Aungie’s red Nissan pulled over next to the familiar corner of Broadway and Zimpel. She greeted me with a warm smile as I climbed into the back seat.
Aungie is originally from New Orleans and recently earned her bachelor’s degree at Southern University of New Orleans. She drives for both Uber and Lyft when she’s not working full time at the Hampton Inn hotel.
Aungie plans to move far beyond greeting guests at the front desk. Within the next year, she hopes to start school at the University of New Orleans (UNO) to pursue a Master’s degree in Business Administration. When asked what she hopes to achieve once she finishes school, she revealed her plans to start a business of her own selling handmade umbrellas.
“I like to make umbrellas. That’s what I’ve started to do: decorate umbrellas. I’ve been doing that for about a year now. So that’s kind of like my thing; I decorate umbrellas. Hopefully, I can expand that and move into a building to start my own business.”
For those not familiar with New Orleans, Aungie’s umbrellas are not your typical rainy day travel companion. They are representative of the city’s celebratory culture and are traditionally used for weddings, birthdays, and second lines.
Aungie’s umbrellas are unique and elaborately adorned.
“I hand make them, custom make them. I just get the umbrella and paint on it, put glitter on it, pictures, feathers, and stickers. I glue it, hot glue it, so everything stays.”
Apart from making umbrellas, Aungie also enjoys riding on Truck floats during Mardi Gras every year. This year she will be a part of the parade in Jefferson Parish-keep an eye out for Aungie throwing fedoras into the crowd!
Aungie’s piece of advice to Tulane students? Keep going and focus on looking ahead to the future!
Needless to say, I gave her 5 stars.
Aungie’s umbrellas can be found on her Instagram and Facebook business pages. To order, visit @aungieuniqueumbrellas or visit her Facebook Page.