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
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 attended the 2014 Porter Flea Holiday Market last December, you likely saw the stunning geometric baubles displayed throughout the event. I actually stopped dead in my tracks and just stared for a solid ten minutes in the entryway. Who made these gigantic gems?! How did they make them?! And where can I buy them?! I was in serious awe and could not wait to find out more.
I quickly found out it was the dynamic duo, Mandy Pellegrin and Emily Edwards of Craftcourse Nashville . If you haven’t heard about these lovely ladies and their crafting magic, you are missing out. A pair of high energy, charmingly neurotic creatives who are mad about color, retro vibes and modern design. They specialize in making ‘cool things’. Because as they often say, cool things don’t make themselves. Over the top displays to the tiniest of details, these ladies are rocking the party, wedding, workshop and retail scene.
When asked to create a fun display for Porter Flea, the concept was like any of their other events – temporary design. But after Instagram blew up with photos of these geometric baubles and a bidding war began between local retailers over who gets to buy this one set, the ladies knew that they had something special. The geometric baubles had no choice but to go to the marketplace.
Overnight, they re-branded their company and created an online store for their own creations, starting with the geometric baubles. The mobiles are now available for purchase and come in singles, sets and a variety of colors and sizes. They range from $25-70 and can be shipped anywhere in the U.S.
Often asked “what in the world are these baubles good for?!”Their response “Um…what AREN’T they good for?” And I tend to agree. These mobiles would look amazing in modern, retro and even bohemian home décor. For interior design, pair multiple baubles with Edison bulb lights and hang over a dining room table for a beautiful light or create a focal point in your living room with a single strand. I would love to see the ladies at A Beautiful Mess pick up a few and place in their studio. Wouldn’t they look fantastic?!
Photo’s via A Beautiful Mess and Craftcourse Nashville
For parties and weddings, they would look gorgeous as a backdrop to a photo-booth or a little bling to a buffet table or entryway. I love the idea of a black and gold party with the pink or gold mobiles. So flirty and fun.
Photo’s via Collin Cowie Weddings and Bajan Wed
And don’t get me started on retail displays. My first thought when I saw these mobiles was Kate Spade needs these in her flagship store (see below photos). Or how about Anthropologie? Couldn’t you see them dazzling customers in one of their window displays? The designs, colors and construction are so fresh, and right in line with the 2015 home décor trends. The possibilities are endless, and I am really excited to see how people display them.
Kate Spade via Daily Mail UK and Lonny
So, forget the depressing winter weather and feast your eyes on these bold beauties. Get inspired, throw a party and have fun trying something new in your décor scheme.