As I sit here trying to type out a comprehensive post, I’m set back with a bundle of emotions. After living, loving, and breathing Nashville for the past five years, I’m bitter sweetly saying goodbye to TN. I’ve accepted a marketing position within an agency I tremendously admire in Denver, CO and will be based there in August.
Nashville will forever be an incredible force I’ll look back on with the utmost respect. It was this cities inspiring new growth that led me to create Under the Guise. A life path and endeavors I would of never imagined taking apart of flourished here. It was Nashville I learned the meaning of nitty-gritty hard work and relentless passion towards your craft when it comes to being self-employed. All the blood, sweat, and tears that led me to where and what I’ve accomplished thus far, I owe so much credit to Nashville’s community that gave me an honest chance to grow with it. I’ve never taken that for granted, and will forever look back fondly on.
You’ve all faithfully followed along these past few years, and I hope you continue to do so as I explore Colorado right here. I’m excited for all the new adventures ahead, and hope you’ll stay connected with me as there’s so much more I want to share.
Here’s to Colorado and new beginnings! Much love and I hope to see you on the west side.
– HJread more
On Thursday morning, I set off to Milledgeville, TN where Noble Denim (a small-batch jean company I’ve admired from afar), happily calls home along with a location in Cincinnati.
Tucked away off a windy dirt road lies a large and unassuming building within a charming town consisting of roughly 330 in population. Inside the facility, lines of classic sewing machines, thread, and denim fill out every nook and cranny of this factory that’s been in business for 25 years. I arrived around 12pm, and after a few minutes talking with Chris Sutton (original jean maker and Noble founder), a vintage bell went off in a flurry that instantly reminded me of middle school and that classic ring I grew up abiding to — it was time to gather for a family-style lunch. Needless to say, this little factory and its kind employees already had me smitten within the first few minutes I was there.
What impresses me the most about Noble, is their commitment to crafting beautiful jeans and other small-batch products that are assembled in the US and constructed with American products. The denim comes from North Carolina, their organic cotton is grown in California, and the brass hardware and leather is sourced from Kentucky.
Despite the “fast fashion” times we’ve grown accustomed to, Chris has injected life back into this TN factory that has seen its fair share of flux due to the recession. He’s trumped the fast fashion standard by partnering with a talented crew of sewers who have stayed with the factory through all the ups and downs every step of the way. They’re passionate and skilled at what they do, and aren’t taking any short cuts. From the supplies to the handcrafted care, Noble is determined to keep quality at the forefront, and cheap labor practices aren’t an option.
Relentless curiosity, drive, and sheer creativity may have spearheaded Chris’ independent design journey from that start, but with the help of his skilled and passionate partners that boast the same vision, Sutton’s dream has become a collaborative-reality backed by the truest intentions poised with longevity.read more
Here’s a little glimpse of Germantown, a neighborhood in Nashville I happily call home. I moved here in 2009, right when it was starting to see a healthy influx of new growth. The 18-block area boasts a plethora of beautiful architecture, including buildings that date back to 1830. Streets lined with over 100 species of trees is another visual treat, and special to watch as the seasons change while strolling down the brick sidewalks.
The vibrant neighborhood is rapidly changing with new restaurants, shops (and a baseball stadium!) all moving into the proximity. Here’s a list of some places definitely worth checking out if you’re in the area:
Food + Drink:
- Rolf & Daughters
- City House
- Germantown Cafe
- Mad Platter
- 312 Pizza Company
- Flour. Sugar. Eggs.
- Red Bicycle Coffee & Crepes
- Garden Brunch Cafe
- Knock Out Wings
- Mary’s Old Fashion BBQ
- Little’s Fish Company
- Big Al’s Diner
- Cupcake Collection
- Lazzaroli Pasta
- Nashville Farmers’ Market
- Bicentennial Park
- Neuhoff Factory
- Peter Nappi
Yesterday was a pretty special day, as I got to see my friend Logan and her boyfriend Colt while they were in town hosting a pop-up for their boot line, Cobra Rock. Logan and I studied photography together at Concordia University, and have kept in touch ever since those Montréal days where we’d rack up hours upon hours shooting and developing photos in the darkroom. Photography may be temporarily taking a back seat in her life right now, but I’m so proud of all the success and praise her and Colt have received on this exciting new journey of theirs.
As you can see, all their boots are made by hand and sewn together with American full-grain leather. Their workshop is based in Marfa, TX (dreamy, right?) where Logan and Colt spend their days creating the same way small-shop cowboy boot makers have been doing for over a century. Although they can work on several pairs at once, a single pair of boots takes nearly two and a half weeks to create — equating to the heart and soul of this small-batch handmade process.
I can’t wait to break in my new pair and watch them just get better upon each wear.read more
Upon arriving at Lisa Garcia’s shared studio space, I was immediately greeted with a big smile from the designer as I walked through the open door and into her studio being showered in the afternoon’s natural light. As I began snapping away, Lisa worked on a hoop art wall piece while we chatted about all her creative endeavors.
Kicking off with an impressive career in interior design, she’s also worked in art direction, photo styling and product design. When she’s not on the road touring (check out her band, Copperfox), she’s here in her studio working on handmade pieces for her line Soñadora (Spanish for dreamer). Applying a modern spin to her folk fiber art inspired pieces, she works with gorgeous high-quality fibers and it certainly shows through the texture, shape and color of each curated item.
Like what you see? Hop onto her Etsy shop to browse and purchase your own piece here.read more