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.
All Seasons Garden & Brewing Supply Co is one of my favorite Nashville stores for gifts, gardening and home goods. A family-run enterprise, All Seasons is the quintessential mom and pop shop. Chock-full of eclectic handpicked treasures, creative displays, and the most incredible customer service.
When I owned my home décor store many years ago, I rarely had time to shop for myself. And when I did, I found that many of the Nashville shops were uninspiring. The products were all the same and the element of surprise was lacking. My husband, a home brewer, had mentioned All Seasons to me numerous times. And like a good wife, I completely ignored him. I knew they carried a plethora of beer gear and gardening supplies, but what did that have to do with my hunt for a good gift shop? Well, all I can say is that I am bummed that I didn’t go in sooner. All Seasons was exactly what I was looking for – a charming local shop that provided high-quality products and service, with a passion for discovery, healthy-living and sustainability.
Co-owner, Emily Thompson, is an incredible buyer and has quite the knack for blending nature and interior style. Her eye for scouting unique goods and turning them into beautiful displays is what makes the gift and gardening portion of this shop so special. With brilliant attention to detail, every portion of the shop has something to dazzle you. An enchanting style mixture of vintage, modern, and rustic goods with an excellent selection of uncommon plants and trees.
Although Nashville’s retail scene has changed dramatically for the better, All Seasons is still on my top 5 local places to shop. It’s one of those places that you become a regular. If you haven’t had the pleasure of shopping in this lovely store, please make a point to stop in soon.
HERE ARE A FEW OF MY FAVORITE THINGS:
1. Air Plants & Tiny Succulents: Every shape, size and species that you can imagine, they have in abundance.
2. Hanging Planters: From modern to traditional, they carry a wide range of unexpected planter styles that hang from the ceiling and uncommon wall hooks.
3. Wall Art: Fun, graphic art that has a bit of cheeky humor. My current favorite wall hanging says “Kiss My Grits”.
4. Plants for the not-so-green-thumb: If you are a serial plant killer, this is the place for you. All Seasons has a large variety of hardy plants that can survive almost any kind of neglect.
5. Gifts: Decadent candles, sculptures that happen to be planters, hanging mobiles, books, home décor, lighting, wall-mounts – there is a lot to see here.
(Photo via Kore Nashville)
Valentine’s Day is just around the corner (I know, major eye roll). The infamous holiday that causes most people to feel lonely. The pressure to get everything perfect just to say ‘I Love You’ is nauseating. So much expectation that everyone fails.
For many years, I simply did not participate in this silly holiday. I’m not a big fan of forced affection. I’d rather be surprised by flowers on a Tuesday afternoon in March then to have a bouquet of roses on Valentines because someone said I should. But! I do love stationary and beautiful cards. A true love affair with high-quality paper goods. And this time of year, the designs are gorgeous. So, awhile back I decided to create a new tradition for Valentine’s Day. Give little notes to my friends and loved ones on V-Day to say I am so thankful to have them in my life. I no longer look at this holiday as a set-up for failure or a forced fed love fest. But a day to say thank you to my community that continually loves and supports me.One of my favorite companies for cards and stationary is Rifle Paper Co by Anna Bond. Beautifully designed paper goods with a dash of wit. Perfect for giving to friends and family. Anna’s illustrative style comes from her deep affection of life’s personal stories and moments told through handwritten notes. Each card, each piece of paper is illustrated with incredible hand painted detail.They are tiny works of art that many collect and frame. Her signature colors of pinks, corals and deep reds are perfect for Valentine’s Day. So, get rid of all those expectations and holiday pressures, find a lovely card and give someone you love a little note.
Want to buy Rifle Paper Co locally? Kore Nashville has an excellent selection, as well as beautiful home goods, personal care and gifts. And if you don’t live in Nashville, you can shop at Rifle’s online store or you can find a small selection at your local Paper Source and Anthropologie.
(Photo via Rifle Paper Co)
If you didn’t catch my post this weekend for 12th & Broad‘s Style Scout, here’s a recap:
Gift wrapping, you either love it or hate it.
For years I hated wrapping presents. I would wait till the last minute and rush the process. Wadded up, bulky, tons of tape and whatever paper was left on Christmas Eve. This is how I wrapped presents year after year. My gifts were easily recognized for all the wrong reasons.
It wasn’t until I stepped into my first paper store that I fell in love with gift wrap and stationary. I learned that gift wrapping was an art form and could be fun (and beautiful) if I would simply plan ahead.
(Photo via Rifle Paper Co)
Here’s what I have learned over the years:
1. Keep the Shopping Simple. Throughout the year, pick up paper, cards and various wrapping accessories at stores that you already shop. Don’t over think it. Some of my favorite gift wrap for the holidays has been found in the summer.
2. Shop Local. Nashville has an incredible selection of paper goods & craft supplies. Make sure to check out Kore Nashville, Pulp Nashville at Hey Rooster General Store, Rock Paper Scissors, Hester & Cook, and All Seasons
3. Not a Big Shopper? Online Only? Choose 1-3 paper sources that you really like, check in a few times a year and buy a little at a time. My favorite online sources are Rifle Paper Co, Ferme Papier and 1canoe2 and Paper Source (many of the Nashville shops carry these lines).
4. Feeling Crafty? There is a plethora of DIY gift wrapping ideas on Pinterest. The options are endless!
5. Choose Your Materials Carefully. This is an important process. I have found that if I choose paper I love, I will love the process of gift wrapping. There are so many types of papers, varying in weight and finish. And oh, the accessories. So many choices! Find one that suites you. It will make all the difference in the world.
6. Make Room. Christmas is not the only time you wrap a gift. There are lots of other holidays and events. Create a space where you can store your gift wrapping items, and stock up on supplies
7. Make Time. You don’t need a whole lot of it, but you do need to set some time aside. The gifts have to be wrapped one way or another. Giving a little extra attention to detail isn’t going to cost you a lot of extra time. The key is to plan ahead with your supplies and set-up
8. Why All the Fuss? A well-wrapped gift conveys a message of love and thoughtfulness.
Need some inspiration? Looking for something unique? Here is my holiday gift wrap round-up for 2014:
1. Foil Joyeux Noel
2. Ferme Santa – Hipster Mr. & Mrs. Clause
3. Merry Llama
4. Reindeer Mistletoe
5. Tis the Season to Be Jolly Card
1. Forest Path Wrapping Paper
2. Cursive Wrapping Paper
3. Dark Blue and Gold Star Wrapping Paper (in-store only)
4. Black and Gold Polka Dot Wrapping Paper (in-store only)
5. Floral Gift Wrap – Black/White
6. Graphite Lace
7. Winter Wonderland
8. Holiday Greens
9. Bitch Wrapping Paper
10. Holiday Dots Wrapping Paper
Gift Tags, Ribbon & Twine:
1. Merry Bitchmas Gift Tag Set
2. Foil Wilderness Gift Tags – Dear
3. Emerald Peonies
4. St. Nick
5. Pinecone Gift Tags
6. 3-in-1 Photo Card
7. Nutscene Twine
8. Heirloon Stripe Red Paper Ribbon
9. Honeycomb Paper Ribbon
10. Skinny Cream & Gold Ribbon
So this week has been a bit crazy with work and life. And to make things a bit more interesting, I wrote three gift guides for the blog and another publication. I cannot tell you how happy I am that it is the weekend! Starting a blog during the holidays was kind of an insane move. But I’m hoping that come January, things will be smooth sailing. Fingers crossed.
I had full intention to write about all the wonderful local events I was attending in early December. But,um…that didn’t happen. Life buzzed by and all these goodies just stood in the blog queue. So today’s post is quite simple. Here’s where I have been as of late.
My first December event was the Porter Flea Holiday Market and preview party. Porter Flea Holiday Market is an annual modern handmade market that happens the first weekend of December. It’s a much anticipated event for most Nashvillian’s. All of your favorite locally made items in one place for the holidays. Such a great concept!
This year, Madewell Nashville hosted a preview party featuring Handmade Studio TN and Consider the Wldfwrs. I love preview parties. They are intimate and a slower pace, allowing you to take your time.
Handmade Studio TN is dear to my heart, as I was the first to carry her beautiful pottery line. All her new wares are gorgeous and stunningly simplistic. Consider the Wldfwrs is the newest jewelry kid on the block and on everyone’s must-have list. Beautiful, delicate designs that just make your heart swell.
My favorite thing at Porter Flea was the fantastic props! The first thing you saw as you entered the market were the 3-D prism shapes designed and created by the Craftcourse Nashville duo. Over-sized paper prisms hanging in the entry, exit, on tables, in corners and the backdrop for the most fabulous photo booth. Impressive ladies!
And a big shout out to my dear friends at Bright Event Productions for the handmade Porter Flea light sign. Well done!
Every year, my husband and I attend the 12 South Winter Warmer. Also on the first weekend of December. Tickets go on sale in October and sell out in minutes. Yes, minutes. It’s hands down, the best beer festival of the year. You bundle up in your finest winter attire and drink the whole day. It’s kind of awesome.
Oh! And I finally chose boots for my Montreal trip. After trying on a million boots, the Sorel Conquest Carly won me over. They made their debut at the 12 South Winter Warmer. My toes were toasty, and I received so many compliments on how stylish they were. Definitely chose the right ones.
Finally, the annual gingerbread house (okay, graham cracker house) evening. For the last few years, my dear friend Kristin has hosted a gingerbread house night. It’s pretty much an excuse to shut our brains off, drink wine and build ridiculous structures made of sugar. There’s only one rule, leave your crazy life and perfectionism at the door. This night is not about creating beautiful things, it’s about enjoying each others company. And laughing a lot! As you can see, there is nothing perfect about my crooked house that has no door and a weird open loft on top. But it’s full of memories, and that’s all that matters. If you haven’t created something without giving a shit, you should try it sometime. It’s very freeing.
How are you spending your December days?