FACES of Nashville: Maggie Kleinheksel

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It’s no secret why Tweed Baby Outfitters, a charming children’s boutique in EdgeHill Village, was one of the first boutiques we profiled in the early days of StyleBlueprint. Maggie Kleinheksel, Tweed’s youthful owner, created an inspiring and thoughtfully curated boutique filled to the brim with wonderful, whimsical things. Her children’s clothing and accessories are truly one-of-a-kind finds, and her boutique rivals any on the West Coast.

Welcome, Maggie!

Tell us about yourself:

My husband moved this northern girl to the friendly, sunny south in 2009 all in the name of music (of course). With experience from a job at Neiman Marcus during my time in Chicago, I started working at Anthropologie in hopes of gaining access to the visual team. But after nine months and no such luck, I ended up learning enough good-to-know’s and a few what-not-to-do’s to start out on my own. I had been scheming up a shop for 5 years and counting, and Nashville had the energy and an empty niche to fill, so I took a leap of faith! In April 2010, I opened up shop and we just celebrated tweed baby outfitters’ 3rd birthday last month! Whew–made it! Now to hammer out year four …

Since it’s not an answer to any following questions, let me quickly say I wouldn’t have any further answers or anything to say about Tweed Baby Outfitters without all the help from my family and local support of our customers. Thank you!

Where were you born?

Dayton, Ohio … Look out! I’m a Yankee!

Tell us how you came up with the idea of owning a children’s store?

First of all, I needed a local place in Nashville to shop for my nephews and I wasn’t finding it. Baby and children’s design–both clothing and living spaces–are my creative inspiration and outlet. I combined my shopping needs, my creative strengths, and imagined Tweed Baby Outfitters. The design of the shop is never-ending work, but it is fun to play on nostalgia and imagination. My girls who help at the shop, Katherine and Georgia (Come meet them! They’re so sweet!), have each taken on the task of keeping Tweed freshly creative. And they’ve helped me get my personal life back! (How is this part of ”coming up with the idea”? Well, in my business plan I wrote back in 2010, I listed hiring an employee or two after the first year. Try after the third year. And you’ll pay them, not yourself.

What is something every new mom needs that you sell at Tweed and some fun trends in the business?

Running strong for 3 years have been our aden+anais products: swaddles, burpy bibs, and sleep sacks are all great gifts for a new mom that will be well received and used everyday. As for trends, we try to stay somewhere between trending and what our customers are actually requesting and buying. Nashville is a city, but not a pulse-shopper city; we have to be careful not to go overboard with what I see to be the ‘next thing’ and stick with the gentle wave of customers’ interests. Lately, a lot of new moms aren’t looking for prints or gender-specific items, so we try to offer simple and gender-neutral choices in all categories. I love neutral, more sophisticated design with baby items and I’m excited to be able to carry more as the trend hits the majority of our customer base over the next year.
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Do you have a mentor or adviser?

My dad and mom. I am very lucky to have the best of both! My dad ethically and successfully runs a business in Ohio, so we talk shop in areas where our two businesses overlap. I like the non-shop advise the best. He’s what I call wise. When I first opened the shop, I gave my mom the title “Head of R&D” of Tweed Baby Outfitters. She’s great at it! My mom has an eye for design and trends before they hit. Good thing she’s mine!

Is there a piece of advice you’ve received that stuck with you?

  • Always my mom’s response when I whine: “Maybe it’s something you did.”
  • And Always my dad’s response to my complaints: “Life isn’t fair, is it, Margaret? You can’t blame other people for your problems.”
  • An easier one to swallow: “It’s all about moderation.” … Works for anything.
  • And one of the hardest but a goodie: “Quit glorifying busy.” (That last one I credit to Lauren, owner of Rock Paper Scissors.)

When you update your wardrobe, where do you go?

There’s no question I need to update my wardrobe–but it’s more of when will I go than where. Where? I’ll hit it local, then a stop at J.Crew. However, I do know I will consult the best stylist: Katherine Mez. I don’t do fussy, unnecessary pieces. I dress like a mom. A comfy mom. And like my mom, actually. I want great fabrics and simple and easy pieces that work well together to make me feel like me. So before buying anything, I won’t be heading anywhere without Katherine holding my purse strings and filling my shopping bags. She listens and I love her!
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Describe a perfect evening out in Nashville.

Anywhere with Cort (my darling husband): a hole-in-the-wall, fancy or not, just as long as the food is tasty and followed-up with a sweet treat!  We usually end up in one of Nashville’s perfect little neighborhoods. Our favorites:

  • The Perch. The best end or start to the week.
  • BrickTop’s. When you just want (really) good food.
  • Taco Mamacita. Basically, every day of the week. No joke.
  • Marché. Instant vacation feel.
  • Rolf & Daughters. I love a kitchen that doesn’t spare the salt.
  • The Southern. For a hits-the-spot brunch.
  • And a little spot called Sonobana, one of Nashville’s best kept secrets.

Do you have a favorite vacation spot?

  • Up North: Harbor Springs, Michigan.
  • The beach: Rosemary.
  • The West Coast: Santa Barbara.
  • The East: Newport, Rhode Island.
  • My go-to: home (Greenville, Ohio)
  • The way: road trip!

Do you have any irrational fears?

I wouldn’t say ‘fears’ but I do have an ache for this world, but thankfully it’s balanced out by trust. That was a party pooper answer–sorry!
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What books are on your bedside table?

Pre-Tweed: 3-5 at a time. Post-Tweed: 0. Oh, no. Now I am book-sick. New goal: read one book this month–just not one that is too heavy/depressing/trying to change my life.

Do you have a favorite musical artist?

The Civil Wars, Birdy, and Erin McCarley.

And then COUNTRY: my hometown high school had Drive Your Tractor to School Day, so yes, I love me a good ole country song.

Name 3 things you can’t live without (excluding God, family and friends)

Oooh! This is my favorite of the Q&A session!

  • Without a doubt, SUNSHINE!
  • One of my most coveted: quietness.
  • After those two, then it’s a toss up between fruit or moisturizer … Yep, definitely fruit!

Thank you StyleBlueprint!

Thank YOU, Maggie! For more information about Tweed Baby Outfitters, visit the website: www.tweedbaby outfitters.com.

And thanks also to Ashley Hylbert for the beautiful photos. See more of Ashley’s photography at her website: www.ashleyhylbert.com.