Stella Spotlight: Nashville Boutique - MADE

If you're on my holiday gift list this year, chances are good you'll be receiving a gift from East Nashville's newest boutique, MADE.  This shop is truly a Stella dream.  It's super affordable and stuffed to the ceiling with tons of goodies made by local crafters, artists and some of our favorite designers like Amanda Valentine, Shea Steele and Shannon Lea. Our photog, Jessica McIntosh, said it best, MADE is like a real-life local Etsy.

Ashley Sheehan, owner of MADE, stocks the store with an assortment of art, housewares and jewelry, some of which is made by her, as well as a well-edited collection of vintage apparel for men and women.  She can even paint a portrait of your favorite pet in a suite.  This is one very busy lady!  Ashley graciously took some time out of her afternoon to tell us more about MADE.

What is your concept for MADE? I want Made to be a very accessible shop for both the customers, the crafters and artists. A laid back spot where you can find one of a kind gifts that were made right here in the ‘hood.

Describe the vibe of the store in five words or less. Quaint, cute and charming.

If MADE had a mascot who or what would it be? It would have to be a fawn, sweet and a bit mysterious. Deer have always inspired me.
Some of your own handiwork can be found around the store.  What goodies in the shop are 'made' by you? I have been embroidering a lot lately so the men's ties, the colorful embroidered necklaces, the pillows, the collage art, including animals in suits, along with other random pieces throughout the shop.

There are some fabulous gift items in the store.  What are some of your favorites? I love the candles from Alchemy of Sol, the handmade shirts by Shannon Lea’s People Like Art, Amanda Valentine's altered vintage dresses, the feather hair flair by Emily of Craftville, the totes and prints from Pine Street Makery, wow I just keep going…

Is everything in the store sourced from Tennessee? 95% of all the creations are made right here in TN.
What are five of your favorite places in Nashville? Southern Thrift, Gas Lamp, Silly Goose, Ugly Mugs, and Pre to Post Modern.

What inspires you? Grey Gardens (the documentary), anything from the 60’s, people doing good for others (a trait I have watched my parents carry out through the years), outsider art, vintage children’s books, great magazines like Lula,my favorite bands like Belle and Sebastian and the Magnetic Fields, my friends and sisters, the little things in life like a great laugh with great friends…

Visit MADE this Saturday, December 4 on the East Nashville Holiday Vintage Boutique Crawl.  Select items will be 20% off.  Make sure you receive Stella in your Inbox.  We have a coupon this month good for 20% off your purchase of $20 or more.


717 Porter (Portland & Eastland in East Nashville)
Wed-Fri, Sun 11 am - 5 pm
Sat 11 am - 6 pm

For more photos from our MADE shoot, visit the Stella Facebook page. Photos by Jessica Rai Photography.

Stella Spotlight: Nashville Boutique - Sleeveless

OMG! I am not sure I can express how much Carla & I love love love the Sleeveless accessories. Jessica and Kyah are brilliant people as well as brilliant designers.  Sleeveless is one of those boutiques that just feels complete.  The space, the decor and the location all work in harmony to perfectly display the exquisite pieces Sleeveless has to offer. We recently spoke with Jessica Maros one half of the Sleeveless team.  
Here is what she had to say. 

How has Sleeveless evolved since you first started designing the accessories and what does the future look like?
We started a year ago with an idea and a little $100 sewing machine.  I sewed all the pieces myself out of my little space in Marathon Village.  Within one year, we hired our leather sewer, Tyler, upgraded our sewing machine (thank goodness), opened a mini flagship store and are now selling in about 30 boutiques internationally. 

The brand is still evolving as we still have alot to learn.  The product can always be better and we want to expand the line to handbags.  We decided to do most of our manufacturing in house, but I think slowly we will start outsourcing some of our products.  That's another animal we are trying to tackle.  All in all, I see the future for SLEEVELESS being a brand that caters to all ages.  Great products, bold designs and something for everyone.  We want to build an international family.

Which superheroes would shop at Sleeveless?

If Cleopatra wouldn't walk through these doors I'd be a little surprised.  Her metal cuffs do need a little update.  Rainbow Brite could try to  stick to one color.  Then my favorite, Shera.  We all could use a little princess power!!  I would probably try to sell her one of our new metal cuffs we are getting in.  Very her!!!!  We all have a little superhero in us.  I think that's why Kyah and I like the idea of being a cuff brand. We wanted to execute it in a feminine kind of way. 
How did you guys meet and start collaborating 
on designs?                       
Kyah was styling a lot at the time and I finished my first clothing collection.  She heard about me through someone and decided to drop by Marathon Village to come and pull some pieces for one of her shoots.  Turned out she had an incredible eye for style.  We hit it off. Met for coffee.  I expressed interest in starting a small line that's sold in boutiques, she expressed interest in selling accessories to her customers.  The rest was history.  
Which Sleeveless piece should every girl have in her closet for Winter?                                                   The Amelie.  A blazer's dream cuff.  A dupioni pleated silk ruffle with a black leather inlay.  Usually has a diamond brooch in the middle and it comes in a pair.  This cuff is breathtaking under a blazer with the ruffles peaking through or with a sleeveless black dress.  Incredible.  I melt when I see a confident woman strut away with these beauties.... LOL                                                                                                                                    If Sleeveless were a cocktail, what kind of cocktail would it be?                                                             A french 75.  Created in 1915.  Gin.  Champagne. Lemon juice and sugar.  This drink was created in Paris in Harry's New York bar.  Victorian, sexy, aged and always in style.                                                                                                                         What are your top three inspirations for Fall/Winter 2010?                                                Our top three inspirations would be South African jewelry, Shabby Chic furniture, Eastern European embroidery.  Kyah likes to pull her inspirations from furniture and interiors while I like to pull from textiles and pictures.  When we combine our ideas they become intertwined with something new.  A collaboration.  Once we make our vision, it usually evolves during the execution. That's why I love design so much, it's always evolving into something better. 

Your boutique is a co-op.  Will you explain how that works and what are the perks?                 We share the space with Giador Fine Jewelry owned by Lindsay Chapman.  She specializes in custom orders but can meet the needs of someone with a $500 budget or a $50,000 budget.  It's a great collaboration, because shoppers can find both ends of the jewelry spectrum in one place!  

What are five of your favorite places in Nashville?   Our five favorite places are City House, Radnor Lake, Cafe Nonna, Tennessee Fairgrounds flea market (RIP :(), Edgehill Cafe (our daily coffee source yum yum) and of course we love hanging out at our store which feels much like our living room.                                                                        What are some events that Sleeveless has planned for the fall?                                                         We started hosting a Smores-on-the-Patio night in October.  We will be doing this on the 2nd Wednesday of each month from 5-8pm!  Come join us for a campfire and smores!!

Visit Kyah and Jessica at Edgehill Village (1201 Villa Place).
Follow them on Twitter and Facebook!
Make sure you receive Stella Shops emails.  We have a subscriber only special for Sleeveless for the month of November.

Stella Spotlight: Nashville Boutiques - The Hip Zipper

If you want true vintage with a heart then The Hip Zipper is the place for you.  I have spent many hours sifting through the hand picked items and have found some real gems.  For example, a few years ago I scored a pair of gray leather heeled knee high boots that I still love wearing. They literally never go out of style. We recently caught up with the hip owner herself, Trisha Brantley, and asked her a few of our favorite questions about her varied vintage boutique in East Nashville

What was your original concept for the store and how has it evolved?
The original store concept is still pretty much intact today:  to operate a shop where folks can peruse a generous amount of authentic vintage clothing from all eras, in all sizes and styles, ideally appealing to a widely-varied demographic in the process.

Describe the vibe of The Hip Zipper in five words.
Consistent, affordable, quality, versatile, variety

Your boutique has so many fabulous items.  Will you give us 3 tips on shopping for vintage items at The Hip Zipper?

1.  I know it may not always be possible, but whenever you can, allow time to actually shop.   There's a lot to look at.  It can be overwhelming.  If you're in a hurry or if you need something specific, please ask for help.  We want to help if we can.

2. Use your imagination.  Unapologetically nurture your own sense of style.  Determine what looks you are attracted to, regardless of what everyone else is wearing.  Most all of the most exemplary fashion today is inspired by some earlier mark in the time line.   

3. Try clothes ON!  Most garments are not well-represented when judged solely by how it looks on a hanger.  Clothes do not wear the person, the person wears the clothes.  Garments come to life and have character when they are worn by someone with a hunch that they would look great wearing the garment!

If you had a mascot for your store what would it be? 
We have two. One's name is Gussie.  We also have an adjustable dress form named 'Chaka Khan'  because, well, 'She IS Every Woman...'

What is your favorite era of vintage clothing?
1950's.  Women were "fashionable & feminine" and men were "flattered & paying attention." 

How long have you owned the boutique?

I've been in business in East Nashville since 1999.   It was a brick & mortar site first, then shuttered in lieu of a temporary website, a monthly flea market booth, then back to a brick & mortar site.  It has been nurtured and supported not only by folks with a passion for vintage clothing, but by my neighborhood, the city, and those in the music & arts community.   I am so very grateful for every blessing. 

Name five of your favorite places in Nashville?
Shelby Bottoms Greenway 
Holland House on Monday night (dinner music by Tommy Keenum & James Haggarty)
Anywhere in Nashville, as long as I'm with my friends. 

For more Hip Zipper photos, visit on Facebook.

The Hip Zipper
1008 Forrest Avenue
Nashville, TN 37206
(615) 228-1942 
Click here for map

Tuesday-Thursday 12:00-6:00
Friday-Saturday 12:00-7:00
Sunday 11:00-6:00

We will be offering a Stella Spotlight discount for The Hip ZIpper in November.  Be sure to sign up for our mailing list to receive the coupon. 

Stella Spotlight: Nashville Boutique - UAL

There isn't a blog long enough to list all the items Mizzie and I have seen, tried on and purchased at UAL (United Apparel Liquidators).  We still leave that store in awe of the deals (more like steals) we keep finding there.  The designer finds are pretty unbelievable...Vivienne Westwood, Chloe, Zac Posen, Prada, Marc Jacobs, Jimmy Choo, Balenciaga, get the picture.  And while we're not in the market for a $3,000 Balmain dress, it is nice to actually see and touch these designer duds in person.  But this isn't the only thing you'll find at UAL.  There is also a huge amount of affordable basics...Sanctuary pants for $20, LNA tees and tanks for under $20, A Common Thread dresses and tops for under $50, Odyn denim shorts for $9.99...these are the deals that keep us coming back a little too frequently.

Mizzie and I continue to talk to people who have never been to this West End shop, so we decided it was time to talk to UAL's manager Tori Baxley to let us all in on some UAL shopping secrets.  

We know UAL is a liquidator, but what does that really mean?  Can you explain how the liquidator process works and how all that amazing merchandise ends up in the store?
We work with up and coming, as well as high profile, designers at the end of their season to take their left over pieces and collections.  (Even runway pieces sometimes.)  We get our merchandise from New York, LA and sometimes Europe.  There's something for everyone at UAL.  One week we may get in a high end couture deal and the next we may receive a great tee shirt shipment.  We make cost effective deals and pass the value on to our customer. 

Describe the vibe of UAL in five words.

Eclectic, hip, energetic, versatile, vogue

What are some must-have Fall items? 
Cargo's, plaid, "flowy" tops, blazers and leather bags

What are some of your best/favorite UAL finds?

Our store is FULL of great finds.  From blue suede pumps by Gianvito Rossi for $141.99 (regular price $470) or a fab Giambattista Valli dress at 70% off it's regular retail value, or our LNA tee's for $9.99.  There's apparel and price points for every customer.

What are some staff favorites right now?

We have a phenomenal Balmain chiffon dress that we all love right now.  The price is as great as the dress itself!  It's a timeless piece that you could wear for so many different occasions.  I think it would be perfect for a wedding reception or just a casual night on the town with cowboy boots or flats. 

There is so much to see at UAL that it can be a little overwhelming.  Is there any advice you have to prepare someone for their first UAL trip?
Yes.  Let our wonderful staff of sales people ("personal shoppers") help you on your trip.  We pride ourselves in knowing our inventory and knowing it very well.  The staff can guide and direct you to what you want or need.  And maybe even help you find the greatest piece you didn't even know you were looking for. 

How often does new merchandise come in?  What are the best days to shop to find the best selection?
We get in new things Monday through Friday.  Any time you come in, you will probably find many new pieces you didn't see the day before or new markdowns!
For you and the UAL staffers, what are some of your favorite places in Nashville?
We love supporting Nashville's boutiques like Studio 615, HumanKind, Blush and Clothing XChange.

UAL is definitely not a store you can breeze in and out of in under an hour.  Make sure you have the time to spend there, especially if it's your first visit.  You may have to dig a bit to find some of the best deals and you definitely need to try everything on.  Don't be shy, ask questions!  UAL's staff is friendly and personable and they really do know where everything is, so if you're looking for something specific they can save you a ton of time.

Now that you are fully informed on UAL, you have no excuse, but to check it out for yourself.  And we love hearing about the amazing things people are buying there, so let us know about your best UAL deal.

As a little added incentive, UAL is offering a Stella Special Deal this month, so make sure you're on our email list.  You'll receive a coupon in your Inbox this week.

2918 West End Ave. in Nashville
Monday-Saturday 10am-7pm
Sunday 12pm-6pm

For more UAL photos, visit on Facebook.

** Photos courtesy of Jessica Rai Photography.

Stella Spotlight: Nashville Boutique - Studio 615/Sole of 615

Truth be told, Mizzie and I have been waiting to cover Studio 615 on West End Ave. in Nashville for several months now.  We've been fans of this sleek boutique for quite some time and once owner, Darnice Harris, told us about her plans to open a shoe store next to Studio 615, we knew we had to wait until Sole of 615 had it's big reveal.  The big event happened last week and trust us when we tell you, it was well worth the wait.

The minute you step onto the pink carpet at Studio 615 or Sole of 615, you are on your way to a boutique shopping experience the way it was meant to be...great customer service in a fun and friendly atmosphere with on-trend apparel, accessories, and now shoes, at affordable prices.  Darnice has done a terrific job of editing both stores, and in Studio 615, she usually only carries a few sizes of each item.  (I happen to really like this.)  There is a steady stream of new merchandise always being added, so if you see something you really like, you should buy it when you see it.  Chances are someone else may snatch it up before your next visit. 

Here's what Darnice shared with us about her stores, herself and what we can expect heading into the Fall season... 

What is your favorite thing about owning a boutique in Nashville?
I love the support I get from my clients.  I have clients that have been with me from day one and I love making them happy and knowing that they leave the store pleased, looking great & excited about their purchase. 

Who is the 615 customer?  What kind of woman are you thinking of when you choose the items you have in the store?
My customer is each & every woman who loves fashion.  I have customers in all age ranges and from every walk of life.  They are all equally important & valuable clients of Studio 615 & the Sole of 615.

Describe the vibe of Studio 615 in four words starting with ‘S.’ 

Sassy. Sexy. Stylish. Service

What brought you to open Sole of 615?  
Shoes were the number one request from my customers.  Everyone was in search of an option other than the mall or generic retail outlets.  My goal is to provide affordable fashion-forward shoes in a luxurious environment.  It was a natural progression to open a shoe store.  

We’ll easily be wearing our sandals through September in Nashville.  What have been your top three shoe styles for the Summer season?  

Wedges, first & foremost because they are functional & fashionable, nude platforms, and bold colors such as royal blue, fuchsia & neon green.  These styles can easily transition into fall.


Heading into Fall, what trends can we look forward to finding at Studio 615 and Sole of 615? 
Key trends for fall are army camo colors; and stud & grommet detail are still very relevant in clothing, shoes & accessories.  We'll also be looking at long dresses for Fall.


If Studio 615/Sole of 615 were a cocktail, what kind of cocktail would it be?  

Something pink, sparkly, & refreshing!!!  

If you could describe yourself as a type of shoe, what kind would you be? 
I would be a wedge, because I am fashionable, but I have to dress for function.  I want a shoe I can walk in all day, wear with a dress or jeans, & still wear out with my girls or on a date after work!  

What are five of your favorite places in Nashville?  
Rumours Wine & Art Bar on 12th Ave South, Local Taco, my Church, my stores, and any kind of local festival/art fair. 

What inspires you?   
I am inspired by my clients and the world around me.  When I wake up everyday I am blessed to be living my dream.  I am determined to provide stores with an atmosphere, selection, & customer service that is unparalleled in Nashville.

There are some perfect late Summer/early Fall items gracing the racks of Studio 615 right now, and the shoes at Sole of 615...visit Darnice and her super friendly staff this month to see for yourself.  I was thrust into a bit of a shoe frenzy on my first visit, so take this as a warning that you may have some tough choices to make.  

Mizzie and I hope we can make those decisions a little easier for you with a special Stella reader discount.  If you receive Stella emails, you'll have a special offer in your Inbox this week.  If you'd like to receive our emails, sign up at the top right corner of the blog and we'll send you the goods.

Follow Studio 615 on Twitter and on Facebook.  And don't forget, you can shop Studio 615 online at

Studio 615 and Sole of 615
2922 West End Ave. in Nashville
Monday-Saturday 10am-7pm
Sunday 12pm-5pm 

For more Studio 615/Sole of 615 photos, visit on Facebook.

hotos courtesy of Jessica Rai Photography.

    Stella Spotlight: Nashville Boutiques – Goodbuy Girls

    I see a few lazy Saturday afternoons in Mizzie and my future spent hanging out on the couch at the Goodbuy Girls  sifting through all of their fabulous finds.  Neatly merchandised in this cozy space on N. 16th Ave in East Nashville is a pretty amazing selection of designer vintage and contemporary resale apparel, accessories, shoes and boots.  I spent a Saturday morning with GG's Tanya Coe and Kim Davison talking vintage and learning what makes up the GG's fabulous aesthetic.

    We love the name Goodbuy Girls. How did it evolve and what has been your best buy/find this year?
    Our boyfriends are in a band, (of course, this is Nashville right?) The Branded Sons, and they have a song called "Goodbye Girls" that we've probably heard 500+ times, so it was a spin off of that. Our best good buys this year are probably any pair of over-the-knee boots.  We have had vintage Italian red leather 5 inch stacked heeled ones, a Stella McCartney canvas and Vegan-friendly pair and an Amanda Smith black suede over the knee flat boots which you can currently find in-store and on-line.  They make any GG (Goodbuy Girl) look tough as nails. ( on the Goodbye Girls link above for a free music download!)

    What made you decide to finally open a store?
    The answer to this question varies depending on who is asking.  Sometimes the answer is Tanya's mom's hidden closet full of vintage stage clothes, embellished cowboy boots and suede fringe jackets.  Sometimes the answer is that we wanted something of our own to do while our boyfriends were having band practice (Sister's Doing It For Themselves a la Annie Lenox), also the books, How To Make A Living Without A Job by Barbara Winter and My Life and Other Unfinished Business by Dolly Parton were very helpful, but mainly, this is something we both have been passionate about for a long time and we were ready to make it happen!  It's now or never.

    Describe the vibe of your store in four words. 

    Cozy, relaxed, Dolly, Americana
    If you had a mascot for your store what would it be?
    A wild mustang

    What is your favorite era of vintage clothing?
    The Woodstock Era - Awesome styles, but also because that's when you could finally do whatever you wanted in fashion and go to the grocery store in it.

    What three items should we all be hunting for this summer?
    Native American style Jewelry (Beaded, Turquoise, Coral)
    Modified Vintage Tees with fringe and beads
    The perfect pair of Vintage Cowboy Boots with a boot-kerchief 


    Let's talk about the cowboy boots.  We see at least a few pairs a week on your blog and you have quite a collection in the store.  What are your favorite ways to wear them?
    There's only one thing you're not allowed to say in the store, "I can't wear cowboy boots."  Everyone can wear them - with skirts, dresses, jeans, leggings, shorts - no excuses.  Every GG deserves to have one cool pair!


    There is such a variety of items in the store.  We talked about how you find a lot of them when you travel to small towns.  Is it hard to edit everything when you get back and decide which items actually make it into the store?
    We are very selective on the front end, especially since we are a small store, no room for fillers.

    When vintage shopping, are there any tips you can give our readers on how to spot a "good buy"?
    Look for high quality, well-made and hand-made items, genuine fabrics, vibrant patterns, embellishments, etc.

    What are five of your favorite places in Nashville?
    1. Manuel's Studio- We stop by to say "hi" and end up staying for 5 hours pretending like we work there.  It's fun.
    2. Brown's Diner- It's classy like us and there's only one beer on tap which reduces our risk of consumer anxiety
    3. Robert's Western World- when we want to get our honky tonk on. They always have live hillbilly, rockabilly and classic country music playing and their veggie burger is exceptional.
    4. R Squared Salon- Hair Ecstasy!  They have custom mixed organic oil and aromatherapy hair treatments that will make you not want to get out of the wash chair, and a blown-out style that will have you sporting a whole new attitude.
    5. Lauren Wray's Backporch on the East Side- it's kind of like our tree/club house where we girls check in with each other.  Neil Young on the record player, pizza from Italia and cheap red wine.

    What inspires you?
    All the amazing people we get to meet in our everyday adventures!  Whether it's a GG customer who is kicking ass on a non-profit project to help the community, the fabulous classy Golden GG's who supply us with vintage goods or the local merchants who have taken us under their wings because they believe in us.  We don't think these people know how much of what they are doing truly inspires, motivates and helps us. We're going to have a party for them one day soon. You're totally on the invite list Stella!

    We can't wait for the party!  Make sure you visit the Goodbuys Girls this month and if you receive Stella emails, you will have a sweet little deal in your Inbox very soon.  You should also check out the GG's blog and follow them on Twitter.  They post special items all the time, so you have no excuse to miss out on all of this fabulousness. 

    For more GG photos, visit on Facebook.
    Goodbuy Girls 
    307 N. 16th Ave in East Nashville
    Thursday & Friday 12pm-6pm
    Saturday 10am-6pm. 

    Photos courtesy of Jessica Rai Photography. 

    Stella Spotlight: Nashville Boutiques – Gin-O Boutique

    This month Mizzie and I headed to Franklin for our June Spotlight Store.  Up and down Main Street, you'll find all types of boutiques that literally run the gamut from hiking and camping gear to high-end fashion.  On the fashion end of that spectrum, you'll find Gin-O Boutique.  A sunny, white-walled, inviting space on 4th Ave. with everything you need to look your fashionable best without breaking your budget.  We spoke to owner, Ginger Wilder about her summer faves and here's what she had to tell us...

    How has Gin-O evolved since you first opened?

    We originally saw the need for a specific type of clothing boutique in downtown Franklin, one with a fun, upbeat atmosphere.  Given the economy over the past couple of years, we have tried to stay focused on the price conscious consumer and adapt our price points without sacrificing quality and style.

    What is one of the best perks about owning a boutique?
    The best perk is having a first hand look at each aspect of the business, from buying, researching current trends, interacting with our customers and of course the cute clothes!

    Describe Gin-O style in ten words or less.

    Upbeat, fun, flirty, stylish, trendy, chic!

    What's your favorite item (or items) in the store right now?

    I'm in love with the light, flowy summer dresses that are coming in.  They are perfect paired with a summer tan.  Another favorite of mine are the new Genetic skinny jeans.  The denim is incredibly soft...I could sleep in them.  Oh, and of course, I cannot forget Hanky Pankys.  We have a lot of fun, bright colors in stock right now.

    What essentials should every girl have in her closet for summer?

    Summer dresses and tops covered in neutral colors.  Although I am a huge fan of color in the summer, neutral tones are in this season.  I often catch myself pairing my white jeans with soft grey or peach tops.  It just feels fresh and it is a nice change for the summer months.

    Also, dresses are perfect to beat the summer heat.  They are easy to throw on and go.  You can still look great and stylish even when it is sizzling outside.

    Which denim brands would you say are your favorite and the best quality for the price?
    !IT Jeans.  The quality of denim is amazing for the price you pay.  We carry several styles to fit different body types.  Our customers are always surprised when they look at the price tag.  The fit is awesome.  Styles that are huge for the summer are the Capris, and of course, DIVA.  She's our staple style.

    If I wanted to 'splurge,' my favorite brand would be our new line, Genetic denim.  It's amazing how soft the denim is.  They also fit like a glove.  I've hardly been able to take mine off.

    What are five of your favorite places in Franklin or Nashville?
    PM (sushi pizza)
    Downtown Franklin (of course)
    Percy Warner Park
    Maryland Farms YMCA
    My back patio

    What inspires you?
    My customers!  I enjoy getting to know my customers and their shopping needs.  To see them walk in and love the merchandise makes me excited to keep buying exactly what they want.  It feels great to help them put outfits together that makes them feel good about themselves.

    Visit Ginger this month at Gin-O!  And head over to our Facebook page to see some of Gin-O's cute accessories and more store photos.

    118 4th Ave. South
    Franklin, TN 

    Stella Spotlight: Nashville Boutiques - Two Elle

    Oh Two Elle, you had us from the very beginning at that quaint little house on 12South.  Now located in the Hill Center, we're still as enamored as we were that very first day.  If there's a Two Elle lifestyle...count us in.  And after reading our interview with owner, Rachel Lowe, you should understand why.
    Describe the vibe of Two Elle in five words starting with "T."
    Timeless, Tenacious, Transcendental, Tuned-In, Transformers (aka More Than Meets The Eye)

    What was your original concept for the store and how has it evolved?

    I like to think of everything I do as a journey.  Two Elle draws upon many elements of my personal journey and brings them to Nashville, a place where I originally felt like a fish out of water (or, as referenced by our logo, like a girl who had just stumbled down a rabbit hole.)  The store on 12South drew heavily on my college days.  We like to think of the 12South store as "freshman year."  It was the college library, the dorm room, the home away from home, the place where you go to hopefully find a little piece of self-expression amidst the madness of self-discovery.  When it came time to "grow up" a little, we moved on to "sophomore year" at the Hill Center.  We're still the same kid, still searching, still colorful, still excited, but now we're hanging out at the bar instead of the library.  Maybe it's an indie rock show, or maybe it's a poetry slam.  The basic elements (casual classics with a bit of an edge) are still there, but they're a little bit more urban, a little wiser, but fun nonetheless.

    What are your favorite items you're carrying for Spring/Summer?
    I'm always going to be a big fan of Steven Alan plaid button-downs for both men & women.  We should just live in those, no?  I'm also loving this grey Built by Wendy hooded sweatshirt that we have and wearing WeSC headphones whenever I can!  Oh, and I love the idea of pairing our neon green Converse hi-tops with a short summer skirt.  And I love love love love our newest addition: exclusive 2L screen-printed American Apparel t-shirts!  Love.
    What Converse style is your favorite and why?
    It changes all the time!  For awhile, it was the Cobain signature black hi-tops.  Then, it was the purple passion low-tops.  Right now, I'm kind of digging the Varvatos distressed black star players.  Really, at the end of the day though, I'm a classic Chuck Taylor kind of girl.  I feel the need to own every color of the rainbow, and if I could wear them all at once, I would.  And since the Phoenix Suns are in the play-offs right now, look for me to rock a little Punky Power with one purple and one orange.

     If Two Elle got to create an ice cream flavor, what would it be?
    Affogato.  We're espresso people.  If we could, we would take a rich vanilla gelato, pour three shots of espresso over it, and eat it all day.  Sadly, we're lactose intolerant, so we cannot.  (Bummer, because that sounds amazing!) 

    Which superheroes would shop at Two Elle?
    Pippi Longstocking, Jem (because she's truly outrageous), Balloon Fingers, Frank the Nutcracker, Steve Nash, my mom.


     Tarina Tarantino Jewelry & Orla Kiely Clutches

     Tarina Tarantino Alice in Wonderland Jewelry Collection

    What are five of your favorite places in Nashville? 

    My condo: True, I'm the girl who skips about town in a Betsy Johnson tutu, but my big secret is that I'm actually a homebody.  I love my purple Mitchell Gold sofa, my turquoise walls, my Bond No. 9 candles and my second bedroom that I converted into a mirrored, walk-in closet!

    The store: (I'm giving you three store spots; I break rules)

    The Queen of Hearts fitting room:  City codes mandate that one of the fitting rooms be large enough to accommodate a wheelchair.  As such, we ended up with a really big fitting room, aptly named, "The Queen of Hearts."  It's piled high with law books and a bench that's perfect for hiding out and doing paperwork.

    The bench outside the store:  Truth: I miss the swing that was outside our 12South store.  The bench at The Hill Center is working out just fine though.  It's springtime, and we like to sit outside!

    The Pool Table:  One of these days I'm going to clear off that product and work on my game.  For now though, I chose a spot in the center of the store, because that's where I like to be.  I love that I get to spend my days with my staff, and I love those moments when I suddenly decide I'm going to re-merchandise the entire floor.

    Frothy Monkey:  One thing I've learned about myself in this strange little wonderland I call Nashville  is that I'm loyal to a fault.  We may have "grown up" and moved to The Hill Center, but Frothy Monkey will always be my coffee shop.

    PM:  Again, I'm loyal to a fault.  About three years ago, we started calling in to-go orders for lunch, and we've never looked back.  Somewhere along the way, owner Arnold Myint has become one of my best friends, and we've celebrated perhaps every major event within the PM walls.

    Art & Invention / I Dream of Weenie in East Nashville, when I feel like crossing the bridge:  Owners Meg & Bret MacFadyen are absolute dolls.  Bret is also the talent behind our register/bar.  Going to visit them is my breath of fresh air.

    What inspires you?
    Oh, Stella (can I call you Stella?), what inspires me?  I find inspiration, beauty, strength in the simplest of moments.  I draw upon pieces from my past for inspiration (as evidenced by the fact that I plastered an entire wall with tangible moments from my 2L past).  So here are some of the pebbles that have crossed my path and continue to influence me every day:  streets of New York City, Arizona sunsets, gothic towers & grey mornings at Yale, a sense of history & a belief in tradition, the Mexican-colonial home my mom built and the bright colors that fill it, ballet (I started the tutu statement at age 3), riding the Metro North from New Haven to Manhattan early in the morning to sneak away from school for an audition, my team (I show up just to see them!), Dorothy and her journey over the rainbow, Alice and her fall down that rabbit hole, roller skates and Xanadu (yes, really), pulling all-nighters during midterms in college and then going to New York City at 5am before heading to campus to turn in a paper, my brother Danny's enthusiasm about fashion and willingness to push the boundaries on all things creative, the notion of unconditional love from my family that I'm still trying to understand, Marc Jacobs (I love anything that man does), the Phoenix Suns (again, loyal to a fault), books (put me in a bookstore, and I'll always feel at home), obstacles (call me crazy, but I love a good challenge!).

    The Hill center in Green Hills
    4025 Hillsboro Pike, Ste. 505
    615 269 9954
    Follow the rabbits on Facebook and Twitter.

    Stella subscribers, we have a special offer for you this month at Two Elle which you'll receive in your Inbox.
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    Stella Spotlight: Nashville Boutiques - whats-in-store

    Chances are you've seen or even purchased a whats-in-store jewelry piece without even knowing it.  Dena Ferrell Nance has designed gorgeous pieces that have walked the red carpet, gone down the aisle and even landed themselves in stores like Anthropologie.  Pretty impressive for a small retail store that has been an anchor on Main Street in Franklin, Tenn. for nearly ten years.  whats-in-store is the first boutique I heard about when I moved to Nashville.  I was told this was the place to shop if I was looking for affordable and on-trend accessories.  That was six years ago, and I still couldn't agree more.

    Mizzie and I met with Dena a few weeks ago and she shared some of the whats-in-store Spring line with us.  You'll see a couple pieces in the photos below.  In a word...bananas!    

    What was the original concept of whats-in-store and how has it evolved?
    From the beginning, whats-in-store has been a dynamic outlet for affordable accessories that help each of us communicate our personalities and moods.  What we wear tells the story of what is on the inside.  To me, trends in fashion are ever-changing and they mirror the ever-changing dynamic of women's lives.

    How does the Edgehill Village store differ from the Franklin store?
    Edgehill is called our "design studio" because it has a focused mission on meeting the customized needs of each individual customer or store buyer.  There we try to showcase a little of what we do, but really open the doors of possibility to people who want to be involved in the creative process of designing jewelry.  The Franklin store is a more complete reflection on how I see a season's best trends come together.  No matter where you shop, we offer a very unique blend of talent, experience and creativity.

    What are some of the big accessory trends we will see this Spring?
    Versatility is important, so neutral hues are starting out the Spring season.  There are lots of florals, filigree designs and a greater importance on silver and greys.  Hot colors include corals, pinks, purples and blues, with  my favorite color, yellow, showing up in a wide variety of shades.  Stacked bangles are still on cue, with tassle earrings, chunky necklaces and artsy cocktail rings also sharing the spotlight.  For those who loved the trend a few years back, ribbon tie necklaces are a big hit this season as well.

    What are some of your favorite pieces that you carry in the store right now?
    I always love matte finishes on silver and gold jewelry.  There is something very soft and clean about matte metals.  Almost every day I wear one of our adjustable cocktail rings.  They are practical and fun.
    Mizzie and I absolutely love the two Spring necklaces you showed us.  How would you recommend someone wear them?
    These should just be worn with confidence.  They can pair with simple tank tops as a casual statement, but can also lay over floral prints for a really modern-vintage look.  These "wow" pieces are items that you'll never throw out, because they are truly unique.  Imagine finding them in an antique store years in the future!
    What is your favorite or most special accessory?
    Although I don't wear it every day, my grandmother's diamond necklace is the most special item of jewelry I own.  She had a diamond from a ring set as a pendant for me when I graduated high school.  Way before layering necklaces was stylish, she encouraged me to mix fun costume jewelry with that special classic.  I guess she was my "stylist" even then.
    Is there a piece you've created for someone that you're most proud of?
    I am most proud of the items that have really made a difference in the lives of others.  Designs that have originated to support charitable organizations have really had an amazing impact, both through monies raised and the positive message that those items of jewelry convey.
    You've accessorized some of Nashville's best dressed celebrities.  Can you tell us who some of your celebrity clientele are?  
    We have been fortunate to have such vast exposure to the entertainment industry.  From Taylor Swift to Nicole Kidman, Naomi Judd to Jewel, many beautiful women and men have supported me.
    List five of your favorite places in Nashville.
    1. The Frist - look for an amazing fashion exhibit this fall!!
    2. Any place serving sushi
    3. The Scarritt Bennett Center at Vanderbilt
    4. The pool at my condo at the Rhythm
    5. Edgehill Village of course!
    What inspires you?
    People.  Even when I experience art, color, nature and music, it is ultimately the passion of individuals that are a part of each that gives me inspiration and enjoyment.  The uniqueness of those around us is wild...diversity truly exists in the mind, not just the appearance.
    407 Main Street
    615 794 7560
    Edgehill Village Design Studio
    1200 Villa Place
    615 321 8990
    Follow whats-in-store on Twitter and become a fan on Facebook.

    Not in Nashville?  You can shop online at

    Stella Spotlight: Nashville Boutiques - The Cosmetic Market

    That proverbial "kid in the candy store"?  That's Mizzie and me any time we walk into a cosmetics store or up to a cosmetics counter.  It's that moment of knowing you need something, but then the lights, the smells, the pretty displays, all the colors....  See I've completely forgotten where I was going with that sentence.  That's how it is when I walk into any of the three Cosmetic Markets in Nashville.  I always have something in mind to purchase, but I end up leaving  with three bottles of nail polish, a new scrub, lip balm and most definitely not the thing I actually needed, because I've long forgotten what that was.  

    The Cosmetic Market is exactly what the name's a market for all types of lovely cosmetics.  I love grabbing my basket on the way in and plucking my Bliss Lemon & Sage Body Scrub, Bumble & Bumble Curl Cream and Essie Matte Top Coat off the bakers racks, as if I was grabbing a loaf of French bread, a handful of fresh basil and a bunch of hand-picked tomatoes off the racks of the local grocery market.  These stores are bright, airy, nicely merchandised and each get their own fair share of natural light which makes for an easy and more relaxed shopping experience.

    We recently sat down with buyer, Heather Dickerson, and talked to her about what's in for Spring, what skincare treatments are best this time of year and what you can expect from your Cosmetic Market shopping experience.

    With Private Edition a mainstay in the Nashville cosmetics community, what prompted the need for The Cosmetic Market?
    The beauty and fashion industry have recently been evolving in a direction that allows women to have a more independent shopping experience.  Women are savvier than ever and often want a one-on-one experience with the products they hear and read about.  However, The Cosmetic Market is the best of both worlds.  Customers can browse on their own or have a full-service makeover or consultation with one of our knowledgeable sales associates.
    What cosmetic products are "must-haves" for Spring?
    First and foremost, a spray tan.  Pasty limbs be gone!  Luminous cheeks - maybe opt for a highlighter in place of your usual blush.  A pop of color on your eyes or lips - pick one.  If you opt for eyes, do a neutral glossy lip.  If you chose lip, do a neutral all-over-shadow and mascara.  And polished nails.  Don't be afraid to experiment with a new color.  Spring collections offer a Roy G. Biv assortment.

    What are some of The Cosmetic Market associates' favorite products?
    They are all product junkies, but a few universal favorites:  Therapy Systems Glycolics, Moroccan Oil, GHD styling irons, Smashbox Foundations, SkinCeuticals vitamin Cs, Urban Decay liners and shadow, CARGO blushes and bronzers, NARS glosses and lipsticks and Fresh & Blinc mascara.
    What's in your makeup bag?
    Omorovicza Complexion Enhancer, Tarte Bronzer, LORAC Coverup and eyeshadows, NARS Blush, Therapy Systems brushes, Urban Decay 24/7 Eyeliner, Sisley Mascara and one of every lip gloss we carry!
    What is The Cosmetic Market's main message to it's customers?
    The perfect lipstick shade, a great skincare regimen, a not too heavy, not too light conditioner, a signature fragrance...they are all here waiting for you, and we want you to have a blast while you shop for them!
    List five of your favorite places in Nashville.
    The Ryman - best music venue ever!
    Park Cafe - dining that is sophisticated, yet comfortable, but ultimately delicious!
    Hillsboro Village - a true neighborhood and the home of interesting and kind residents and an eclectic assortment of local business.
    The Red Door - the best bar in Nashville.  It is authentic and always bustling with a diverse group of patrons.  Always a fun time!

    PM - NYC has The Cafeteria.  Nashville has PM.  From burgers to sushi, all entrees are exceptional and enjoyed in a chill atmosphere.  The staff is so awesome, you will want your server to be your new best friend!

    You have a new beauty treatment room in the Green Hills location.  What type of treatments can people have done there?
    We offer full-service facials and peels, as well as a complete waxing menu - from brows to bikini.

    What is the best treatment for this time of year?

    Most people are dry this time of year, so it is important to make sure to exfoliate AND hydrate.  One option is an exfoliating scrub like Therapy Systems Amazingly Gentle Scrub or Caudalie Gentle Buffing Cream.  A Clarisonic Skincare Brush is also a great product to help gently exfoliate every day.
    Often people change their moisturizer to add hydration, but I typically suggest to upgrade your treatment serum, or if you are not using a treatment serum then add one to your skincare regiment.  A serum is absorbed by and benefits your skin at a deeper level.  Md Skincare Antioxidant Serum and Perricone MD Concentrated Restorative Treatment are two great treatments when your skin is feeling a little parched.
    What is your favorite treatment?
    A couple of times a week, I use Therapy Systems Energizing Enzyme Peel - it is a facial in a jar.  I am usually sensitive to most exfoliating products, but this gel is super gentle.  It leaves your skin feeling like a baby's - with no signs of redness or irritation.

    What inspires you?
    Risk takers - from professional risks to fashion risks.  I am inspired by individuals who follow their heart and soul and put themselves out there in a real way.  When true character and purpose are behind a decision, one can never fail - only learn and grow.
    If you were stuck on a desert island, what beauty product could you not live without?

    You can visit the Cosmetic Market at any of their four Tennessee locations or purchase online.  They'll ship to anywhere in the continental United States and they offer free standard ground shipping on orders over $75.  

    Stay tuned this month for more info on some of our favorite products, all of which you can find at your local Cosmetic Market

    Green Hills (at the Hill Center)
    4015 Hillsboro Pke, Ste. 107
    615 298 7759 
    Hillboro Village
    1809 21st Avenue South
    615 515 8440 
    Cool Springs
    545 Cool Springs Blvd., Ste. 158
    615 778 9115 
    Warehouse Row - Chattanooga, Tenn.
    1110 Market St., Ste. 120
    423 779 1377

    Stella Spotlight: Nashville Boutiques – Clothing Exchange


    If you've ever sipped your coffee at Fido and wondered what the line across the street was all about, we're here to tell you, it's for the Clothing Xchange.  That line means there's a buying and trading frenzy going on inside, which means soon there will be more fabulous items filling those racks just begging to come home with you.  You should probably head over there right now...well, after you finish reading this blog, of course.  
    Clothing Xchange has quickly become a Stella fave (and one of Google's Favorite places too!).  There is an awesome vintage selection here, and the best assortment in the city of independent apparel and accessories labels, some of which are Nashville based.

    We sat down with retail maven, Marcia Masulla, to get the low down on what makes the Clothing Xchange tick.  Here's what was fit for print. ;)

    How has the Clothing Xchange evolved since it’s inception? 

    Clothing Xchange has undergone many updates since owner Kelly Paul purchased the business a few years ago. The original name of the business was Planet Xchange when it was purchased at it's Cool Springs location. Although the business was thriving, Kelly envisioned a more creative atmosphere that featured premium recycled apparel and accessories, unique vintage assortments, and supported emerging independent designers. The first major change was a move to the bustling, yet down to earth, Hillsboro Village neighborhood with other like-minded businesses in 2007. Next, she brought on motivated staff that included a retail specialist, Marcia Masulla, to complete her vision. Store renovations, new branding, logos, and an aggressive advertising campaign that focused on their Eco-friendly brand were put into place.

    What item or items in the store are “must-haves” for winter? 

    We are really thrilled with our current inventory that includes a little something for just about everyone.
    Here are some picks that we think are just snazzy...
    Men's vintage Western shirts - They usually don't last very long when they hit the racks priced between $14 - 24. You don't have to just be a Nashvillian to appreciate these...besides who knows what country crooner was the previous owner.
    Kensie Girl booties - They are literally the most comfortable and sassy little boots a gal could own. Did we mention that they retail for a wallet-friendly $50?

    Bitchcraft - We have to restock frequently on this locally designed collection of hair pins, clips, headbands, and necklaces. These fun pieces feature various materials and fabrics such as feathers, laces, pearls and are another budget friendly option to stay chic. $12 - $18 


    What are some looks you and the staff love right now? 

    The staff and clientele are a melting pot of various looks and lifestyles.

    Jeffrey is flaunting his au natural Rock and Roll style but with an intellectual twist.
    We suspect that the muscles may be implants however.
    Dustin tweaks his questionable stache' while in deep thoughts about how much he loves his vintage faux fur coat. He is also wondering if Jeffrey's biceps are implants or if he is just happy to see Dustin...

    What is Chico’s favorite item?

    Chico has indiscriminating taste and is just smitten over the introduction of Pet apparel, accessories, and gift items that we introduced around five months ago. He became BFF's with Kristin of Lucky Pup Boutique and was able to negotiate us offering huge savings on her remaining items. Chico is naturally the top sales person in our "Dog City" section located near the register area.

    What are you looking for in the vintage clothing you carry? 

    We take pride in offering a distinct and well-priced vintage section that has grown substantially in the last six months. We now offer a dedicated shopping area for our clients who are interested in our vintage offerings. We accept items from many genres but have a strong affection for the 1950's, 1960's and the wacky and slightly tacky 80's of course. 

    Are there any tips you can give readers regarding how they can get the most (cash or trade) for the items they bring in? 

    As you can imagine, we are very busy with the Buying/Trading aspect of business. With the economic climate in the last few years, consumers are now seeking cash payouts at an all time high. Clothing Xchange advises that customers check our website daily for Buying/Trading updates that communicate what types of items we are in need of and our buying practices for that day. We have literally had lines nearly every morning for the last year with consumers seeking our cash payouts. All of the recycled and vintage items you are interested in selling/trading must be clean, in good condition, and stylish.

    If there was a soundtrack for the store, what are some of the songs that would be on it? 

    We sometimes have to arm-wrestle when we decide whose iPod gets the most playtime, because the staff's taste is all over the board. It only makes sense that many musicians are or have been employees or business associates!
    We like to make them blush by rocking out to their very own tunes:
    Name five of your favorite places in Nashville.
    Clothing Xchange is a huge supporter of all independent businesses and we try to support them in any way that we can. Here is just a sample of some of our favorite places! 
    Belcourt Theatre - Our neighbor, our friend. Independent film, music, and theatre. Nuff said.
    Patterson House - Great vibe, great food and cocktails
    Centennial Park - The Parthenon! Chico also digs the walking trails and all of the events that occur here that include Movies In the Park.
    The Green Wagon - We take every possible step to go Green here at the shop and we love this general store.
    Ryman - Music makes the world go round and this is the place to experience it. 

    What is your message to your customers? 

    We genuinely appreciate every person who walks into the shop and want to offer the best in Vintage, Recycled, and New merchandise. We also support the Nashville fashion scene and feature independent designers and artists. Our Buy/Sell business makes up a major part of the nuts and bolts of our store and we look forward to receiving the best in your closet! Stop by, you may be surprised by what you may find. 

    What inspires you?
    All creativity.....and Chico of course.

    Marcia and her little man, Chico

    Special Deal for Stella Readers!!
    Mention Stella or Stella Shops at the Clothing Xchange during the month of January and receive 25% off your purchase.  Woo hoo!
    1817 21st Ave. South in Hillsboro Village
    Open Monday through Saturday 11am-7pm and Sunday 12pm-5pm.

    Get in the loop on selling and trading and all the fun happenings at the Clothing Xchange.  Follow them on Twitter at @ClothingXchange and become a fan on Facebook.