Mary Lawless Lee, the influential mastermind behind one of our favorite style sites, Happily Grey, is one day away from giving us an even bigger reason to visit the recently opened L&L Market, found on Nashville’s west side. Fortunately for us, and her many fans, Friday marks the grand opening of her new retail experience! Mary is taking her well-respected brand to the next level by turning her online presence into a bricks-and-mortar store filled with a curated selection of home and fashion treasures with several brands new to the Nashville shopping experience.
(SB TIP: Get to the grand opening early, because Mary is hosting a Q&A session at 9 a.m., and the first 50 attendees will get a swag bag. Doors officially open at 10 a.m. on January 24, 2020.)
Amid the celebratory excitement, we caught up with Mary to get the scoop on her grand opening, how she landed at L&L Market, and all things Happily Grey — including a coveted sneak peek inside of the new store!
You made the transition from a nurse in the Cardiovascular Intensive Care Unit to a full-time fashion blogger, then you segued into an influencer, and now you’re launching your shop. What inspired you to expand your brand and go bricks-and-mortar even though you already have a significant online presence?
To me, the Happily Grey retail experience is having a face to the brand. I saw the L&L building almost three years ago and fell in love with the architecture. I immediately knew it was the perfect spot for Happily Grey Headquarters and started asking people in town if they knew the plans for the building. I was actually one of the first tenants to sign on to the space, and my dreams for it expanded from there.
As we started mapping out our headquarters, and more continued to develop with the brand, it felt like a natural step to have a physical space that reflects everything Happily Grey is — fashion, beauty, lifestyle, home — in an honest and transparent voice.
We are so excited for the grand opening of Happily Grey. Can you tell us what we can expect from your store?
Every single detail you see, from the paint to the tile to the texture on each table, has been chosen to reflect the core of what Happily Grey represents. Readers should expect this to feel like walking into my closet!
What brands and products will you be featuring?
All of the pieces you see in the store — home and fashion — are the brands that I love. For fashion, look for Nanushka, Alexa Chung, Baum Und Pferdgarten, Farm Rio, Toga Archives, & Other Stories, Merlette, C/MEO Collective, Lapima, and Valet. For home goods, look for Oyoy, Sin, Skeem, Yield, Mifko, Vancouver and House N023. My sister’s accessory line called Her New Tribe will also be in the store.
What has been the biggest challenge or surprise in the process of opening your new store?
Where do I start? Ha! I’ve never done retail before, so it’s all been a learning curve. But I’ve loved the challenge. Whether it’s merchandising or the construction process, it’s all new but exciting.
What do you like most about L&L Marketplace?
I know I mentioned it, but the building itself is what initially drew me in — the history and architecture is stunning. I love the idea of maintaining something old but putting your unique spin on it. Being here, the community has been amazing. All the business owners at L&L have been on this journey of opening their doors together, and it has been so unique and special to be a part of that.
You recently built a house, you have a new baby daughter, Navy, and now you’re opening your store — talk about extreme multitasking! How do you manage it all?
Well, it’s a give and take sometimes, but ultimately, my heart’s full of gratitude for an amazing team and support system that helps make it happen … Anndddd my husband is a rockstar. He balances me out while still pushing me forward and is an amazing dad to Navy.
As if you don’t have enough on your plate already, do you have any other plans this year that we should know about? Do tell!
Yes! Actually, a huge part of my initial vision for the store is Happily Grey the label. More to come soon!
Is there anything else you want to add about what we can look forward to from Happily Grey?
I’ve never been more excited for this chapter of Happily Grey, and I’m so thankful to everyone who has followed me on this journey!
Congratulations, Mary, and thank you for letting us celebrate your grand opening with you! All photos taken by Leila Grossman, unless otherwise specified.
To visit Happily Grey’s new Nashville retail location, head to L&L Market: 3814 Charlotte Ave, Ste. 147, Nashville, TN, 37209. Store hours are Monday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
For even more wonderful Southern retail destinations, check out our store highlights.