From the 1880’s until the early years of the 2000’s, a group known as The Woman’s Exchange operated a consignment shop, called the Exchange Shop, that was developed to help support women around the community. First located on Bourbon Street, then expanded to Royal, it was moved to 818 St. Louis Street by the 1940’s…September 1946 to be exact. This Exchange Shop allowed for women to sell both home-made goods and family heirlooms in order to supplement their incomes.
Over the years, The Exchange Shop became a staple in French Quarter shopping. It survived and thrived through the Depression and World War II, and eventually became a hotspot for locals to find antiques at a fair price. Home-made goods continued to sell through the 1970’s and 1980’s as well, including Hermann-Grima House pralines. As time marched on, the space eventually became more of a museum shop and educational space to augment the Hermann-Grima House Museum, focusing on books and special exhibits.
In the spring of 2011, the Hermann-Grima Historic House Museum, has worked to restore the consignment shop in a different syle. Instead of antiques, The Exchange Shop now sells works of art created by local female artists.
While still considered on consignment, The Exchange Shop gives the opportunity to local artists to show their work in a prime location in the French Quarter, express their artistic talents, and support themselves much like The Woman’s Exchange sought to do when it first opened in 1881.