. “They truly are the bread and butter of the community. Many times we hear on national news that retail is dead. No. No. No. It’s the heartbeat.

“Through COVID and all of the hurricanes, our businesses have not missed a beat. It was Facebook Live and online sales and just knowing the background of all Vanessa has to offer, she’ll never miss a day.”