When it comes to understanding retail from the inside out, Suzy Scott, manager of J. McLaughlin in Green Hills, takes first prize.  She cut her teeth while working at Jamie and has made J. McLaughlin one of the top performing stores in the country. What we love about Suzy is her commitment to women and her commitment to making them feel better about themselves. She understands that it’s not about making the sale, it’s about building customer loyalty.  Suffice it to say, Suzy’s customers adore her. She is genuine and compassionate and her sense of style is contagious.  She was an early champion of StyleBlueprint and for that, we are eternally grateful.

Where are you from and how did you make your way to Nashville.  If you are from Nashville, did you ever move away?

I was born in Texas, moved to Nashville as a toddler, then moved to Delaware, but was back to stay in Nashville by 4th grade. It’s home.

How long have you been in the retail business?

I started working in retail when I was 19 at Jamie’s original shop in Hendersonville. It was just the two of us and my first week we had a fashion show at the country club, and then she went to market and I had the shop alone. I had to learn fast…

What do you like best about working at J. McLaughlin?

J. McLaughlin is such a fun, happy place! The store is sunny and bright, the clothes are classic with a modern twist and the Hill Center is the hip happening place to be. For me, it’s not about the clothes, it’s about the people. I have been so fortunate over the years to meet many wonderful and interesting people. Several have become lifelong friends. I’ve gotten to know their families, friends and even pets! I’ve played a part in choosing outfits for everyday and for the most important occasions of their lives. When you see someone’s face light up as they realize they feel good in what they are wearing, then I know I have done my job.

Can you tell us a funny retail story?

I was working with an artist for a gown to wear at the Kennedy Center Honors. The designer called to tell me that the First Lady had also chosen that gown. I immediately said “No, she will have to choose something else!” Long pause, and the designer said, ” You might want to rethink that.”

What is the greatest piece of advice you have been given?

My father always told me, ” When you wake up in the morning if you are not excited to go to work, then you are in the wrong job.”

What books can be found on your bedside table?

I just finished The Poisonwood Bible and Cutting for Stone. Both were ah-mazing. Now I am reading Love is Nothing, a biography of Ava Gardner–what a gal!

Favorite thing to do on a Saturday night?

My husband grills, I fix the sides for a simple supper at home and then we hit the couch and watch a movie.

Event most looking forward to attending this fall in Nashville?

Not in Nashville, but I am really looking forward to a beach trip this fall with my BFF’s from high school.

What is your “must-have” purchase for fall 2011?

We just got in a fab new small yummy leather messenger bag at J. McLaughlin. It comes in black or saddle brown…LOVE IT!!

Where is your favorite place to eat in Nashville?

We love to eat barbecue at Jim & Nick’s.

Favorite vacation spot?

Our condo at Miramar Beach in Florida.

Do you have a playlist for a dinner party or a great workout that you can share with our readers?

I use Pandora at home through our TV and it includes mix of Norah Jones, Frank Sinatra, Marvin Gaye, and Andrea Bocelli. Perfect for having a dinner party.

Name three things you can’t live without (excluding friends, family and God).

  • A beach
  • A book
  • A chair