Native + Nomad, a local Nashville gem in Hilsboro Village, recently styled NStyle Country’s, Esseri Holmes in an editorial piece photographed by Tim West. With one glance, it’s obvious why we fell in love with the store. Native + Nomad embodies the Nashville style, while recommending pieces to customers with pure intuition. Esseri Holmes adds, “Planning this editorial with Native + Nomad was really a natural fit. These clothes reflect the natural and independent girl inside of all of us. Nashville’s Nomad.”
It doesn’t hurt that owner, Kelly Connolly, is effortlessly cool, philanthropic, and inspiring. We caught up with, Kelly, who dished the details on opening a boutique that’s committed to Nashville, styling musicians, fashion inspiration, generosity, and of course, music influence.
(NStyle Country) How did you choose Nashville as a location?
(KC) Nashville is my home! I moved here 7 years ago to attend Belmont from Atlanta, and it immediately felt like home. I have lived within the Hillsboro Village/12 South area for all these years, this area was where I knew the store should be because its my neighborhood!
(NStyle Country) Does music influence your style and store?
(KC) Music is such a huge part of Nashville and we are a local shop catering to the people and culture of Nashville, so naturally music has quite an influence on our business. Before opening Native + Nomad I worked in the music industry as a stylist locally and on tour with Rihanna. Now as a shop, we continue to partner with musicians to style their photoshoots, videoshoots, tours, etc. The mindset behind this place is to be so much more than a retail shop, but a part of Nashville's community of musicians, designers, artists, etc. We have so many clients, shoppers, neighbors and friends of N+N who are all musicians and you will definitely see N+N supporting at all their hometown shows!
(NStyle Country) What music choices have you made for your retail location's soundtrack or station?
(KC) Making the playlists for the store is something I really enjoy. If there is one thing all 90's kids pride ourselves in doing well, it's making a killer mixtape for our friends! Most of the time you will hear local Nashville artists playing in here: Jack White (loving the new Dead Weather album), The Black Keys, Natalie Prass, Wild Cub, Future Unlimited, Mikky Ekko, etc. We like to play songs by artists our shoppers already know and love while also sneaking in some of our favorite up and comers, indie picks, and friends in an attempt to give them some exposure (current picks: Rayland Baxter, and Kurt Vile). It's always fun to do decade days where we will play all 70's tunes or 90's rock. Sometimes it will be nothing but Johnny Cash and George Jones in here! My personal favorite musician of all time is Ryan Adams so he is always in the rotation. Recently wearing out his cover album of Taylor Swift's 1989, like it or not! :)
(NStyle Country) Who or what is the style inspiration for the store.
(KC) The people of Nashville! Nashville has a very unique style. People here value comfort and quality. I admire our community stylistically, because we do not feel tied to the need to follow trends, but rather make our own. In Nashville, people want denim they can live in, boots and bags their kids will fight over inheriting one day, and quality materials with good fits. The casual coolness of Nashville has inspired my style and this shop in general. Plus, it is always evolving and changing, because Nashvillians are an eclectic group who take risks which you gotta love, respect and keep up with!
(NStyle Country) How did your store concept evolve?
(KC) My first retail venture was part of a franchise. I wanted to learn about the industry coming from the music/styling world, my knowledge of the retail side of the industry was somewhat minimal. I quickly realized Nashville needs stores that truly have a local focus with an owner/buyer to listen and cater to what our shoppers want. The name came from the desire to support the world we live in and the people we share it with, on both a local and broad level. We feel strongly about carrying lines made in the USA, in order to support our economy and NOT foreign sweatshops. The "native" side of us is supporting local designers and artisans by carrying their lines, working w/ the NFA, hosting trunk shows for local charities or businesses, and lining the walls with local art for sale.
The "nomad" side contains designers and brands with a message and a purpose, you will find things in our store which 100% of your purchase goes directly to helping someone in need. We partner w/ HEAL in Jinja, Uganda, and host shopping days where a percentage of all sales goes to directly to their programs, specifically empowering women to take control of their future. The concept is to cater to the people who are right here in Nashville, and what matters to our community while contributing whatever small bit we can for the world in general and those who are devoting their lives to it....oh, and to look good while doing it!
Shop Native + Nomad HERE !
Photographer: Tim West
Styling: Native + Nomad
Model: Esseri Holmes