In 1983, Kitty Roark began a business that has grown into one of North Louisiana’s most successful stories. Couleur Cosmetics Boutique & Acc. (“Couleur Boutique”) was birthed as a project for a stay-at-home mother of two who optimized her natural attention towards fashion and color observation into a retail success. Now located at Line Avenue, Kitty Roark and Couleur continue to bring old world charm and southern hospitality together with first class fashion and service to make Couleur one of Line Avenue’s most successful businesses.
Kitty Roark grew up in Soper, Oklahoma, the youngest of twelve siblings. Kitty Graduated from Soper High School, and was resolved to provide her children with more than she had as a child. Later attending Louisiana State University Shreveport, she was forced to take a permanent leave of absence to care for her two sons. Wanting to provide for her children, while using her natural artistic and fashion abilities, Kitty attended the Couleur Color Analysis studio in Houston Texas, where she excelled. After attending the Color Analysis training, on June 1, 1983, Kitty started Couleur; it began in a two hundred square foot office suite on the corner of Youree Drive and Kings Highway. In her second year of business, her associate company under which she trained recommended her to conduct color analysis classes aboard the Princess Cruise Ship better known as the “The Love Boat.” This was truly an experience of a lifetime that she was able to share with her husband.
Kitty understood early on that Color Analysis was only part of the equation; Color Analysis was generally a one-time service for her clients. Kitty wanted more. In her spare time and at night, she attended cosmetology school where she graduated at the top of her class. After being certified and licensed as an Esthetician by the State Licensing Board, Kitty began offering her Trademark custom blended cosmetics services, which Shreveport women know all too well. The custom-blending services were an immediate success. She very quickly outgrew her two hundred square-foot studio, and relocated to a more spacious location at Line Avenue and Pierremont Road. Kitty became a founding member of the Line Avenue merchants association, serving on the board of directors and as its treasurer.
In 1991, Kitty made the strategic decision to expand into lingerie, leasing a larger space. In 1996, Kitty opened a second location in Southpark Mall. This proved to be one of the most difficult experiences of the Couleur legacy. Said Kitty, “I just felt too stretched. I could not be there and make that business work while ensuring that the Line Avenue location’s needs were met with a high standard of care.” After two years, Kitty made the decision to put all of her efforts into the main location, a decision that has reaped many dividends. In 2003, Kitty expanded the Line Avenue store into its current 3600 square foot home, adding swimwear and resort wear to her growing line of merchandise. After a couple of years of success in her latest expansion, swimwear, Kitty decided, after much thought and research to go into the fashion world of clothing. She was able to obtain some of the most desirable lines of clothing and eveningwear, which rounded out her full service Boutique.
Kitty Roark and Couleur continue to excel amongst the North Louisiana merchants. She is a frequent lecturer on fashion and skin care for groups all over the south. She also assists in coordinating local events such as the Ms. U.S.A., Ms. Louisiana, and many local pageants; she has also hosted fashion shows in connection with the Independence Bowl, some of the local Casinos, as well as several social and service organizations. Kitty continues to be a member of the Greater Shreveport Chamber of Commerce, Better Business Bureau, Shreveport Bossier Executive Association, the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma and the University Church of Christ, where she and her Husband attend. Indeed, Kitty Roark has turned a small, at home hobby into one of Shreveport’s most viable and recognized businesses. Moving from Soper Oklahoma to Line Avenue, Kitty and Couleur are poised as one of Shreveport’s finest retail merchants, and one of its most endearing success stories.