A longtime friend of StyleBlueprint’s, we are happy to feature the lovely Kayce Hughes today as our FACE of Nashville. As the owner of both Pears+Bears and Kayce Hughes (her women’s line), Kayce oozes classic, effortless style. In Kayce’s household, with her photographer husband Scott Hughes (who took all the photos here today) and seven children, energy and creativity are always on hand. We admire Kayce’s dedication to her business, but also the boundaries she places to allow time for family, creativity, and self.
Where did you grow up?
I grew up in Miami until we moved to Long Island when I was 10. I later went to boarding school in Connecticut and college in upstate NY. I moved to NYC as soon as I graduated and thought that I would live there forever.
Do you have a funny or interesting childhood memory you can share with our readers?
Many of our weekends were spent on a ranch in southern Florida where my parents enjoyed hunting. I have fond memories of swimming in the marshy pond, driving around the ranch in an army style Jeep with my Fisher Price lunchbox and Silo thermos, roasting marshmallows in the evenings and feeding them to the six-foot alligator that lived in the pond. It wasn’t until later in life that I realized my parents let my sister and me swim in the same pond as the alligator, and our only concern was that we had our Keds on so we didn’t touch the muddy bottom.
When and why did you move to Nashville?
In 1994, a job offer for my husband at EMI Music enticed us to leave NYC for Nashville. We moved here with our one-year-old son. Both Nashville and I have grown a lot in the last 18 years, and I can’t imagine a more wonderful place to raise our children.
As the mother of 7 children, we marvel at how gracefully and seamlessly you are able to juggle the many balls you have in the air. How do you do it? And what wisdom can give you give young mothers, or any mothers, for that matter.
I think that the key is accepting that most of us can’t happily juggle as much as we would like.
Contentedness comes with being honest about the things that matter most to you and your family and focusing on doing those things well. Priorities and needs are constantly changing and they are different for every person and family. For me, being creative, having my company, focusing on our family are my priorities. This means that my workout routine consists of throwing on my running shoes and going for a 20 minute run by my house and dinner often means picking up chicken pot pie from Whole Foods, even though cooking is one of my passions, and we never watch TV. Every day is a gift. I think that too often we try to figure out how to do more when we need to try to do less.
Greatest piece of advice you can give about an entrepreneurial start up in design?
I want to preface this by saying I didn’t do it this way because I didn’t know any better.
But if you are a creative person, make sure that you seek input from people who have different gifts than yours. Those people can be investors, counselors, employees, friends, etc. Enjoy the process of learning and learn from your mistakes.
What it the greatest challenge you face with your business, Pear and Bears?
It is always a challenge to decide the wisest next step. For example, there are so many exciting things that I want to do — like open up another store and design a jewelry line and a handbag line. I need to decide which I will do first.
Do you have any irrational fears?
I don’t think so, but I do scream extremely loudly if I see a mouse. Does that count?
What books can be found on your bedside table?
Curious George and Nurture Shock.
Favorite thing to do on a Saturday night?
I love to get dressed up and go on a date with my husband to Caffé Nonna. We have had a standing reservation for the last 12 years and only call if we are not going. I know that our friends think that we are a bit boring, but we love not having to think about it and we have developed some very sweet friendships with the people who work there. Of course, I am crazy about the food.
Event most looking forward to attending this spring?
I love having a few friends over for dinner and want to do it more often this spring. I find that it is really important to make time for close friends. I am also very excited to attend my oldest son’s graduation from boarding school in New Hampshire.
What is your “must-have” purchase for spring?
Where is your favorite place to eat in Nashville?
Favorite vacation spot?
Anywhere with Scott and all of my children. Ideally with no Internet. (So far, the Bahamas have been my favorite.)
Do you have a playlist for a dinner party or a great workout that you can share with our readers?
With seven children, when I am running or driving I usually choose silence. I love anything from Third Day and Andrea Bocelli. When we have friends over for dinner I put in a mix of Etta James, Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin.
Name three things you can’t live without (excluding friends, family and God):
1. Thrift store/estate sale shopping.
2. A warm fire when it is cold and being out in the sunshine when it is warm
3. Being creative by making something with my hands. (i.e. needlepoint, painting + drawing)
Thank you, Kayce!
Check out the Kayce Hughes collection HERE.
Check out Scott Hughes Photography HERE.
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