I've known it was coming for nearly two years and was living in some denial until last month it finally happened. Nordstrom opened at The Mall at Green Hills. Our relationship probably needs some explanation. The flirting began in 1995 when Nordstrom opened it's (now closed) Circle Centre Mall location in Indianapolis. Lured by the make-up events at the Bobbi Brown counter, there was no better way to spend a lunch hour. Our courtship officially started in 2001 when I started my job at The Indianapolis Star. Armed with my shiny silver Nordstrom card, I was now a mere six blocks away from my designer happy place. I swear the Nordstrom 'N' would shine in the sky like the bat symbol for half-yearly sales, double point events and the rare and coveted triple point events. And I was there. For all of it. Soon I was being invited to shop the sales before they were open to the public. I knew this was just a ploy to get me there early to spend more, but I didn't care. I was smitten.
In 2003, my husband and I moved to Nashville. A city with no Nordstrom. We tried the long distance thing and Nordy's was my first stop when we would visit friends and family in Indy, but our relationship was never the same. I had to learn how to shop in Nashville. That's when I turned to the local boutiques. It was Posh, The Cotton Mill and whats-in-store that made me realize I didn't need double-points to afford those 7 For All Mankind jeans, Mackage jackets or the costume jewelry I coveted. I could find them all right here, some within walking distance of my house, and get the same or better customer service. I didn't need half-yearly sales anymore, because now I could find sales all the time. Soon I was making trips to Indy and not visiting Nordstrom. We were officially broken up.
When I heard the first rumblings of a Nashville Nordstrom, I'll admit I had that flutter in my belly again. It was too good to be true. A brand spanking new store two miles from my house. It's like Nordy's knew I was a loyal boutique shopper now (and had a blog to prove it), so this was 'his' way of tempting me. Things were going to get interesting.
Fast forward to September 16 and the opening festivities. I decided to check out the Beauty Bash which preceded the Friday opening. At 8:15am I parked in the parking garage and realized I may not be prepared for this. I witnessed two women running through the parking lot. Once inside, I thought maybe I had just woken up in the middle of Fashion's Night Out again. Techno music was blasting and hundreds of women were clamoring to get to the next open table to have their make-up done for the day. This is what I walked into.
The store itself opened at 10am. I was going to play this one cool. I wanted to see him, but I could wait...until Saturday. I had a reschedule for the Nordstrom Fits America event that had happened a few weeks earlier. My friend and I met early that morning and the wooing began the minute I walked into the store. Radiohead. He wooed me with Radiohead. Well played Nordy's. Well played. The playlist that followed was full of my favorites...Oasis, Phoenix, probably a little Coldplay. I can't remember as I was in the midst of a bra fitting frenzy that ended with me trying to decide what I was actually going to purchase. If you only do one thing at Nordstrom, go get a bra fitting. The staff is knowledgeable, friendly and the whole experience was super fun. (but make sure you visit local lingerie shops like Rebecca Vaughn and I See London too!) The lingerie department dressing rooms are more like a lounge and I'm slightly obsessed with this wallpaper.
Armed with a new silver Nordstrom card, I was thinking I might be ready to get back together. As my friend and I scoped out each department, we couldn't help but notice the general temperament of the shoppers. It was as if they finally felt like they had somewhere to shop. Amidst the sparkly Chanel boots, Burberry platform loafers and studded Jeffrey Campbell Lita's, I felt conflicted. Didn't these shoppers know they could get that Rag & Bone plaid shirt at H. Audrey? Or those Frye boots at Monkee's? Or that Missoni cardigan at Jamie? Granted if you've been wanting a Gucci or Chanel handbag, you don't need to travel to Atlanta or Chicago anymore, but that's not the masses. I enjoyed 'window shopping' this store. It's shiny and sparkly and new and everything I could've ever wished for eight years ago. I want to try the diner, Sixth & Pine, and I'm hopeful it's going to be a great place for my husband to shop.
I'm happy that after all of these years I've learned how to shop local. I feel better about my purchases because I know the money is staying in the community and that helps everyone. I'm afraid some of my favorite boutiques will struggle now because shoppers will go to Nordstrom first. This is why Stella Shops is here. We'll continue to bring you the best of Nashville's local boutiques and continue to let you know where you can find the best deals. And sometimes that might be Nordstrom. We just hope that everyone continues to shop local whenever they can.
And to my dearest Nordy's I say, welcome. It's nice to see you again. I've missed you all these years, but can we just be friends?