A Few of My Favorite Things

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Well hello, December! You slipped up on me quite quickly! My intention this year was to get a head start on my holiday shopping. I have started a little but have a lot more to go. But I have my nice (and maybe naughty ;)) list made which is half the battle!

So I’m sure I’ve mentioned in other blogs and on my Facebook page that I love supporting independent businesses. My husband is an independent business owner so I see the hard work that goes into owning your own business. Let me just say, it’s not as easy as it looks! You are your own everything….Public Relations, Marketing, Creator, CEO, Assistant, Human Resources, Finance..the list of departments and job titles goes on! And a lot of times it’s rolled up into one person. So my point about this is why I love supporting an independent business owner. Whatever business that may be. I know my money is going towards someone’s business that they love and put their heart and soul in to. They can have an actual shop that I can go to or a virtual one. Both work for me.

So without further ado, I’d like to introduce you to some of my favorite “things,” which are places or people I recommend you shop with!

Vintage or vintage re-production clothing: I love it. And something I spend lots of my monies on. My heart races when my eyes make contact with a 70+ year old garment. I mean, come on, it survived so many years and here I am holding it! So one of my favorite places to shop for these things is Sugaree’s located in historic downtown Murfreesboro, Tenn. This adorable shop tugs at my heart strings. I truly feel like I’ve stepped back in time like I’m a 1950s woman having a shopping day. Staci Higdon, the owner, carries an array of fashion lines including BB Dakota and Stop Staring! Clothing. She also carries many accessories such as jewelry, vintage hats, vintage gloves and shoes. You’re sure to find a gift for someone and probably walk out with something for yourself.

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My next introduction got the spotlight last summer when I wrote a blog about it. Live True Vintage is an East Nashville, Tenn shop with good intentions and amazing vintage items. I follow Live True Vintage on Facebook and Instagram and Tammy Pope, the owner, posts the treasures she finds and I’m constantly having to practice restraint from not wanting to immediately go there and buy it. Her shop is very charming and she carries TONS of items; men and women’s clothing, hats, accessories, posters…the list just goes on. Do yourself a favor and go ahead and put this business on your go-to holiday shopping destination. Another place you’re bound to walk out with a gift for yourself too. Hey, treat yo’self!

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Number 3 on the list starts our journey into the virtual realm. That’s one thing that’s convenient about the internet; you can buy and sell across the globe. Parlor Tattoo Prints caught my eye the first time I saw the owner’s designs. This woman creates the most exquisite artwork. Some designs speak to the old school tattoos that you’re grandfather had inked on him in WWII and some are straight from your favorite movies such as Edward Scissorhands or The Shining. Either way, you’re likely to find that perfect picture for your favorite someone. I bought one for my best friend for her birthday and it was a hit.  I’ve always love artwork as a gift too.

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Next up is another creative designer that creates the most darling ties that have a hidden surprise. Shannon of Truly New Vintage creates peek-a-boo ties that are the bomb! She takes a tie and adds a pin up girl to the underside of the tie. So when you see someone randomly smiling as they are standing there looking totally professional, you can guess they may be wearing one of these cheeky accessories. She has an assortment of pin up pictures and ties to choose from so that you can come up with the perfect gift.

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My next introduction is a destination gift. Natchez Hills Bed and Breakfast is the best gift for a little get-a-way. This quaint and peaceful place has all the right stuff. A nice place to sleep, great amenities, beautiful scenery and best of all, wine! This place is located in the heart of a large wine area in Tennessee with the Natchez Hills Winery being one among them. The owners are the nicest people that you just can’t help but feel like you’re at home when you stay. Don’t live in the middle Tennessee area? Check out what your local area has to offer in this realm.

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To continue the destination gift ideas, why not present your beloved with a ticket to an event, concert or festival?! Whether it be a one-day, weekend or week excursion, plan a trip to an event. Know someone that loves music? Make their holiday by gifting them a ticket to a concert or festival. Or maybe you know someone that is into a specific genre or area and there is an event taking place that specializes in this. Guess what, that’ll be a crowd pleaser too. I love taking mini-trips so if someone bought my ticket to an event I was planning to go to, they’d be number one in my book. The memories are the gift that keeps on giving. Here are my two recommendations for 2015 events. The Nashville Boogie Vintage Weekender & Car Show taking place May 1 through 2, 2015 and the Summer Wine Train Social presented by Muddy Roots Music departing on July 18, 2015. Both are taking place in beautiful Music City, Nashville, Tenn. Don’t live close by? Well, we have an international airport you can fly in to. 🙂

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To top off my list of holiday shopping recommendations, I must insist you look into photography. As in contacting a professional photographer and getting a session as a gift for someone or even for yourself. It’s a timeless investment and worth every penny. A lot of professional photographers offer gift certificates so don’t be shy to ask. Much like a day at the spa, a photo shoot is a pamper session as well. Makeup artists and hairstylists are often included in packages so all you have to do is show up and let the professionals do their magic. Don’t know of any? Search in your area and read reviews to get a feel for it. You can view their website to see their work and make a decision from there. This may be an uncommon gift but I assure you, if you give that special someone this as a gift, you’re sure to be loved for life. And the plus side? Photo shoots are fun!

My recommendations for photographers that I’ve worked with and love to death are La Photographie Nashville, And How! Imaging, Blast ‘Em Photography, Shannon Brooke Imagery, Retrospect Nashville and Uvudu Imaging.

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Now that you’ve been given some recommendations, what are you waiting for?? Get to shopping! 🙂

Living True in the Name of Vintage

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Most of us have a motto we live by. “Live each day to the fullest,” “Live fast, die young,” “Where there’s a will, there’s a way.” For Tammy Pope, she not only lives by a motto, she named her vintage business after the words she lives by.

Tammy Pope is the lovely owner of Live True Vintage in East Nashville, Tenn. Tammy had her grand opening of her eclectic business just a little over a year ago on May 18, 2013. The road to getting the place business-ready was not easy. If you look up the definition of “blood, sweat and tears,” I’m pretty sure you’d see a picture of Tammy pouring herself into whipping the building into shape. While most people would have given up on a run-down building, Tammy did not and the fruits of her labors show when you walk into the store today. Tammy has the whole store displayed in such a charming and appealing way. She definitely gets a A++ in decorating.

 

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When asked to describe her shop, the first word she said was “fun.” She went on to explain that when girls come into groups to try stuff on together, even if they do not purchase anything, they say they have fun. This is the biggest compliment to her. She also says she gets to listen to The Cramps instead of local radio station Jack FM, which she was subjected to when she worked for the United States Postal Service. I have to admit, being a music lover myself, it is nice when you can listen to what you want while you work.

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She opened the business out of necessity. “First I started doing Ebay and Etsy. It was going good and I would set up a flea markets,” explained Tammy. She would also commission pieces and paint furniture. She kept accumulating items and first bought a little vintage bus and showcased at car shows. When it started to look like she might have to get a storage unit to store all the vintage treasures she was finding, she started looking for a residential business. After looking for a long time she found the building she currently occupies.

She described her experience with opening up her business as, “Super satisfying….any progress is your own.”  There was no electricity during the first three months and she started having other problems with the building. She stated it’s, “been like a fun roller-coaster.” And how she elaborated on that was the feeling you get when the roller-coaster is about to crest at the top of the hill and the feeling as you’re plummeting down (she also did an amazing demonstration of being on a roller-coaster). Even though it’s a wild ride, when the roller-coaster stops, you’re wanting to go again.

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Coming up with the business name didn’t prove to be a cake walk as one would think. When she started to create her online stores on Ebay and Etsy, she used the search tool to ensure there wasn’t another name out there. Every name kept coming up taken. Out of a fit of frustration, she threw her head and fists to the desk to at least take a moment to breath. That’s when she looked at her hands and decided to type in the words that are tattooed at the tops of her fingers. She entered the words, “Live True”, and BAM! the name wasn’t taken and the answer had truly been right at her fingertips the whole time. “Live True is my business motto. I’m not apologizing for anything,” stated Tammy. I’d say one can’t argue with that because these two words have a big meaning and is a phrase everyone can understand.

I asked her if she had any favorite items she enjoyed selling. “I like t-shirts because they’re always so funny.” She had a Dolly Parton t-shirt that sold in one day. She also likes country and western concert tour shirts, especially from the 70s and 80s. “It makes people so happy to find these t-shirts.” She likes to see people’s faces light up when they discover a t-shirt from their favorite band, musician or tour. As someone that still owns some of my band t-shirts from back in the day, I can see why people get so happy when they find their favorite. Her favorite part about owning Live True Vintage is seeing everybody and when her friends come to visit. She also enjoys the shows that are showcased at the shop. There is a space in the shop that bands and musicians can set up and play a show.

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To close out the interview, I asked Tammy for some closing remarks or what I like to call, “Famous Last Words.” She said this, “Support small businesses. If you can’t come in, you can share a status [on Facebook].” She also pointed out that other small businesses help each other out and support each other. Live True Vintage is a charming little shop that not only delivers a great message with it’s name, it also delivers the best vintage products in town.

Live True Vintage is located on 3123 Gallatin Pike Nashville, Tenn 37216. You can also go like her Facebook page at Live True Vintage or Instagram at livetruevintage.

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