Each month, Coast Monthly visits with some of the most charming people on the Texas Coast to chat about their style.
Holly Lilley and her husband, Keith, both have an affinity for the Big Easy. So, opening Marais, a New Orleans-inspired restaurant in Dickinson, was only fitting.
Their League City home is close by, which is a good thing, because they spend most of their waking hours at Marais and their other restaurant, Dickinson Bar-B-Que. Holly Lilley prefers to be behind the scenes, taking care of permits and administrative work, she said. Before the restaurants, she worked in retail, was a paralegal and a stay-at-home mom caring for her two sons.
Holly Lilley enjoys walking Galveston beaches and likes to wind down at Maceo Spice & Import Co. for that downtown island restaurant’s famous muffulettas.
“One day, we’ll have a house in Galveston close to all our favorite places,” she said.
Describing her fashion style as “conservative casual,” Lilley likes to wear shorts, T-shirts and sundresses in the summer, she said.
Here are a few of her favorite things:
Oyster plate: When we were building Marais, I started collecting oyster plates. They were very popular in 1890-1910, and we have about 30 on display. This one is my favorite.
Barware: I also collect mid-century barware, and this was my first set — six glasses with matching ice bucket from a shop on Royal Street in New Orleans.
Dog statue: I used to breed and show schipperkes. This is a Sandicast replica of Harley, our last show dog. He lived to be almost 18 years old.
Swizzle stick: This is a Cartier 1930s swizzle stick worn around the necks of ladies during that era. It was unbecoming for wealthy women to belch while drinking Champagne, so they would stir it, making it go flat. Adelaide Brennan, of the Brennan Restaurant clan in New Orleans, wore a swizzle stick.
Shoes: I got these in Maui several years ago. The wooden heels have been hand-carved and the upper material is beaded with a floral design. They aren’t that comfortable to wear, but I fell in love with them anyway.
Seaside carvings: I got these tagua nut carvings at the Ocean Star Offshore Oil Rig & Museum in Galveston. The tagua palm tree is native to Ecuador, and a renewable resource. In a single year, the tree can produce up to 20 pounds of nuts, year after year.
Watch: This is my first Movado watch given to me by my husband over 20 years ago. It’s a harmony bracelet bangle with mother of pearl face that I wear often. It’s sentimental to me.
Ring: This is my grandmother’s wedding ring from 1940. Although she had it repurposed later on, it’s a real treasure to have.