Boutique du Vampyre was established in 1843 in
709 1/2 St. Ann Street
New Orleans, LA 70116
Pictured: Marita and Steve Crandle, Anne Guthrie, and Elke
Marita Woywod Crandle grew up in Germany in the early 1700s. Turned Vampire in 1764, Crandle fled her former life in Germany and traveled to Transylvania to explore her connection to Vlad Tempes, who was also a Voivode.
Marita found nothing but terror and heart ache among the Romanians, so she spent her time traveling the world and learning about various cultures. Then Bram Stoker wrote his novel, Dracula, and created much interest in Vampires. Crandle opened Boutique du Vampyre in Transylvania (open from midnight to sunrise) marketing only to nocturnals. The boutique's popularity quickly grew, and word of the shop spread quickly among the Vampire nation. Those who could walk by night found it difficult to find all they needed among the living, so having a place where they could relax, shop, and find everything they needed was well received.
Tired of Transylvania and her suppressed and quiet life in Romania, Crandle left in 1889, and took the shop with her to New York, where Americans were enjoying themselves and night life was plentiful. There she found Anne Guthrie. Anne was a young vampire in need of direction, and she craved purpose. Marita took Anne under her wing, and Anne took on many responsibilities of the shop. In New York, Marita and Anne enjoyed themselves with culture and night life and also served as guardians for the mortals in the city.
Many a vampire had migrated from the old world to New York, but recklessness among them was on the cusp of explosion. Vampires at this time felt they were superior to mortals, and some forgot that they were also once human. Marita and Anne spent many evenings having to close the shop before sunrise to police their city and remind vampires they entertained that bringing attention to their kind would be nothing but detrimental.
It was at this time that Marita met Steve Crandle, a vampire from New Orleans. Crandle was living life large in New York, with little regard for those he hurt in the process. While Marita found him handsome, she knew he was dangerous to her kind. However, the two had a strong attraction, and Marita's more subtle ways made sense to Crandle, who enjoyed living among mortals. Marita and Steve fell in love, and Crandle joined the boutique team as both security and head of sales.
Steve became greatly homesick for New Orleans and convinced Marita to move her boutique to the Crescent City in 1942. Marita and Anne immediately fell in love with everything New Orleans had to offer. It was a wonderful place for vampires. It was easy to feed without attention. The town's transient and careless nature kept blood flowing freely. While travelers could not remember how they had become slightly wounded and light-headed, they didn't seem to care. The excitement of the city overwhelmed them, leaving no suspicion of anything but too much overindulgence.
Many wonderful years for the three passed, and over the centuries, humans knowledge of vampires turned to admiration and desire, rather than fear alone. Many new novels and films appeared that glamorized a vampire's existence. When Marita heard of Anne Rice and read her wonderful, thoughtful depictions of her kind, she knew this was someone she had to meet. Anne Rice now signs books for Marita to auction off to benefit her canine rescue organization, New Orleans Fairy-Tails.
Marita, Steve and Anne Guthrie discussed their evolution and the new acceptance of vampires among the living. They made the decision in 2003 to open the boutique not just to vampires, but to mortals alike. Not only would it increase sales substantially; it was a pioneering move for Vampires to have an open presence among humans.
The shop is now open from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. for both
mortals and vampires.
mortals and vampires.