Kate Mills and Ashley Sheehan, the owners of Old Made Good (OMG) in East Nashville, are such personalities with a vision that we knew we HAD to get them on FACES of Nashville. OMG is much more than a vintage store, so put any preconceived expectations away. Follow them on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest and you will feel like instant friends. We’re sure you’ll want to drop by their shop and say hi in person after you read about them here today, and you’ll be so glad you did.
How would you describe OMG?
Everything here is made, found or handpicked by us. It’s a well-thought-out collection of old and new, handmade and local goods. Ashley makes fantastic jewelry and we work tirelessly to ensure we have a shop full of one-of-a-kind items. No market, no home office, no re-ordering.
How long has OMG been open?
As OMG, about 18 months. We’re excited to tell you guys first that we’ll be moving at the end of this year or beginning of next year! We’ve been so lucky with the interior work we’ve done for Jackalope, Barista Parlor and some residential clients, that we need more space. The shop is going to go under a very big change and we’re scared out of our minds, but also totally stoked!
(SB note: the interior work at Jackalope and Barista Parlor is stunning. STUNNING.)
Tell us about your Wednesday night craft sessions.
You mean Crafty Bitches?! It’s basically like a chick’s version of poker night. We drink beer at Jackalope, laugh and let loose, all under the guise of crafting. Most importantly though, it’s a way to connect like-minded women while supporting local makers and women-owned small businesses. Did I mention Jackalope’s beer?
Where did you both grow up?
(K) Born a Yankee, grew up a Texan, currently serving my time as a Tennessean. I left Austin in 2000 to open the Nashville campus of Dell. It was only supposed to be for a year, but you can do the math. First comes love, then come marriage, then comes baby in the baby carriage, then comes divorce, then comes another marriage, then comes 13 jobs, meeting Ashley and finally…success!
(A) Nashville Native! It’s been really interesting to see Nashville grow. I haven’t left because I have yet to find a reason to; I really like having my business in the city where I grew up.
Following you on social media is a treat. You all seem to have no filter, which is refreshing. Are any topics off limits to you?
(K) I literally just laughed out loud reading that question! It’s funny because we were just asked to give a presentation on social media for a Fortune 50 Company here in Nashville, so I guess we’re doing something right. Listen, you either get us or you don’t, but we’ve never worried about the people that don’t get us because that’s who everyone else is talking to. We’re the girlfriend you’re going to call when you want to hear the truth. You don’t have to impress us or drop names, you just have to be authentic. In terms of anything being “off limits,” our take is that we’re not business people, we’re people doing business, so if it’s the truth and mildly entertaining…we’ll talk about it.
(A) I think that we deal with topics as they happen to us, such as the break in’s. For us, talking about this stuff helps us deal with it. We also find so much support and feedback from our customers, so why would we not talk about these things?
What is your favorite thing about Nashville?
(A) For me it is that I have grown up here. I have memories all over the city and I love that I have been around to see things grow. I love that you can be in the city for brunch and take a short drive and be in the country for good antiquing.
What would you change about Nashville if you could?
(K): The East Side vs. West Side thing gets under my skin. My daughter has been at Julia Green for 4 years, so I’m in Green Hills often, and actually all parts of the city for that matter, shopping and eating. But I feel there’s a whole group of people with this pre-conceived notion of East Nashville. Too much crime, too many hipsters, blah, blah, blah. But the truth is, this is a really tight-knit community with amazing neighborhoods and so many cool, locally owned shops and restaurants. I wish people would step outside their comfort zone, because I bet they’d be shocked what they found if they came over.
What books are currently on your bedside table (or eReader)?
(K) Normal Gets You Nowhere, by Kelly Cutrone
(A) An Object of Beauty by Steve Martin and White Teeth by Zadie Smith
Where is your favorite place to eat out?
Best piece of advice ever given to you?
(K) Don’t go chasin’ waterfalls.
(A) My Dad has told me my entire life to “be here now.” This is something that I struggle with, because I’m always planning ahead. But, I know it is important to be aware and really live in the moment.
Do you have any fears?
(K) Author Charles Bukowski said, “Find what you love and let it kill you.” That’s my biggest fear. Since we find, make or buy everything in the shop, I’m working constantly, so I don’t really have a work/life balance. I want to be successful, but I don’t want to do it at the risk of time with my family, myself…and sanity, in general.
(A) My fear at this point would be to have to go back and work for or under someone else. I know that we have been very lucky with all our success, and I hope it sticks around for a while.
Person who has been the strongest influence in your life?
(K) Have to go with my mom. I watched her go from a stay-at-home mom to a secretary to owning a hotel, so she’s definitely responsible for my drive and ambition. I also watched the way she handled herself in business, and she was relentless…I watched her eat men alive, and I can’t say that hasn’t come in handy from time to time.
(A) I have to say my parents. They have always supported my sisters and me. They have had our backs through everything we’ve put them through – which has been A LOT! They have allowed me to grow and always be who I am, and I know that wasn’t always easy for them.
Any advice you could give to someone with a passion but scared to “go for it” and do what makes them happy, entrepreneurially speaking?
(K) This is a no-brainer for me. Here’s the truth: no one knows what the hell they’re doing for a solid 3-5 years after starting a new business. The only difference between the person not doing it and me is exactly that: I’m doing it. That’s the truth, and truly understanding this strips away 75% of the fear.
(A) Whatever your real passion is, you have to just go for it. Yes it’s scary and it will take over your life, but you won’t have regrets if you try. After my car accident, I realized how quickly things can change and how little time we have here, so you should be doing what makes you truly happy while you can. I really never expected OMG to take over this much of my life, but I wouldn’t have it any other way. I have never been this happy.
Name three things you can’t live without (excluding God, family and friends).
(K) I’m not saying my 2 dogs Lux and Pearl because they’re family, so I’ll go with Flea Markets, candy and, even though I’ll get a lot of grief on this one, Bambi; my ’90 Jeep Woody Wagoneer.
(A) Mod Podge, Diet Pepsi and my dog Niles.
Thanks Kate and Ashley! You can find out more about OMG here. Follow them on Facebook: here, Twitter: here, or Pinterest: here. OMG can also be hired for personal shopping, closet checkup, photo shoot/event styling, prop rental and interior decor for home and commercial spaces.
Special thanks to Ashley Hylbert for her talents on display each week as our photographer for the FACES of Nashville feature. You can see more photos at Ashley’s blog: here.