June 2, 2010 06:00
Wednesday, June 4, 2010
Written by Lanie Cook

Euphoria's Pat and Tausha pack it in to hit the road.

It's been a long 14 years since Pat Marken and Tausha Lell set up shop at 712 Congress St.

Baby dolls hung from the ceilings of Euphoria's original, deep purple interior when it opened in 1996 as one of Lafayette's first tattoo and piercing parlors. Where stacks of funky fabrics, old collectibles and vintage clothing are now housed, one could get inked, pierced or even hang around for a psychic reading.

Pat remembers it as a "freak show."

Seeking a change in atmosphere, they changed their name to name to 712 Designs some two years later and shifted the store's focus toward local art, regularly highlighting more than 50 artists' work in the shop. Pat also trained in upholstery work and began featuring revamped vintage furniture in the store.

Add that to a much-loved wall of $5 jeans - which evolved into a readily available offering of vintage clothing - and Euphoria slowly became the place we know today, the prime source of "re-retail" (as Tausha coins it) in the Lafayette area, selling clothes, vinyls, books, furniture (original and reupholstered), jewelry (both vintage and recycled), incense, oils - a haven for free spirits and creative minds.

Now, a new sign dangles in front of the vibrant yellow cottage with burnt orange trim. "Van Eaton & Romero," reads the familiar, bright red logo, triggering the rumors: Is Euphoria relocating? Changing ownership? Going out of business?

"We're going to Oregon!" answers Pat excitedly.

After a good run in Cajun country - with only two consecutive weeks vacation in 14 years - the duo decided at the end of last year to sell their store, their house, buy a camper and make up for years of lost travel, with ultimate plans to touch down in Tausha's home state.

"We just want a new adventure," Pat adds.

"It was the right move because everything's falling into place really easily," says Tausha, noting that the house, which is behind the store, attracted a buyer after only one week on the market. "We freaked out a little because everything moved so fast. It's the right time."

But they won't be completely off the map once Euphoria closes. Select items, including Tausha's homemade recycled jewelry, will still be available at their etsy.com online shop under the listing "712 Euphoria." In the meantime, expect some unbelievable sales, as well as an estate sale once the purchase of their home is finalized.

Euphoria is one of just a few providers of vintage clothing and goods in the Lafayette area - a market that's blown up recently in an era of resurging indie trends. An absence of Euphoria means the absence of a vintage provider in Lafayette all together.

"We're very upset about that," Tausha laments, but as Pat later notes: "We're not trendy."

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