♠ Groovy Vintage Clothing ♣ Vinyl ♥ Weird Stuff ♦ Original Artwork ♠
“Besides, the name of the place fascinated him. Needful Things: what, exactly, did that mean?” -Stephen King, Needful Things (1991)
The spot that is quickly becoming one of Shreveport’s hottest boutiques began in—of all places—Vivian, Louisiana by visionary proprietor Corina Richter. With Radiohead playing in the background we sat comfortably behind her counter, surrounded by a colorful array of enough visual opulence to give someone a temporary case of ADHD. Richter began to tell the story of how Needful Things came to be.
“I sold advertising forever,” she began. “I love to sell things. I started selling on eBay, and I got really good at it. I had over 14,000 transactions, and I realized I had been sitting there for three or four days and needed to shower. I knew something had to change.” After Richter and her family moved into a house they inherited in northern Caddo Parish, she decided to open a shop in Vivian. Although the store was making money, she discovered that the clientele she might gain from her surroundings was not exactly the type that would frequent her establishment. “They avoided me like the plague,” she admitted. “There’s not a lot to do [in Vivian], especially if you’re not from there and don’t know anyone.”
Richter loved the spot, but the hospital began to expand and they bought her property as part of the expansion, so she decided to pack up and move to a place where people would really appreciate the kind of vision she has for her future; a place where artists and musicians and creative types work together to express themselves; a place where a boutique like the one she was planning couldn’t possibly go overlooked.
Needful Things opened just under a year ago at 504 E. Kings Highway, Suite D*. It’s a really groovy little spot at the corner of East Kings and Beverly Place, right beside El Compadre and facing Broadmoor Garage. Other units in the building are currently housed by a variety of new businesses that include a pizza joint and Madison Isabella’s Boutique, but Richter’s place is one that really stands out. It’s definitely the most interesting, the most colorful, and a definite draw to anyone familiar with the associations one might have with its name.
“My husband came up with the name,” Richter laughs. “I read the book and watched the movie, and it’s perfect. The perfect name.” And Richter is right. Needful Things is, like the shop in the Stephen King novel, a thrift store that has the object of anyone’s desires. “We have vintage clothing. We have a lot of original artwork. Basically, we have stuff that is not mass manufactured. A lot of handmade things that are appealing to the eye.”
Additionally, Needful Things has been hosting a weekly music jam on Sundays. “We’ve been just setting up outside and having some artists—whatever you wanna do, just come out and do it. It’s really laid back and fun.”
While operating the previous shop in Vivian, she didn’t carry clothing for men. “They were oilfield workers, so there was no need.” Now, Richter is pleased to be carrying men’s clothes for the first time, and she is proud to know that her store has also become a one-stop shopping haven for tons of musicians around the area. Big local names like Michael Hitt (Stiff Necked Fools), Stan Hoffman, Robin Black, and John Hoffman are all cruising the threads and sporting some of the attire in their shows.
But clothes aren’t everything Richter offers her customers. There’s a giant “mountain goat” hanging on one of the walls Richter has named “Rodney,” a variety of collectibles, a pair of handcuffs hanging beside the register, books, media, and an assortment of items that are begging Shreveporters to come out and see for themselves. With reasonable pricing and the kind of stock that one is more likely to see in New Orleans, Austin, Texas, or Manhattan, Richter has really put her finger on the pulse of something that our city has needed for a long time. Follow them on Facebook here!
Needful Things is now located at 3215 Line Avenue.
The Hours of Operation are “Odd.”
*Needful Things is now located at 3215 Line Avenue — right above Timeline Antiques.