Have you been to Milk & Honey in Chattanooga? If not, I’d say you should hop in the car and head to Chattanooga, TN. immediately. But guess what? They are coming to Nashville!
Milk & Honey is a sweet shop created by the restaurateurs, Mike and Taylor Monen (owners of Taco Mamacita). Known for “where pure gelato, craft coffee and fresh fruit popsicles are made from scratch daily”. Aka, where one goes to find heavenly dessert bliss. If sugar and caffeine are not your thing (crazy talk, I know), they also have a divine breakfast and lunch menu that will make your taste-buds swoon. Locals, and myself included, rave about the Farmhouse Biscuit – M&H breakfast sausage, Benton’s bacon, tomato jam, egg, arugula, white cheddar, caramelized onions and shallots on a homemade buttermilk biscuit.
And don’t get me started on the handmade, locally grown gelato. The Counter Culture coffee is so good, it’s sinful. Everything at M&H is made in-house, using as many local ingredients as possible, and the menu rotates seasonally.
One of my favorite things about this little shop, besides their incredible desserts, is the décor. A warm mixture of classic and modern styles, with a dash of humor. Upon entry, you are met with “Order here, honey!” in vintage typography. The cheery space is lined with retro bar stools, high-back booths and penny tile, reminiscent of an old-fashioned soda shop but with a twist.
I won’t forget the first time I stepped into M&H. I was immediately welcomed by the southern charm and delightful energy. I grinned from ear to ear as I glanced around – sleek furnishings, an indoor/outdoor bar, vivid high-contrast colors and not a single piece of barn-wood in sight. Yes, I said it. You know it’s true, the rustic-industrial epidemic needs to end. It’s for this very reason, I crushed on M&H so quickly. They were quite clever in how they introduced farm-to-table in their design while retaining a space that is both contemporary and chic. It’s a refreshing aesthetic, and I can’t wait to have one in Nashville.
So when and where is the big question, right? Milk & Honey Nashville will open in Summer of 2016 in the Gulch. Originally slated for spring of this year on Church street, the Monen’s decided to move to the Gulch for a larger space and open at a later time. The Nashville location will be three times larger than the one in Chattanooga, as it will serve as a restaurant and gelato shop. The Monen’s finalized a deal to open their Milk & Honey concept in a roughly 5,000-square-foot space at 214 11th Ave. S. in MarketStreet Enterprises’ new Gulch Crossing building.
For those of you who cannot wait a year, make that trip to Chattanooga. The drive is so worth it!
Nestled in the historic Edgehill Village is a charming European-style boutique called Kore + Nashville. Consistently beautiful, well-curated and full of interesting home and personal care goods. Known as the shop for personal indulgence and gifts, Kore has a little something for everyone.
The moment you walk through the door, you are enveloped into a full-sensory experience. Walls lined with shelves chock-full of organic personal care products in bold colors and eye-catching labels. One of a kind Kantha throws are strewn about in the loveliest way. Books upon books – from seductive designs and mouth-watering recipes to delightful children stories – are stacked in every nook and cranny. And the divine scents wafting throughout the shop will have you gobbling up every candle, sachet and parfum oil.
Owner, Jenelle Hynes, opened the design and lifestyle boutique four years ago with the desire to curate a collection of premium goods that was not only beautiful, but would feed the spirit and respect the planet. Hynes has an impressive background – a certified NCDIQ and LEED-AP interior designer who has designed for some of the world’s leading architectural firms. She has also traveled to numerous countries, experiencing a wide variety of culture, design and education. It is no wonder that her shop is impeccably smart.
Kore offers a variety of items, but it’s her natural cosmetics and skincare lines that have customers returning time and time again. Brands like, RMS Beauty, ILIA and Alima Pure, are exclusively sold at Kore. And there isn’t a single shop in town that can compete with her famous “Men’s Wall” – an entire area dedicated to men’s grooming products.
“One of my favorite things (and is dear to my heart) is when my regular customers bring in their adolescent daughters for a special trip to try make-up or skincare products for the first time. Watching a mother teach their daughter about these organic lines that we carry and share their benefits…it’s just really great to be a part of that experience.” Hynes understands that finding a skincare line that suites your personal needs is difficult. Which is why she takes great joy in educating her customers about the lines she carries. “I have issues with my own skin, so I know first-hand the trials and tribulations of sensitive skin. I use these products myself, and I have had incredible results. I love helping people, and showing them that there are products available for every skin type”.
New to the scene at Kore is the cheeky Ban.do line of agenda’s and to-go mugs. Hynes says the line has become so popular, she can’t re-order fast enough. Another new addition to the store is the luxury lounge-wear, like the Rifle Paper limited edition Paper Crown Collection. The Paper Crown collection is soft with flowy floral patterns and has a lovely feminine-modern aesthetic. The other collections come in muted pinks, creams and grays varying in solids and stripes. “I’m not a clothing store, and I am never going to fill my store with a lot of apparel. But the pieces I do have, fall in line with the other indulgent wares that my customers really love. Just touch them, you’ll understand why”.
So all in all, you can see why I adore this shop. There are many gift shops in town, but nothing compares to the quality of Kore + Nashville. The remarkable design layout, products and overall experience is one of a kind – a real treasure.
My Favorite Finds:
New Line – Ban.do agendas and travel mugs
Jewelry – Anita Schmadtke and Consider the Wldfwrs
Scents – Rosy Ring Candles & Sprays and the Botanical Wax Curiosities
Furnishings – Holler Design Stool
Décor – Parisian wall trays & bookcase, Kantha blankets, hand-crafted pillows and blankets from France & England
Garden – Succulents and Airplants
Kitchen – Organic cleaners + soaps by Laundress
Woman’s Cosmetics & Personal Care – Aila nail polish, Alima Pure make-up and Tata Harper skincare
Men’s Personal Care – Whiskey Sea Salt after Shave by Portland General Store, Soft + Sweet Beard Oil by Beardition and Mr. Natty wax
Nashville Goodies –Strawberry Rhubarb syrup by Bang Candy and Masala tea by Firepot Chai
Children – Manny & Simon wood toys and the library of children’s books
Apparel – Crown Paper by Rifle Paper Co
Dusty chairs stacked high, chandeliers of every size hanging from the ceiling, knickknacks crammed in every corner, obscure items long forgotten, a wonderland of polished junk waiting to be someone’s treasure – this is the ubiquitous antique and vintage retail scene.
Nashville is chock-full of antique and vintage shops. Many of them, like Gas Lamp Antique Mall I & II , have become destination places for tourists who’ve come from all over the country. I am a huge fan of these shops, and spend a large portion of my time shopping in them for clients. They are filled to the brim with well-curated items, and they have made the antique shopping experience a breeze.
But sometimes, the picker in me needs to get out of the city and find treasure in places a little less expected. You may be surprised to find that some of the best flea markets, yard sales and antique shops can be found in small towns. The prices are lower, and you’re likely to find a larger selection of rare finds. The shops are not as fancy and digging through junk is required. But the hospitality and charm of these small establishments will win you over quickly.
Last week I went north to the quaint town of Goodlettsville and spent the afternoon antiquing. Goodlettsville is an easy 25 minute drive from downtown Nashville and all the antique shops are within a few blocks of each other on North Main Street.
Each place was uniquely their own and worth every minute of my time. A bit rough around the edges, but the selection was extensive and diverse. From 17th century dining sets and velvet couches to turn-of-the-century phone booths, there were gems in every direction. If I had brought a moving truck, I would have taken an entire house back with me.
So the next time you are thinking about taking an antique expedition, think about going to the Goodlettsville antique district. It’s definitely worth a trip.
Below are my top 3 antique shops and a fantastic place to eat in Goodlettsville. Enjoy!
Goodlettsville Antique Mall
Favorite Finds: High-End Antique Furniture, Vintage Chairs, and Rare Collectibles
A family owned business for over 30 years with a large selection of antiques and vintage furniture, collectibles, dinnerware, tools and automobilia. The shop has recently been renovated, and has a great layout, the booths are well-organized, clean, and the items are of high quality. The staff was very friendly and knowledgeable.
Tara’s Antique Mall
Favorite Finds: Ephemera, Military, Whiskey Jugs, and Primitive Furniture
A charming shop ran by longtime antique collectors, Claude Bellar and Nancy Pennington. As you entire the 12,000 sq. ft., store, you are greeted with smiles, cookies and fresh coffee. The environment is deliberately slow and laid-back, and you are encouraged to take your time. The staff had an incredible knowledge of each item they carried, and welcomed any questions.
Rare Bird Antique Mall
Favorite Finds: Art, Mid-Century Furniture, Collectibles and Unusual Finds
A refreshingly quirky multi-dealer store. The shop showcases everything from automobilia, advertising, glassware, pottery, furniture, jewelry, rust, as well as the largest amount of country store collectibles in the country. Many set-designers and prop-stylists have purchased items from Rare Bird for TV shows, major motion pictures and magazines. Voted best antique mall in the area.
Chef’s Market (don’t forget to eat!)
Delicious, unbelievably good southern cuisine. Owners, Jim and Cheryl Hagy, set out to bring a casual, chef-inspired dining experience and a fresh approach to the classic meat-and-three to Middle TN.
And finally, here are a few of the things I took home with me. These rare finds were less than $25 (total), and their value is well over a $150. Aren’t they fantastic?!
(American Folklore & Legends educational chart by John Dukes McKee, Rolling Stone tenth anniversary with a fifty-page color collection of Annie Leibovitz greatest hits, and a pair of mid-century silk-screen crane prints)
Photo and Curation by Ruthie Lindsey
Have you heard of Strolby? If you not, you are in for a treat.
“Strolby is a curated e-commerce site showcasing remarkable products from the best small shops around the country”. What does that mean? It means the small brick-and-mortar scene finally has friends, really cool online friends. These friends are partnering with them, shouting from the mountain tops about their wonderful business and give them a real fighting chance in the retail scene. Strolby is on a mission to help people discover and shop online from the best small shops in the world. And most importantly, to help those shops thrive in an ever growing (tenacious) market place.
And guess what? They just launched a Nashville market!
The Nashville shops include Hey Rooster General Store, Emil Erwin, Cadeau Nashville, Arcade Nashville, Ceri Hoover, Nisolo, H. & Clark, Jamie and the Jones, Wilder, Scout, and Peter Nappi. A lovely mixture of gifts, fashion, home décor, and kid’s apparel. They also have a wonderful Nashville Guide created by the talented travel blogger, Lauren Greenberg with The Weekender .
In case you didn’t notice, small shops form local culture. They also create new trends, provide jobs and give a place for the creatives in the community to show their wares. These shops are important! Without them the city lacks spirit. And yet all too often, they get lost in the shuffle – usually due to a lack of convenience or awareness.
Although Nashville shouts with a mega-phone “Shop Local!” you’d be surprised how few people actually step foot into a small shop and make a purchase. I know this from the personal experience of owning a home décor shop in Nashville. I also consult regularly with local shop owners, and the story is always the same – lots of local love, but few customers and even fewer sales. This is why Strolby is such a great company. Their mission is to bring additional exposure and customers to these local gems, making it easier for both customer and shop owner.
One of my favorite things about this website is the easy navigation and the encouragement to look around and stay awhile. The vivid photography, the excellent selection of high-quality goods and the flow of the site creates a similar experience one would have if physically shopping in these stores. And that is no small feat! Strolby’s unique approach to online shopping is going to change the way retail does business. With this much thought and care, we are likely to see the war between brick-and-mortar and online stores finally end.
So, no more excuses! Put your money where your mouth is, and actually support your local shops. All your favorite Nashville goods are now just a click away.
If you missed my 12th & Broad piece last week on Wilder and Pennyweight, this is a must-read!
Josh and Ivy Elrod of Wilder continue to break the mold in the Nashville retail scene. Less than a year old, the contemporary design boutique in Germantown has already been featured in W Magazine and the New York Post. Progressively innovative, always connecting, and giddily pushing boundaries with non-obvious pairings – Wilder is transforming the traditional market place in our fair city.
So it is was no surprise when they announced the summer long collaboration with the incredibly talented stylist, blogger and creative consultant, Elise Joseph of Pennyweight . A three-month Pennyweight pop-up curated by Elise Joseph at Wilder. This is what I call summer bliss!
The pop-up kicked off on Tuesday, May 26th and will run through Sunday, August 16th. Just a few weeks in and the response from the public has been incredible. The pairing of this dynamic trio has created a lot of buzz not only locally, but nationally as well.
“As soon as we met Elise we knew she was a natural person for us to collaborate with,” said Josh and Ivy Elrod, owners of Wilder. “The most exciting part of developing Wilder has been the energy and inspiration we get from encountering new people and vibing together.”
The Nashville native is also collaborating with designers to create several limited edition pieces, exclusively for the event. “It is such a dream to be able to take aspects of what I do online and share it in person – to connect with people in a more authentic way,” said Elise. “I’m thrilled beyond words to team up with Ivy and Josh, and think my collection will pair nicely with their cool, modern aesthetic.”
Pennyweight will offer select pieces from emerging designers like Jesse Kamm, Kieley Kimmel, Wal & Pai, Kathleen Whitaker, Lauren Winter, 7115 by Szeki, Another Feather, Beatrice Valenzuela, Electric Feathers and more. Local designers include Annie Williams, Jamie & The Jones, Josi Faye, Ceri Hoover and Elizabeth Suzann.
“We want Wilder to be a place that sparks us as people and as artists, and incorporating Elise’s keen eye into the mix is layering a dynamism to the already lively conversation,” said Josh and Ivy.
So don’t walk, run to Wilder. This limited edition of decadently high-quality goods won’t last long. I can tell you from experience, a trip to Wilder will not be disappointing. The shop is more than a room of beautiful objects, it’s a transcendent experience.