Mary Lou Roszkowski [center] is pictured with her Geez Louise Boutique team, Meg Knight, buyer [right] and Jackie Reeves [left] general manager.
Building legendary restaurants from the grassroots that overcame catastrophic hurricane damage, relocation, reconstruction and challenging economic times, is an amazing success story for a girl who was educated at the school of hard knocks. However for Mary Lou Roszkowski, co-owner and vice-president of operations at the Original Oyster House restaurants, this was just the beginning. With loving support from her husband Joe and her partners [Jane and David Dekle], she has since founded several retail stores including the Original Oyster House Trading Company and Geez Louise Boutique. Her achievements are driven by her passions, her faith and by surrounding herself with an incredible extended family as she credits her team for her success.
“Having cut my teeth in the restaurant business, it came naturally when Joe and I partnered with Jane and David Dekle and opened our first Original Oyster House in Gulf Shores in 1983. We wanted to create an environment that we would want to work in,” explained Roszkowski.
“When rental space opened next to the restaurant, Joe asked if I could create a retail store,” explained Roszkowski. “Not really knowing anything about retail, I began to purchase and sell a lot of kid’s products, women’s jewelry and t-shirts. Five years later another space opened on the Boardwalk and Joe asked me to create a boutique different from the Original Oyster House Trading Company.”
In 2010 Mary [Louise] Roszkowski opened her namesake Geez Louise Boutique. “I wanted the boutique to carry everything, apparel, shoes, jewelry, unique gifts and accessories plus lots of great brands like Free People, Lauren James, Vera Bradley, Jack Rogers and Level 99 to name a few,” explained Roszkowski.
“The store expresses the soulful Southern styles where pearls go with everything and customers can always find colorful, fun clothing from preppy to boho as well as unique pieces with their own individual story.”
Today Geez Louise stands true to its name and is filled with a little bit of everything in an environment of southern charm and friendliness! We hope you will come see us in Gulf Shores!
Meg graduated from the University of Alabama with a degree in Interior Design. While studying at Alabama, she met her husband, a South Alabama boy, who brought her to the coast. In 2010, Meg helped launch Geez Louise as store manager. As the boutique grew, she became a buyer for both retail stores (Geez Louise & Trading Company). Meg holds her faith and her values near and dear to her heart and strives to display those values in the products she selects for each store. She believes there is nothing better than spending time with family. Her close-knit roots reach all the way up to North Alabama. And, she loooves food!
Jackie arrived on the Gulf coast in the summer of 2012 from Tuscaloosa, with her youngest daughter in tow. She is the General Manager of Geez Louise and Trading Company, with an extensive background in retail and business from owning three businesses. Being a coastal retail shop manager provides many diverse opportunities for Jackie to mold the future of young employees. Jackie is the mother of three girls and there is never a dull moment in her household. Jackie enjoys spending all her spare time with her daughters and two pups. Jackie enjoys working for a family owned business which shares the same values as her own, as faith and family are very important to her.