BEAUMONT, Texas — The Majestic Krewe of Aurora is the founding Krewe of Mardi Gras southeast Texas. Every year they host the grand ball, and the Saturday Grand Parade, and dress up in intricate costumes to match the theme chosen for that year. Marie Broussard has been sewing those costumes for the past 18 years.
"I still enjoy it after sewing for so many years, I really do, so not too many people can say they still enjoy what they do, and I do," Broussard said.
Broussard's love for sewing was sparked more than 50 years ago. She started out of necessity. Broussard says her husband had just started working for Port Arthur ISD, and money was tight. With a three year old, and a baby on the way, Broussard had to get creative.
Broussard encourages everyone who wants to learn to sew to not give up or be discouraged if you're first things don't come out how you expected.
"You learn, and the idea is just believe in yourself and don't give up, that's the secret I think, to anything but sewing especially," she said.
When she first started, she sewed only for her kids, her grandmother, and her mom. As the kids got into school, Broussard said she started being asked to make Halloween costumes, play costumes, and so much more.
"I've never had a lesson, this is a god given talent, it really is and I'm blessed to be able to do what I can do," Broussard said.
Flash forward 30 years, Broussard was approached by the Krewe of Aurora about bringing some designs for Mardi Gras costumes to life. A friend of a friend, who knew she sewed, told the head of Aurora about her skills.
"It was on a trial basis, if they liked my work I like their conditions of work you know then it would be a good match," Broussard explained.
Sure enough, it was. In fact, it turned out to be just what Broussard needed.
"My husband was sick at the time, he died 13 years ago and it was something that, sewing was always something that I could do and not have to leave the home," she explained.
Every year the Krewe brings her designs and fabric for 12 men's and 12 women's costumes. For the men she sews elaborate pants, jackets, and even shirts and vests if necessary, and for the ladies, beautifully embellished dresses.
"We try to strive for each one to be different and unique in it's own way and I think that's what keeps it interesting," Broussard explained.
She typically starts working on the costumes in May every year, but can get them done in six months time if she needs to. However, it's not until the ball in February that Broussard gets to see the full effect of her work.
"Under the lights at the ball it's just a whole new thing and I'm thinking 'did I really do that?' 'I guess I really did that.'" Broussard said with a laugh.
Broussard has enjoyed working with the great people involved with Mardi Gras. She says she's more of a homebody, and being able to do what she loves and have people come to her works out beautifully. Although this year's grand parade is still to come, Broussard is already looking forward to next year.
"We always try to out do the year before, it's getting where it's kind of hard to do," Broussard said.
She's praying for nice weather and a lot of fun in the days to come!