If you haven’t wandered over to East Nashville’s 5 Points area lately, things are crankin’. Meg and Brett MacFadyen, the creators of the Art and Invention Gallery, recently opened up their own personal incubator center of sorts, aptly called An Idea Hatchery.
This concept has been percolating in their minds for over six years as a way to help small, creative businesses get off the ground. Meg and Brett’s chicks (all 8 of them) are incubated in a group of colorful buildings and, most importantly, will realize lower rents and shorter leases.
Each business (some brand new, some more established) reflects the creativity and entrepreneurial spirit that’s so prevalent in East Nashville.
Here’s what we found open when we were there:
Goodbuy Girls: I met one of the Goodbuy Girls, the talented, determined and delightful Tanya Coe. Inside Goodbuy Girls, you’ll find an entire wall of vintage cowboy boots, some new clothing and jewelry. If you want to google her father, David Allen Coe, you’re in for a ride! While Goodbuy Girls caters to a younger audience, there is something for everyone inside their doors.
Alegria: Bil (yes, just one “L”) Bizen moved to the Idea Hatchery from another location on 16th Avenue. Alegria means happiness in Portuguese, so grumpy folks won’t be allowed through the door. Stocked full of leather goods, with a huge stash of jewelry, scarves, chandeliers, birdcages, soaps and more, Alegria is eye candy for a sophisticated shopper.
Moss was closed when we were there, but a quick peek in the window made us want more. Moss can be categorized as a “boho chic” retailer, given their unusual collection of women’s clothing, including jeans, tops and dresses.
Next, we strolled over to Wonder of Woodlands Antiques, one of East Nashville’s favorite antique stores. What I love about this store is their collection of mid-century antiques. Umm, which mid-century, you may ask? Think Don Draper sipping a Manhattan on the sofa in the 50’s. With two floors completely filled with antiques, Woodlands is worth a visit. Don’t miss their amazing collection of Bakelite jewelry.
The thought of a good Manhattan made me think of food, so we strolled over to I Dream of Weenie. Before you declare that you don’t touch hot dogs, you need to know “the weenie” is sporting some amazing food—soups, salads and desserts and yes, the best dogs in 5 points. The sand tart cookies are baked by Leslie Allen, I Dream of Weenie’s owner, and are from her grandmother’s recipe box.
Everyone in 5 Points adores Pied Piper Ice Cream (circa 2007) and I see why. Not only did Jenny Piper create a delightful display for me to photograph, she allowed us to finish off the goods when we were finished shooting. In her five years at Pied Piper, she has made 240 flavors, with the weirdest flavor created being Chocolate Wasabi (no thanks) and the most popular being, Trailer Trash. The ingredients for Trailer Trash go something like this: vanilla ice cream, Oreos’s, M&M’s, Reeses Pieces, Snickers, Butterfinger, Twix and Nestle’s Crunch Bar.
Back across the street, we headed to Fanny’s House of Music, Diamond Star Halo and Tidwell and Perryman. The back story on Fanny’s is fascinating: Fanny is the name of a girl band from the late 60’s. Besides being females, what made them special were two things: they scored a major record label and, believe it or not, they played their own instruments. Go Fanny! Fanny’s is filled with nostalgic photos, vintage guitars and great stories. Seriously, if you have visitors in from out of town, make Fanny’s your first stop, it’s a fascinating place.
Housed inside Fanny’s is Libby Calloway’s oh-so-chic-vintage store, Diamond Star Halo. Libby continues to set the bar in Nashvegas when it comes to fashion, so it doesn’t surprise us she is working at Imogene+Willie. Diamond Star Halo is filled with wonderful fabrics, sensual gowns and great bags. Tucked in the back is an itsy bitsy men’s consignment store called Tidwell and Perryman, or “T&P.” T&P may not have a huge inventory, but what they have, I want. Check out their leather coats for under $150.
New to 5 Points:
5 Points Pizza: Located directly across from Margot Cafe, 5 Point Pizza is getting favorable reviews by the neighbors. I stopped by, only to find out that they were out of dough due to the high weekend demand. Not a bad problem to have. (And if you’re interested, they will be open for business today!)
Bryant Gallery: I peered in the window to find that they are only open on the weekends. If their windows are any indication of what’s inside, stop by.
We can’t write a blog about 5 points without mentioning Margot McCormick, the grand dame of all things magical and delicious, via Margot Cafe and Marche. When I was grabbing a bite for lunch in Marche, I ran into Margot. Always gracious and understated, Margot understands how to start with seasonal foods, swirl her magic wand ever so slightly, and create a delicacy. Both Margot Cafe and Marche (it isn’t officially 5 points, but who cares) continually win “the best of,” when it comes to awards.
I’ve said this before, but I relish my trips to East Nashville because when I visit, I get to experience the camaraderie that exists among the people who live and work there. Full of whatever love potion this neighborhood has bubbling up, once you’ve tasted it, you, too, will be compelled to spread the word of East Nashville’s magical powers –the innovation and imagination– and why it’s a great place to be.