Women Business Owners Bring Progress To The Pass

"My kitchen, I'll have cabinets on that wall and then a bar that comes out," said Nanette Carter, as she gave visitors a tour of her sturdy dream house.

It's taking shape on Second Street. We last visited five months ago, when concrete walls were being formed on the modernistic structure. Turning ambitious plans into two stories of concrete and steel is a challenge that's taking longer than expected.

"I had to weld the whole thing together, because the thing didn't fit like it was supposed to. That's another problem," she explained.

Carter now has a worker she can rely on; one who's delivered everything he's promised. Unfortunately, that hasn't always been the case in building this combination residence-retail business.

"People I've trusted, things didn't pan out. Live and learn. Don't ever pay 'em until they're done," she warns others.

Just down the street, a bright yellow business is beginning to blossom.

"It's not completely done. But it's a first step. You keep going," said Lisa Troung.

The owner of Sunset Nail Salon thought about leaving town after Katrina. But her childen and her customers helped convince her to rebuild in the Pass.

Despite a project that took "longer than expected," she has no regrets.

"It was hard. It was hard. Struggling. Step by step, but I made it. My customers were pushing me, saying you're going to do fine. You're going to make it," she said.

Room for new retail space behind the salon should be ready in the next two months.

Down the street, Nanette Carter is counting the days until she can vacate the trailer, and enjoy the views from her second floor living space.

"Two, two and a half weeks. Or my daughter and I are going to kill each other," said a laughing Carter.

Carter will lease the bottom floor to a local restaurant owner. It will soon be home to the "Pass Christian Pizza Company."