"Here you come, looking all sleek and smooth in a high-swathed sheath that does jewelry tricks. There you go, looking provocatively feminine in new hip-harem drapes.”
You could have purchased this stunning fashion statement in 1945 for $19.95--in downtown Lake Jackson, Texas! Thanks to a stylish, generous, sweet lady, Julia May, who brought fashion to Lake Jackson.
Julia May moved to Lake Jackson with her husband, Bill May, in 1943 after Bill was hired by Dow Chemical. She taught second grade for a few years before she purchased the dress shop in 1945, a business she ran for 45 years.
The windows in front of the store were always decked in the latest styles to show customers samples of fashion trends available in the store. She carried a vast array of women’s clothing, ranging from casual to dressy, and was known for her selection of lingerie.
The store had a 3-way mirror -novel for its day- with kids' toys to play with while mom shopped. Julia was the heart and soul of the store. She also managed to find time to be an outstanding citizen of the Lake Jackson community, having the mayor name September 24, 2004, as Julia Sansing May Day!
Julia passed away at the age of 97 years on April 17, 2012. This location became the home of Carriage Flowers. It is now slated for a coffee shop, STARDUST Art & Coffee House. Carriage Flowers is relocating to an area near The Local.
LaVelle’s, operated by Julia May for 45 years, from 1945 until 1990, is a legend from the early days of Lake Jackson, as is Julia, whose generous, kind spirit lives on in our memories.
She was very proud of her hometown of Lake Jackson and spent her life giving back her time and money to the city she loved.
-By Fran Hammond
Julia May, owner of LaVelle's
LaVelle's Shop, located at 117 N. Parking Place on the corner of Parking Place Circle Way.