Nashville has boutiques that make Memphis jealous, and it goes the other way as well. But two such stores that have been dominant players in the Memphis fashion scene — for generations — are spreading their wings and each has opened recently in Nashville. Oak Hall, a sixth-generation, family-run retail business caters to both men and women of all ages, and Mednikow, a fifth-generation, family-run business, sells the finest of jewelry.
Today, we look at why each business found that now was the right time to expand, why Nashville and what each business brings to our local retail scene.
Address: 4017 Hillsboro Pike #303, Nashville, TN 37215
Oak Hall first opened in Memphis in 1859, selling nice men’s clothes to Tennessee’s most western city. In 1980, they began selling women’s clothing and accessories, and they have a reputation throughout the region for the quality of their clothes and exceptional service. As mentioned before, the store is now run by the sixth generation of the same family, the Levys. Will Levy says that Oak Hall’s success is attributed to “listening to our customers and reacting to their suggestions … and, we’re willing to try what our stylists are asking for.” In Nashville, this means the store will constantly adjust its merchandise mixture to reflect the city and its customers’ needs.
This second location is truly still a family-run business, as the store manager is Chris Levy, Will Levy’s first cousin, who comes with years of experience at Neiman Marcus. The family has been interested in moving to Nashville for years and was in conversations with The Hill Center Green Hills before the shopping center was even built. The timing just wasn’t right, but now it is. They are in phase one of their retail footprint here, with just 2,000 square feet. But by early 2018, this space will expand to 10,000 square feet, all attached to their current location found in The Hill Center next to Bink’s.
Currently, the store is 80 percent men’s clothing and accessories and 20 percent women’s. Levy says Oak Hall is known for catering to any generation with items at different price points. By starting small, Oak Hall can begin developing a relationship with customers in Nashville instead of waiting until the entire (much larger) space is available. Their passion is to be involved in the local community and create long-term relationships.
You will find brands such as Ermenegildo Zegna, Eton, Faherty, Peter Millar, Vince, ALC, Rag & Bone, Rebecca Taylor, AG Denim and Citizens of Humanity. You will also find services such as in-house alterations, which are free for all normal alterations on items purchased at Oak Hall. Their stylists love to work with people, give wardrobe advice and will even help clean closets to ensure your wardrobe is up to date.
The Nashville store is filled with item-driven pieces, specifically picked as known best-sellers. Basically, it’s the short list of the best of the best from the Memphis store mixed with items their Nashville customers have already told them they are anxious to buy. Look for trunk shows to start this fall.
Welcome, Oak Hall. We are excited to have you here! As Nashville grows, we know more big box stores will come, but it’s the family-owned and -run stores that make our hearts the happiest.
2160 Bandywood Drive, Nashville, TN 37215
Mednikow first opened in Memphis is 1891 and expanded to Atlanta about 20 years ago. Like Oak Hall, Mednikow has been family-run since the beginning and continues to be so today. It also called Nashville home in the 1970s and 1980s, inside the Rich-Schwartz women’s boutique. When this store closed, Mednikow did not continue in a self-standing store. Thus, the opening of Mednikow in Nashville today is a bit of a well-anticipated homecoming with a built-in client base. And, we’re thrilled that they are back!
The Mednikow tagline in Music City is “The most beautiful jewelry in Nashville.” The selection here is unlike anything else you will find in the area. Walking into Mednikow, you will only find pieces exclusive to this store, keeping the notion of unique stores offering unique items intact. The selection includes a wide variety of upper-end fashion jewelry, as well as serious, fine jewelry. And the service is impeccably luxurious, yet friendly (as it should be in the South!).
The name may also be familiar to you, as Town & Country has included Mednikow, for two years in a row, on their list of the country’s top independent jewelers, a distinction that Mednikow alone received for stores in Tennessee and Georgia.
Just this week, owner Jay Mednikow was in Nashville and talked to us about what makes the store so special. He explained that his store carries the classics — diamonds, pearls, gold — but his specialty is finding jewelry that is not offered anywhere else. Shoppers receive the Mednikow trusted advice as experts in the field of jewelry, and they consult on how to build on what you purchase from them. For example, if you buy a piece from the Elizabeth Locke collection, they will advise you on finding other lines of jewelry to add to the piece, giving you a unique look.
And, as far as the timing of the new Nashville store, Jay Mednikow says, “Like any businessman, I want to grow my business, and Nashville is the most logical place for us. Many Nashvillians are already customers of our stores in Memphis and Atlanta, and Nashville allows us to complete the ultimate Southern triangle. With the booming economy and a lack of any other jeweler like us here, Nashville is the ultimate capstone for our growth.”
With Nashville being a market of high growth, we are excited to attract family-owned businesses to the fold. To support all the locally owned shops, restaurants and businesses, download the SB App and use it to plan your shopping, meals and who to call for your home services, as well as planning what events to add to your social agenda … and keep up with the latest offers from our local businesses in our SB Beets! Download the SB App here today.
Have a great weekend!