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Noble Denim

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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.

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Cobra Rock

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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.

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Lisa Garcia

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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.

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Lauren Zwanziger

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If you’re a diehard Pinterest fan, there’s a good chance you may be one of Lauren Zwanziger’s 4.6 million followers. Browse any of her thoughtfully curated boards, and it’s clear that this recent graduate of O’More College of Design has the style and eye to back that faithful following. Aside from utilizing Pinterest like a boss, Zwanziger has also dipped her toe in the blogging world and launched The Transatlantic, which showcases everything from personal style to her adventurous travels around the world. Along with photographing a bit of her house (and lots of downtime in between playing with adorable dog, Banjo!), I was also able to pick her brain about what she’s currently working on and has planned next. Follow along and bookmark her blog, as this young lady has some very exciting things ahead.

When did you first get involved with Pinterest and how has your success with the site influenced your career choices and led to new opportunities?

I first started using Pinterest back in Fall 2010, so near the launch of the site. As most new users, I quickly fell in love with the site! At the time, I was in my sophomore year of design school, so I was using it almost daily to create inspiration boards for class. After using it for about a year, I noticed I had acquired a surprisingly large number of followers, which sparked the idea to pursue blogging full-time.

That’s right, you just launched The Transatlantic. Tell us more about it!

Building the blog has been a very long, on-going process! It took me about a year to actually launch the site after the initial idea to start blogging. I knew I wanted travel to play a large role in the blog, so I wanted the name to reflect that. I’ve been traveling back and forth between Tennessee and England since I was a kid, so the name felt like the natural choice.

You recently graduated from O’More College of Design. Is designing your own clothing line something you’d still like to pursue?

I’m definitely considering it. While it’s nothing I see myself doing in the immediate future, I hope to expand into different avenues as I continue blogging.

You live in Nashville and are a big supporter of the cities new growth. Do you ever see yourself moving somewhere else, or are you focused on building your own brand here?

It’s kind of funny, I always thought I was going to have to leave Nashville for a job. But now that I’m self-employed, it’s really up to me if I want to move or not. Right now, I can’t imagine living anywhere else, but that’s not to say I wouldn’t want to eventually experience somewhere new!

What does a typical Saturday in Nashville look like for you?

I’m such a creature of habit and have such a specific routine! I usually take my dog, Banjo, to Centennial dog park, then go to any of my favorite brunch spots: Frothy Monkey, The Perch, Pinewood Social, The Southern, I could go on…

Now that it’s spring, I’ve been looking for any excuse to be outside. I’ve been kind of plant obsessed lately, so I’ve been heading over to my local plant shops on the weekends to stock up. There’s a little plant shop behind Neighbors in Sylvan Park that’s my current favorite spot. I’ve also been hiking over at Percy Warner a lot lately which is a great way to feel like you’re out of the city.

What are you currently working on and what’s next on your agenda?

There are a few fun things in the works right now, currently planning a big trip. Stay tuned to see more!

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Vogue Paris

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Honored to have 8 of my photos published in the April issue of Vogue Paris. Now, I just need a translation in English! Any takers?

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Sunwear

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With spring right around the corner, I had my eyes set on snatching the perfect pair of new frames. Being a redheaded gal, these emerald green round lenses by Warby Parker proved hard to resist. They’re perfect for adding a punch of color while shielding your eyes from the rays. Be sure to check out their new spring collection here that’s filled with colorful palettes and sleek frames to choose from.

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Pennyweight Pop Up

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My talented and sweet friend Elise Joseph of Pennyweight hosted her very first pop-up yesterday at The Poston House: a quaint two-story building close to Centennial Park. The event was filled with unique pieces made by local and national artisans hand selected by Elise. A respected curator, stylist and blogger, Elise is now also pursuing a lifelong dream: opening her own storefront. The pop-up was a nice taste of what to expect, and I can’t wait to see what she does next.

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This is Hannah Jones (and her brand new Nashville studio space!) who’s one half of the duo, Jamie and the Jones. The co-designed line also includes Jamie Frazier who’s currently living in Seoul, South Korea where she’s developing the brand. The two friends met at O’More School of Design and have been working together ever since combining their similar aesthetics that lean towards clean silhouettes and meticulous handwork — I’m talking knitting, crochet, embroidery, beading and hand painting. These gals do it all.

Be sure to check out their beautiful collections here.

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Elizabeth Suzann

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 Meet the designer behind her namesake label, Elizabeth Suzann. I originally came across Elizabeth’s work on Instagram, and was instantly drawn to her clean silhouettes. All the garments are handmade in her Nashville, TN studio where she uses natural plant and protein based materials, while incorporating printed and hand dyed tactics on select pieces. What’s even more impressive is that Elizabeth is a self taught designer, making her craftsmanship and vision that much more inspirational.

Elizabeth’s space is very much a reflection of her style, and filled with creamy hues accentuated by warm light streaming through the windows of this once upon a time yoga studio. Feel free to browse her collection online, or make an appointment to stop by her space for a peruse.

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Leona

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 Here’s a little taste of yesterday’s Leona popup sale I co-hosted at Elaine Turner. The event was so much fun and filled with glam clothes and accessories from both designers.

Shop Leona’s collection online or swing by their 12 South location if you’re looking for a splashy new outfit (maybe for an upcoming holiday party?) Their pieces are versatile and perfect for mixing with other pieces.

Special thanks to Will Vastine for the shots he took of me wearing all Leona + Elaine Turner shoes and clutch.

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Wow! June has been quite the loaded month, hence why I’m just posting some of my favorite shots from Bonnaroo now (check out the entire spread on Refinery29 here). Stay tuned for a very exciting project UTG is launching in partnership with Nashville Public Television within the next couple weeks!

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Kentucky Derby

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I spent some time at Churchill Downs over the weekend photographing all the fabulous fashion for ELLE.com at the Kentucky Derby. This has always been one of my favorite events to photograph because I grew up riding horses and competing on a world level. I hope to get back into riding one day, but until then, my yearly trip to the Derby will have to do!

Above are a few of my favorite shots, but you can check out the entire spread on ELLE here.

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