I want to live at Emerson Grace. Not in the apartments above Emerson Grace, literally in the store. This gorgeous men's and women's apparel and accessories store is minimalist chic at it's most warm and lived-in best. I'm not surprised by that since the space was designed by local architect Nick Dryden. I want to move into every place Nick has designed (Billy Reid, imogene + willie, Burger Up, Josephine, The 404 Kitchen & Hotel), so when I found out he worked on Emerson Grace, I knew this shop was going to be amazing. I was clearly smitten when I walked in the door, and then I saw the lines they carried. Rag & Bone, Frank & Eileen, Maison Scotch, Kelly Wearstler, Vince, local handbag designer Ceri Hoover and so many more. Emerson Grace is my dream closet. It's also my husband's dream closet. The men's side of the store is as stellar as the women's side, and a very welcome addition to a small list of local men's boutiques.
I had the pleasure of meeting owner Courtnay Page when I was Christmas shopping for my husband. She's amazing, and you can feel her stylish West Coast vibe in every inch of this shop. I was thrilled she took the time to answer some questions for me.
What can a shopper expect when they come to Emerson Grace?
Great service. Also, they can expect to find clothes for women and men. That’s the biggest difference in this store and my others. Inside, within Emerson Grace, we’ve created cohesion between the two divisions, but also maintained a slight separation, so it feels like two stores that just happen to share a space.
Also, people might be interested to know about the take-home service we offer to our female customers. For men who hate to shop, we can do pulls that the wives can take home for him to try on. They bring back what doesn’t work. Basically, they pull like a stylist would. I’ve never understood why we do it for stylists but not the regular consumer. We provide services that make shopping for men really, really easy.
What are some of your favorite brands you carry for men and women?
We carry several brands not currently available in Nashville, including Won Hundred, which is out of Copenhagen; they make great, wearable women’s separates. The Swedish denim company Strom, is another, and Pomandere, which is an Italian line. For guys, I really like Rag & Bone and Vince, button-downs from Frank & Eileen, and watches by the California brand Tsovet, who had a presence at our trunk show last month.
With the original Emerson Grace store in LA, what made you choose Nashville?
This is actually our fifth store: we have three stores in the L.A. area – specifically, in Pasadena and San Marino - as well as the original store in Portland, Oregon. The decision to open here came at the suggestion of our friend, Jim Lewis. He filled us in on the amazing growth opportunity here. Plus Nashville has a very creative vibe that I connected with from day one.
Where does the name come from?
It’s in honor of my two daughters, Emerson and Grace. I love that the name Emerson can be male or female, and that it has a refined edge to it; Grace, on the other hand, very feminine.
Describe the vibe of Emerson Grace in five words or less.
Chic. Timeless. Modern. Effortless.
What trends do you love right now?
I'm not big on trends: I try to keep my style classic and timeless. But right now, I’m loving anything military inspired. And for women, I’ve always loved a slouchy pant with a sexy top. For guys, I like the sophisticated hipster look, which includes cuffed raw denim.
What is one thing people may not know about Emerson Grace?
We’re always looking to feature emerging designers not only from the West Coast – Jill Michael who was part of our trunk show last month is an example - but from Nashville as well. Right now, to name one example, we have pieces by local handbag designer Ceri Hoover on the floor.
If Emerson Grace were a cocktail, what would it be?
A Manhattan - stylish and cosmopolitan, but with a Southern flair.
Name five of your favorite places in Nashville.
I'm obsessed with food, so I'm going to start with a few restaurants: Josephine – I love anything and everything they are serving; City House - the pork belly pizza is my favorite; and Rolf & Daughters - the food and the atmosphere is always great. In terms of shopping, Emerson Grace’s neighbor Cadeau has curated the most amazing and unique array of gifts and home décor. And I love visiting Peter Nappi and getting inspired by what he’s doing with leather.