Debra Monahan dreamed of opening a gift store (a Hallmark store to be exact) when she was a little
girl.  She reveled in the idea of having a store where people would come in and thoughtfully pick out a
gift or card for a loved one.  Those dreams easily gave way to a master’s degree in business and a 15
year history in BtoB corporate sales in New York.  In March of 2005 she moved to Old Town, Alexandria,
Virginia at the behest of her boyfriend.  She continued to work for her NY firm and had aspirations of
moving back to NY within 2 years.  

It took 6 months in Old Town before she was completely and utterly in love with the community – it
became her muse and inspiration for opening that store that she dreamed about as a girl. “How could
you not love the cobblestone streets, gas lanterns, and numerous boutiques and pubs?” says Debra.   
She left corporate America in November of 2005 and began her business plan in January 2006.  On
November 20, 2006 her dream became a reality; not with a Hallmark store but with a self conceived
gallery/gift store filled with work whose purpose is to do one of three things:  inspire, provoke thought or
bring about a smile (better yet, a laugh) - hence "Gifts with Purpose".   The store was filled with bright
wall colors such as lapis blue, tangerine, banana yellow and apple green that converged on the
senses before you even had an opportunity to discover the merchandise.  

January 23, 2011 was the last day that the brick and mortar store at 108 N Patrick St. was open.  Due to
a sluggish economy store traffic had substantially declined and it just didn't make sense to support the
large overhead that a retail location requires.  Luckily, La Muse's unique products and outstanding
customer service have developed a loyal customer base at our e-commerce site  
Our office is located in Old Town Alexandria, VA.
About Us >
La Muse
a Live with Gratitude, Inc company
What is "gifts with purpose"?
When we choose work for La Muse we aspire that it
may meet one (or more) of three objectives:  
To Inspire, To Provoke Thought &/or To Make You
Smile(better yet, Laugh!)
Visit Debra's
See us on
Facebook too!!
Pictures circa November 2006 - January 2011
108 N Patrick St.  Alexandria, VA  22314
Darryel & Debra were married on Monday,
November 12, 2007 in Aruba.  
Check out the photos!

Owners:  Darryel, Debra & Lemieux!
Click Here
for awesome pictures of the
January 20, 2009
Inauguration of Barack Obama
La Muse entered a contest through Intuit (the
makers of Turbo Tax and Quickbooks).  Our
customers had to vote for us and many left
comments.  To read the story and customer
Click Here
The front room
The lime green room
The blue room
The greeting card room
Valentine's Day window!