Get To Know Nashville: Rachel & Katie Dodson of Love and Flak

We recently did a Fashion Friday - How to Wear It post with The Lookbook on Love and Flak's Bullet Necklace.  These necklaces ooze cool and you just can't help but think about the history behind them.  Honestly, they're badass and a great gift to give or receive this holiday (hint hint).  Rachel & Katie Dodson are the fab women behind Love and Flak.  They took some time out from working on their new line to answer a few questions for us for this month's Get to Know.
Your style in five words or less: Defiant, Vintage, Romantic, Militant, Bam!

You can never have too many: Books. Reading is escapism. Escape to revisit pleasant experiences and places; Escape to find solace and affirmation; Escape in order to explore new worlds and ways of being. Books can spark creativity and give an interesting perspective to the way we approach our work and life. It's a vacation from the regular rattle and hum of the brain.
You couldn't live without: Hands down: COFFEE

The Moment Love and Flak was born: It's unbelievable what people lose. Our good friend - an avid relic hunter - let us rummage through some of his rare vintage finds. Through the use of a metal detector, he has unearthed a variety of historical artifacts such as bullets, coins, medals, tags and other unimaginable Civil War era relics. We were immediately drawn to the stories behind each piece - a Civil War Saddle Shield, a World War II bullet, even a 19th century pocket watch. Inspired by the variety of colors, patterns, textures, and shapes, we began transforming our favorites in to unreproducible necklaces.
Best Holiday Memory: This year, we pooled our Christmas money and splurged on a Mediterranean cruise; just the two of us. We hit Greece, Israel, Egypt and Italy on a 15-day jaunt. We had an unforgettable trip exploring ancient Athens, the Great Pyramids of Cairo, the religious epicenter Jerusalem and the 'Eternal City' Rome. We felt like two girls on an ah-mazing race around the world.  It was a very Merry Christmas, two months early.
Favorite Designers: Marc Jacobs, Nicholas K, Jason Wu, Charlotte Ronson, Lanvin - designer: Alber Elbaz, YSL - designer: Stefano Pilati

Favorite Hangouts: Coffee: Frothy Monkey; Food: Urban Flatts - Turkey Pear and Brie - To die; Fashion: Gas Lamp - Hate to even spread the word about this amaze little secret; Music: 12th and Porter

Top Three Desert Island CDs: This is a toughy. Prob would change if you asked us next week....however, this week we pick: 3. The Dead Weather - Horehound, 2. The Beatles - Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band, 1. Red Hot Chili Peppers - Californication

Inspirations: Alison Mosshart (do you know how hard this girl rocks?), Faith, Humor, Black and White photography, Rock and Punk culture, Ancient history, Each other, Street Fashion, Rad Music, Traveling

Love & Flak Philosophy: "There are no rules....Anything Goes"

Badass, right?  In Nashville, you can find the Love and Flak collection at H. Audrey in the Hill Center and Muse Boutique on West End.  If you're out of state and would like more information, email us and we'll put you in touch with Rachel and Katie.

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 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