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The newest kid on the block in the HG Hill Center is Vineyard Vines. They staged a raucous grand opening last weekend which included an appearance from the Murray Brothers themselves. They are both simply darlin’ as we say in the South, but StyleBlueprint sleuths found they are both married with families. Darn! The Murray boys are the real McCoy, and I can say that with some degree of confidence because my grandmother was a Murray. Hardworking, smart and fun loving–that’s the Murray mantra.

Let’s give Vineyard Vines a hearty welcome to Nashville. Stop by for a visit.

 

SB:  I read in the NY Times that you lived with your parents while peddling neckties out of the trunk of your car.  What values do you credit your parents with instilling in you?

  • When we quit our corporate “suit and tie” jobs in Manhattan, we were living with our parents in Greenwich, CT, commuting in and out of New York City each day trying to save enough money to eventually live there someday. Our parents encouraged us to follow our dreams and make them a reality.  We were driven by the instinctive knowledge that if we worked hard at something we loved and believed in, we might never, ironically, have to wear ties again!
  • As the sons of travel writers, we weren’t brought up going to Disney Land and baseball games. We did chores around the house together as a family and then we learned how to sail, play tennis and, of course, fish. We were fortunate enough to see the world at an early age, and were raised with a real sense of what the “Good Life” was all about.  By continually visiting best-in-class resorts, we learned the value of exceptional customer service, and the timeless appeal of participating in the finer things in life, which continues to help us run our business and provide our customers with the best customer services around.
  • However, among our travels, we always longed to return to Martha’s Vineyard. More than anywhere else, the island had come to embody our idea of home.  With each passing summer, the love for our family, the outdoors -particularly fishing and boating- and for the island community grew stronger.

SB:  Tell me about your customers:  What do they look like?  How old are they?  And what do they want from Vineyard Vines as their favorite clothing company.

  • This question is impossible to answer. Everyone from 8 to 80 years old enjoys our products and loves the lifestyle we promote. People are buying our product because they love the lifestyle. It’s what separates us in the industry.

SB:  Can you share with our readers something funny that happened in the early days of your company?

  • On July 3rd, using only drawings, Ian pre-sold, the first batch of ties to local stores on Martha’s Vineyard and I [Shep] headed up to meet him from Greenwich with all of the product. However, as we got to work in preparation to fulfill our orders the next day—our first day in business— Ian and I quickly realized that we were missing our “best-selling” tie pattern.  I had accidentally left the batch at home in Greenwich, CT. When no one we knew back home in Greenwich was available to drive 6 hours overnight, we started brainstorming. Luckily, our neighbor on Martha’s Vineyard was a pilot, and when he caught word of our predicament, he immediately offered to help. He told me that if I paid for the gas, he would gladly give me a ride to and from Greenwich. So, that night he flew from the Vineyard to Greenwich, picked up the ties, and turned around and flew back. We successfully finished prepping all of the ties before sunrise and none of our customers ever found out about the fiasco. This soon became the core of our business: work hard to make sure the end result is a happy customer—no matter what setbacks occur!

SB:  I am from Memphis and know Oak Hall’s reputation.  Can you explain your collaboration with Oak Hall and why you chose to come in the Nashville market?

  • From Beale Street in Memphis to the honky tonks on lower Broadway in Nashville, we’ve found that our brand has an incredible following in Tennessee. Thanks to our friends, the Levy’s, and our loyal customers, we’re now able to serve a whole new community. Our two family businesses seamlessly combine an established Southern institution with the classic New England lifestyle.  We hope to thrive off of the same retail and entrepreneurial spirit that exists within the Levy family.

SB:  When you’re not making money, what do you do to have fun?

  • Boating or flying. Pretty much anything other than being on land.
  • In addition, we both have families and spend every chance we can with our loved ones.

SB:  Name things you cannot live without (excluding friends and families)

  • Our boats, guitars
  • Cheeseburgers
  • Our Blackberrys (essential to staying connected with our team, family and friends)

 

 

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