5 Questions with Poppy & Monroe

Last month I featured new Germantown nail salon Poppy & Monroe on 12th & Broad Broad Style. I am obsessed with this gorgeous environmentally friendly nail oasis that sits at the corner of 6th and Monroe. Once you have your nails done here, you won't want to go anywhere else. The salon is drop-dead gorgeous, which is no surprise considering owners Sherri Coates and Karen Kops, both have backgrounds in interior design. From the minute you walk through the pink lacquered door of this 100+ year-old Germantown home, you’re transported to a cool, modern, relaxing space that’s luxurious without being pretentious. You’re going to want to spend a lot of time here.

Karen Kops_Sherri Coates_Photo by Blu Sanders

Karen Kops_Sherri Coates_Photo by Blu Sanders

Photo by Blu Sanders

Sherri and Karen are savvy entrepreneurs who have done their homework on bringing the latest environmentally conscious salon trends to Nashville. Don’t expect to soak your hands and feet in water here. This salon uses waterless services, and in doing so, will save an average of 15,000 gallons of water in a year. I was sold on this salon after a quick 15-minute polish application at their opening event. After six days, I only had one tiny chip. For me to get six days from regular polish is unreal.This is a testament to the products they’re using and their skilled, knowledgeable staff. They are currently testing environmentally conscious gel nail products to find the right one that has the staying power of the gel polishes we're used to using. Now that I know many gel polishes can be unregulated in terms of the ingredients used, I'm just fine waiting for a more environmentally friendly version.

2 Poppy & Monroe_Photo by Blu Sanders

2 Poppy & Monroe_Photo by Blu Sanders

Photo by Blu Sanders

One of the many things I love about Sherri and Karen is that they're perfectionists. They want your experience to be incredible every time and they won't stop testing products until they get the absolute right ones. I appreciate that attention to detail.

Here, Sherri and Karen answer five questions about the salon and its services.

How did you and Karen meet? 

Interestingly enough, at the BDNY (Boutique Design) hospitality trade show in NYC last year. Karen was attending the show after just leaving her VP post at a large hospitality firm. The company I was a VP for competed with hers for major hotel brand programs on the product and interiors side. She came to my booth and we realized quickly we were both working out of Nashville, which is unusual for our industry with the extensive travel required. It took a few more months for us to even get together here in town, but once we did, the ideas to possibly collaborate together started flowing rather quickly.

What type of experience should customers expect?

Karen’s and my backgrounds in hospitality taught us well about the "entire experience" of what authentic hospitality and luxury means. From the minute someone walks through our Magenta Manicure door, (yes it's an actual color) they will see every loving detail we poured over to create the ideal blend of comfort and repose in the space itself.  We have so little time to truly "get away” in this hectic world of ours, we want to make sure every customer feels truly pampered each and every time they visit us. Upon entering we will offer a warm herbal neck wrap and invite you to sit back and recline in one of our custom made chairs we searched the globe for. Throughout the services, our artists will use our custom made, locally sourced organic soaks, scrubs and lotions that Karen worked on so closely with our local partner over many months to ensure their quality, and to perfect our signature scent of rose and tea tree.  It's details like these we hope our customers will enjoy and keep coming back for.

3 Poppy & Monroe_Photo by Blu Sanders

3 Poppy & Monroe_Photo by Blu Sanders

Photo by Blu Sanders

You’ve taken great care to carry and use environmentally conscious lines. Some are even Nashville-based. Explain the importance of this, especially when it comes to beauty products and treatments.

Throughout our research we've learned that on average men and women use approximately 10-15 personal care products per day with a total of 126 different ingredients within these. Given that nearly 90% of cosmetic ingredients are left untested for safety, it can be a bit alarming to think that most of what you put on your body hasn't been regulated. Our goal was to take the guesswork out of the equation for our clients. We've personally tested all of the products we sell for efficacy and purity. We've vetted the ingredient lists so you don't have to.

We love local! We currently carry four cosmetic lines and one jewelry line that are from Nashville. Among these on the product side are Blueberries and Lace (who makes our in-service products as well), Golden Apothecary, Rainwater Farms and Aila (who makes one of the lacquer lines we use and sell), and Branded Collective on the jewelry front. Karen is a native Nashvillian and is proud to promote local as much as possible. Having lines as amazing as these makes local partnerships easy to execute.

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Waterless services will be new to many people. Explain the benefits.

Research was a crucial part of our process. In looking at trends in salons, and the nail care business in general, we kept running into this concept of waterless services. Intrigued, we took a seminar by one of the pioneers of the trend while attending a beauty show in Las Vegas this summer and that's all it took. We were hooked. In speaking with medical professionals, as well as nail care representatives around the world, we knew it was something we had to bring to Nashville given the benefits it brings to the table - better polish adhesion, less risk of water-borne bacteria and the ability to save a valuable natural resource. Did you know the average salon uses over 15K gallons of water a year?!?!. We knew there had to be a better way!

Name five of your favorite places in Nashville.

Sherri: 12th South has way too many shops and restaurants I enjoy & frequent, Radnor, Franklin, Leipers Fork.

Karen: I'm an East-Side girl so I have to say Shelby Park is my personal fave. It just keeps getting better!

Read the full interview on 12th & Broad here. Poppy & Monroe will host their event of the year to celebrate Valentine's Day on February 2 from 5-7pm.  Connie Smith, who wrote the book, “Never Lose Heart,”will be doing a book signing that night and some great brands like One Love Organics will be featured too. See you there!

6 Poppy & Monroe_Photo by Blu Sanders

6 Poppy & Monroe_Photo by Blu Sanders

Photo by Blu Sanders

Boutique Spotlight: SOCA Clothing

soca-nashville-0024 SOCA Clothing in Green Hills may be known for its extensive designer denim, but that's not all you'll find there. Right on the bend on Bandywood next to Firefly Grille, you'll find a plethora of accessories and apparel that will take you from day to evening with ease. In addition to all of the denim, I love their selection of Chaser and Wilt tees, Young Fabulous and Broke tops, Bella Dahl button downs and all of the jewelry. I could spend all day playing in accessories there. I pretty much did just that when I hosted the Chaser "Tee" party event during Nashville Fashion Week. The customer service is where Soca really shines, and I'm not just saying that because one of my dearest friends is the manager. Everyone on that team is super personable, fun, knowledgeable, and they're going to send you out the door looking fabulous every time. I spoke with Morgan, Soca's Creative Director and she gave me some insight on the store.

What can a shopper expect when they come to Soca?

At Soca, our goal is to provide an exclusive shopping experience. We strive to cultivate a positive company culture that begins with training, focused on genuinely tailoring each shopping experience to our customer. Investing in education and supporting each employee results in a highly skilled, dynamic team full of thoughtful and fashionable Stylists. Each Soca Stylist understands the individual aesthetic and needs of their customer in order to help guide them to the perfect piece.

Each item is hand-picked creating a harmonious blend of current trends and classic staples to help you form a well-curated collection that fits your personal style. Whether you're a minimalist with a love for neutrals and clean lines or a bohemian who love to layer - Soca is the right fit for you.

Soca-nashville-0041Kaya di Koko dress ($120), Zinga kimono ($48), Towne & Reese Necklace ($40)

Soca-nashville-091Chaser tank ($50), Fate tapestry jacket ($58)

What Spring looks are you most excited for?
Spring fashion is always so light and airy, which always feels so refreshing. Showing a little skin after being layered up for months!

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What are some of your favorite apparel and accessory lines in the store?

Must have lines right now are Clover Canyon (fabulous, colorful prints and they are getting so much buzz right now), Wilt (great basics with clean lines, uneven hemlines, quality fabrics and unique silhouettes) and definitely Mickey Lynn for jewelry (one-of-a-kind, dazzling pieces of jewelry from natural, semi-precious gemstones and fine, mixed metals).

SOCA Clover Canyon WiltLeft: Clover Canyon dress ($228). Right: Wilt tee ($99)

Soca Mickey Lynn JewelryMickey Lynn Jewelry (Prices vary from $80-$264)

With stores in Tuscaloosa and Birmingham, what made you choose Nashville?

We're lovers of music and the south, so naturally Nashville seemed to be the perfect next step for us.

What does the name mean?

Ha ha. It's actually a style of Caribbean dance music derived from calypso and American soul music. Told you. We love music!

Describe the vibe of SOCA in five words or less.

Genuine customer service. Exclusive selection.

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What trends do you love right now? Are there any you wish would be retired?

There are so many - graphic tees, wide-leg pants, crop tops, kimonos, bold prints! 

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What is one thing people may not know about SOCA?

All of our staff goes through an intensive denim training process. Most women compare denim shopping to bathing suit shopping. Fear, dread, procrastination - all words that come to mind when trying to find "the perfect pair". We wanted to change that, so every Stylist goes through a training process to learn about each pair of denim we carry. They learn about brands, styles, shapes, etc. Every woman is different and every pair of jeans is different. We do the research for you in order to quickly narrow down your options and pinpoint exactly what will work for your body. I could ask you five questions right now and know what two pair of jeans to pull for you! We make it that easy.  

soca-nashville-0013Just some of the denim you'll find at Soca.

If Soca was a cocktail, what would it be?

An Old-Fashioned. It's a notoriously difficult but extremely rewarding cocktail when made well. Anyone can make a Rum and Coke, but it takes a lot more training and expertise to be able to craft a proper Old-Fashioned. The amount of training our Stylists go through and time spent carefully selecting "ingredients" are what make us true specialists in women's apparel.

Name five of your favorite places in Nashville?

The Belcourt, The Pharmacy, The Frist, Marathon Music Works and Pinewood Social.

Thanks Morgan. Visit Soca seven days a week and make sure you check them out online, and follow them on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Special thanks to Tabitha Tune from A la Mode Media and Life a la Mode for the fantastic pictures. See more from our Soca Clothing photo shoot and the Chaser "Tee" party on the Stella Shops Facebook page.