Located at the base of the 12 South neighborhood, Savant Vintage sells a wide range of vintage clothing, shoes, accessories, and furnishings – but this is not your average thrift store. The tiny shop is bursting at the seams with handpicked items that you won’t find anywhere else. The store certainly isn’t for thrifty shoppers (many of the bigger-ticket items can cost upwards of $100), but if you’re searching for unique and well cared for vintage goods, Savant is a must-visit destination.
Located right across the street from Savant Vintage, Serendipity is a mecca for funky, one-of-a-kind clothing, gifts, jewelry, and accessories. Founder Julie Lutz has been devoted to her vision of selling unique products since she was 16 years old — and operating her own brick-and-mortar retail shop inside her mother’s cosmetics store — and thus it should come as no surprise that Serendipity stands out in a town filled with small specialty shops. Julie and the rest of her team constantly revise the aesthetic of the store’s offerings in order to keep up with Nashville’s ever-changing style while staying true to the breezy vibe that the store has always maintained. Many of the products sold are also locally crafted, including a wide variety of handmade jewelry.
Imogene + Willie
Founders Matt and Carrie Eddmenson first launched Imogene + Willie in 2009 as an online-only service dedicated to selling the highest-quality denim for both men and women. Their email campaign was so wildly successful that in the summer of the same year, the couple opened their first brick-and-mortar store in what was once an old service station in Nashville’s 12 South neighborhood. Today, Imogene + Willie is truly a boutique unlike any other in Nashville — or quite possibly anywhere else in the world. While the space may have once functioned as a gas station, today the boutique — filled with rustic furniture and décor with its products so organically integrated that you may find yourself wondering exactly what’s for sale and what is mere decoration — is a study in the power of raw, folksy charm. And perhaps most importantly, their denim will make you rethink the very definition of denim — the store was even featured by the likes of The New York Times for its quality and inventiveness.
Corner Music Inc
Corner Music has been serving Nashville’s thriving music scene since it opened in 1976. It’s earned a number of distinctions in the decades that it’s been operating, including over 15 Top Sales awards from Music & Sound Retailer magazine and the only Five Star Gibson Acoustic Dealership in Nashville (given to some of the best stores to buy guitars in the country on the grounds of expertise in Gibson acoustics and a full selection of Gibson acoustic guitars). The store is a favorite amongst Nashville’s many professional artists and music industry veterans not only for its wide range of products – the store sells everything from guitars and amps to recording equipment and much, much more – but also for its staff members’ breadth of knowledge and expertise.
It’s probably not often that you’re presented with opportunities to shop from a selection of clothing and accessories personally curated by Reese Witherspoon. Since opening a brick and mortar storefront next to Sprinkles cupcakes on 12 South, however, Nashville locals and visitors have had this very chance. Witherspoon created Draper James to honor her Southern heritage, and today the store sells modern-day takes on preppy Southern classics. This store is certainly not for everyone; firstly, it is a luxury boutique, with most clothing items priced between $80-300. Its products are also skewed towards the deeply Southern, preppy, conservative aesthetic from which many Nashville residents depart sharply. However, if you enjoy a luxury floral print or colorful gingham- or if you’re merely curious to see what a Reese Witherspoon-imagined boutique would look like – then a stop by Draper James can’t hurt.
Holly Williams opened White’s Mercantile, on the very end of 12 South, in December 2013. Williams descends from country music royalty – she is, after all, the daughter of Hank Williams, Jr. – and along with her impressive entrepreneurial history, she is a singer/songwriter herself. Williams also owns H. Audrey, a women’s boutique that’s outfitted the likes of Sheryl Crow and Gwyneth Paltrow. White’s Mercantile, on the other hand, is filled not only with designer threads (there are some of those here, too) but also with an eclectic assortment of items that Williams has found while on tour across the country, leading her to describe the store’s aesthetic as a ‘general store for the modern-day tastemaker.’
By Katie Miller