Nashville is booming. We all know it. But that special Nashville magic is also sparking innovation and products in places outside our city limits, even as far away as New York City. Nashville grit and creativity are spreading wings and turning heads, and today, we’re highlighting three brands led by former Nashville women who have moved on from Music City and launched businesses in the Big Apple.
Clover: an email newsletter for teen girls
Email is not dead, and don’t let anyone convince you otherwise. But does it work with teens? The two owners of the recently launched email newsletter for teen girls are betting that it does with Clover, launched on February 1. The Clover site says, “Clover is a daily email newsletter for girls, created by former magazine editors Liza Darwin and Casey Lewis (hi!). We’re longtime friends and forever teens.” Liza has been a senior editor at Nylon, Vogue and Sweet, Hearst’s Snapchat channel. She’s also a 10th generation Nashvillian! Casey was a senior editor at Teen Vogue, so their backgrounds are well suited for this next move. Clover has already garnered lots of press with articles in WWD, the New York Times and The Daily Dot, to name a few.
After looking at Clover, it resembles The Skimm (a quick daily news synopsis emailed each morning) a bit, but is focused on keeping teens abreast of current affairs, mixed with a little bit of catchy, teen-focused editorial. It comes across smart and not condescending to teens, which is often hard for non-teens to achieve. We fully support trying to give girls deeper content than the teen idol gossip stuff. Liza and Casey are betting that teen girls are committed to a better world and want a more intimate community. One email a day may be just the way to make this happen.
We asked Liza what prompted this move to start Clover, to which she replied, “After working in magazines for six years, it became obvious that there’s nowhere online where teenagers can receive real news about stuff that actually matters to them. Casey and I decided to start Clover in hopes of providing a place for girls to become informed about what’s going on in the world (and their world!). I wish I had had something like this when I was growing up in Nashville! In high school, I worked as editor-in-chief of the Harpeth Hall newspaper, Logos, and interned at The Tennessean. Creating Clover is the perfect natural extension of this journalism experience, just in a different format.”
If you have teens, check out Clover and let them know about it!
CityRow: a high-intensity, low-impact, 50-minute workout
Opened in November 2013, CityRow is a high-cardio workout with intervals of rowing sprints and sculpting strength moves. And because the workout is low impact, it’s far kinder on the joints than other high-intensity workout classes. One of the faces behind CityRow is Nashville native Annie Mulgrew, who is an investor and the company’s program director. Annie left Nashville after high school, attending New York University where the magic of the big city cast its spell, and she’s stayed ever since.
After two-and-a-half years as development officer for the Latino Commission on AIDS, Annie became a full-time yoga instructor. Her friend Helaine Knapp, who Annie met while studying abroad in Madrid during college, was launching CityRow. Annie jumped in to teach classes and within months, she came on board at CityRow full-time as program director.
This workout has hit it big as a fitness must. Annie’s been featured in the “What’s In” section of People, and this past January, she was on the “TODAY” show, talking with Hoda Kotb and Kathy Lee Gifford about the benefits of rowing (see the segment here). Additionally, Annie has been featured as one of New York’s 8 Fitness Trainers to Know in NYC by amNY.com. There is definitely a movement of people seeking out rowing — it strengthens your back, pulling you in the opposite motion from that crouched-over-the-computer position many of us are in day in and day out.
CityRow now has two locations in Manhattan and offers up to eight 50-minute classes each day. Way to go, Annie! Check out more at cityrow.com.
KO Insights: a research and advisory firm
“Meaningful insights, delivered.” “Dimensional thinking. Purposeful strategy. Data-validated impact.” These are the words that greet you when you check out the KO Insights website, and there is a lot of depth in those words, with applications across countless businesses. While many companies offer advice, insights and strategies, not so many follow up with ways to measure these outcomes, which makes KO Insights stand out. And with founder Kate O’Neill, who claimed Nashville as home for 12 years, leading the company, we’re that much more intrigued.
You may recognize Kate’s name, as she was highly involved in the Nashville tech and entrepreneurial scene during her time here. She was also a biweekly columnist for The Tennessean. For five years, she served as a mentor at the Nashville Entrepreneur Center, as well as for Jumpstart Foundry. And if that’s not enough, she was also the founder and CEO of [meta]marketer. She moved from Nashville last September, as more and more business opportunities started forming in NYC.
Kate is passionate about defining meaning in the larger sense of human existence, especially in this digital life we lead. How do we retain our humanity as people, as companies and as organizations? Kate’s company develops plans to provide a clear sense of how meaning comes through in all of our various dimensions of communication today.
But “insightful speaking” is Kate’s main gig. The struggle with meaning is one with which everyone struggles, and she’s dynamic, connecting with her audience or groups. She’s been hired to speak to companies, as well as for keynote events and national conferences. For example, she gave the keynote speech at a national conference for college admissions counselors. She spoke on distilling brand into the student experience. She’s advised companies how to create better experiences for their customers/patients/residents and how to measure the success of their projects. How do you measure the happiness of customers? Kate can give you a plan and she can talk to you about all of this, leaving you energized.
Kate credits Nashville with being a “coalescing time for me in my career and professional development.” Unlike other cities she’s lived in, Kate praises Nashville’s sense of collaboration and professional support, and she credits learning to conclude meetings with words like, “How can I help?” or “Who can I connect you with?” with helping her pave a fresh business attitude in NYC. With Kate O’Neill carrying our torch in the Big Apple, we’re feeling good about this collaborative attitude catching on in a big way!
Check out more about Kate and KO Insights at koinsights.com.