These gift shops we are posting about don’t blast you with emails, shoot coupons to you in the mail, or solicit your business in any well-oiled marketing way. They just are. But, in their quiet and sedate manner, the museum gift shops in Nashville are quality treasures. In our search for great under-the-radar gift delights, these are the gift shops we thought of first. I know we missed some…I took lower Downtown and Liza took Midtown and West Nashville. So, here we go navigating a few of the museum gift shops in town.
Friends of Children’s Hospital
So after that prelude, the first one we’re going to write about is actually not a museum. However, as Dr. Gitlin, chair of the Department of Pediatrics at Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt says, he hopes one day children’s diseases are eradicated and the Children’s Hospitals across the land are made into museums, commemorating the devastation of former childhood diseases. That is quite a goal. So, buying into that goal, our first gift shop is the Friends of Children’s Hospital Gift Shop.
First off, we ‘re realists. We know that very few of you are going to pass up a quick run to Hallmark when the haul over to Monroe Carroll Vanderbilt Children’s hospital seems elusive and hard to navigate. However, you may reconsider once we tell you just how great the gift shop is.
You know when you are preparing for a long car or plane trip and needing to buy some “keep busy” things for your kids? Where do you think carries the best supply of such things? You got it: the one place in town that keeps kids in a room for months on end. It may be sad to think about, but it is true: this place has the best supply to keep your kids entertained. And the profits from your purchase directly benefit the patient care here.
Also, the shop knows that most of the hospital staff have little spare time, so they stock the gift shop with fun gifts for all. They have coats, shirts, bags and scarves: all which I would wear and all at a great price. In addition, they have baby gifts, jewelry, big kid gifts and tons of Monroe Carroll gear — like polar fleeces and notebooks.
The staff here is super friendly — some are even volunteers. To make shopping easy, they have covered valet parking which makes shopping on cold, rainy days a piece of cake. Buy a gift and help a kid — doesn’t that says it all?
One of my favorite places to have lunch is the Pineapple Room at Cheekwood with its attached gift shop. Yes, just like Cracker Barrel (!), after you eat, you can browse and buy. I love their nesting dolls, Faberge’ egg necklaces, children’s books, Christmas ornaments and more. The best gardening books here. I got my Mother-in-law a beautiful handmade pin here last year. Cheekwood
I’m taking some pictures from their online giftstore, but a visit is more impressive than online!
So, do yourself a treat: meet a friend for lunch at the Pineapple room and then browse the gift shop. If you are a Cheekwood member, you get 10% off!
The Tennessee State Museum
Lois Riggins and Leigh Hendry are two of the reasons that the merchandise here is so fabulous. Both women have been at the museum for years and understand what makes a museum great. Between the two, they have one of the most evolved palates for the unusual, quirky and totally cool. I know their buyer is fantastic, but I’d bet my money on both of them to stock the shop full of wondrous delights. The Tennessee State Museum
Any member of the Tennessean State Museum Foundation, all employees of the State of Tennessee and any member of the public who donates a packaged food item to 2nd Harvest Food Bank will receive a 10% discount from the museum gift shop. To join: http://www.tnmuseum.org Membership/
Here are some of the gifts worth pursuing on the shelves of the Tennessee State Museum gift shop:
The Frist Center for Visual Arts
I can’t think of a better Saturday than I had this weekend. I walked into this museum gift shop with a sense of purpose: to snap some pictures of great holiday items for the StyleBlueprint readers.
The Frist museum gift shop was filled to the brim, so this was an easy task. The selection of jewelry, scarves and pottery was incredible. Seriously, there were so many great necklaces at affordable prices that it was tempting to buy my own holiday gift and label it Secret Santa. Most important, I found the perfect gift for my friend Brooks, who is just plain hard to buy for…yipee, one down and about 20 more gifts to buy! The staff is lovely, helpful and will wrap your holiday gifts for you in the most artistic style. Plus, an added bonus is to stop in and see the Georgia O’Keefe show: NOT TO BE MISSED! Members of the Frist receive a 10% discount.