My New Orleans Story

My New Orleans genealogy can be traced to 1828 when my ancestors emigrated from Alsace. My ancestry is a rich tapestry of German, English, Sicilian, Irish, French, Scottish, and Swiss roots. 
The "love letter" that is widely used in my work was written by my ancestors. The love letters were written during a three year separation due to a death in the family.
Heather Elizabeth's New Orleans ancestors
Some of my New Orleans Ancestors.  One of my ancestors photographed by noted New Orleans photographer, T. Lilienthal on Canal Street. My 3rd Great Grandmother Sarah Hickey born in Liverpool, England. Photo taken at Washburn Studios in New Orleans.

Central Coffee & Butter Depot

  Central Coffee and Butter depot building

Great Grandfather John Bennett Willig, Sr. (right) standing in front of his business, the Central Coffee and Butter Depot during the late 1890s. The neighborhood suffered a terrible fire in 1908 and this building was burned to the ground. My ancestor worked tirelessly to rebuild another structure at the very same site. This building is located at 4238 Magazine Street where La Petite Grocery Restaurant is presently doing business. La Petite Grocery has recently been awarded 4 beans by the Times Picayune. Click here to learn more about this fine restaurant.

More History

Heather's great uncle Joseph Cannatella with his candy truck in the 1920s.
Heather's mother, grandmother, and aunt.
Heather's father as a baby sitting on his mother's lap
Great Uncle Joseph Cannatella proudly standing near his truck. The Cannatella family made some of the best chocolate covered candy in New Orleans during the 1920s and 1930s. My mother (far right) and her older sister (middle) at their house on First Street in the heart of the Irish Channel in the 1950s. They were excitedly wearing their Mardi Gras costumes handmade by grandmother. Mom was an “ice skater.”

My father with his beautiful mother in the 1940s.



Local Buzz

Over the past two decades, Heather and her jewelry have been featured in local media. Here are a few of her favorite appearances. 
The Times Picayune WISH, “Mardi Gras Mementos”, Feb 2016 Article from The Times Picayune WISH, “Mardi Gras Mementos”, Feb 2016, featuring Heather's Arthur Hardy Mardi Gras Collection
The Times Picayune WISH, “Mardi Gras Mementos,” Feb 2016
Article and story fromThe Times Picayune WISH, “Mardi Gras Mementos,” Feb 2016

Heather Elizabeth Contributions

Heather Elizabeth Designs has proudly supported these wonderful non-profits: Roots of Music, New Orleans City Park, St. Bernard Project, Louisiana SPCA, Humane Society of LA, The New Orleans Musicians' Clinic, Tipitina's Foundation, Raphael Academy, The ARC of Greater New Orleans, American Red Cross & Salvation Army.