Brittney Kelley, wife of country duo Florida Georgia Line’s Brian Kelley, admits she is a bit of a shopaholic when she is on the road touring with her husband. She and Brian drag all sorts of finds back to the tour bus and occasionally have to rent a trailer to get it all home.
But Brittney isn’t shopping to bolster her own closet. In fact, she’s in the business of making other people look good.
She and Brian have just opened their first retail store, Tribe Kelley Trading Post in Hillsboro Village, which features items from their travels as well as clothing they design and produce in the United States.
Their business is all about blending the old with the new.
The beautiful old building at 1912 21st Ave. that houses their trading post downstairs and the new FGL recording studios upstairs is an historic Craftsman-style home built in the early 1900s that underwent a massive facelift under the careful eye and thoughtful direction of Jamie Pfeffer of Pfeffer Torode Architecture.
Although updated, the plan was to preserve every square inch of originality throughout the building, including the massive magnolia trees out front.
“My husband and I both love real estate, and we had been looking for the right spot for a while,” Brittney says. “When we saw this place, it just felt magical. There is a great energy in here. The building was ugly on the inside, but we could see the layers underneath. We started pulling drywall off and saw original brick underneath it.”
For Jamie, his mission was to make use of the space and really bring the Kelley’s vision to life. He saw an outdoor urban oasis on the tiny quarter-acre lot that is flanked with massive magnolias on one side and the heavily traveled 21st Avenue out front.
“We talked a lot about what we wanted to achieve with the neighborhood and the street,” Jamie says of working with the Kelleys. “We wanted to have a sense of place.”
The home was an original four-square design with a hall-and-parlor-style floorplan that had been chopped up over the years. The home, according to Jamie, had lost its original historic character.
“In Nashville, with real estate going crazy like it is now, you very rarely get a property in this location with this visibility where you are able to keep the historic character,” Jamie shares.
Jamie, Brittney and Brian all focused on the renovation project as a holistic endeavor that embraced and even promoted the unification of old and new. The renovation took about seven months and involved not only stripping away additions to the home, but adding back in its original character.
“The interior of this home had been modified over the years to the point that its authenticity was gone,” Jamie says. “We maintained the existing window openings, expanded the porch to connect it to the sidewalk and uncovered existing brick. We added a hedgerow to shield the space from the street and create a great outdoor green space. Our goal was to extend the inside spaces out.”
The three massive magnolias that line the side of the house-turned-Trading Post were saved from being uprooted to accommodate a sidewalk being added by the city of Nashville.
“My husband has been here for over 10 years and he loves Nashville,” Brittney says. “His publishing company is called Tree Vibes Music because he loves trees. We love the fact that Nashville is one of the last cities that has a bunch of trees. You come here, and you can be in the city but you still feel a country vibe with the big, beautiful trees. We didn’t want to come in here and cut trees down and put in a retail space. We wanted it to all work together.”
Large window openings in the house were saved to allow views of the trees from inside the store so you feel a bit of a green oasis smack in the middle of bustling Hillsboro Village. Brittney wanted to add to that oasis feel with what she calls her “moss wall” that hangs behind the checkout counter in the trading post.
“I love my air plants,” she says. “I wanted you to feel life in here. Like you are in the woods.”
Tribe Kelley Trading Post opened in early December, and like the structure that houses the business, the trading post is a mélange of old and new.
The Tribe Kelley brand of clothing, designed by Brittney and Brian, sits among vintage T-shirts the couple has collected throughout their travels. The store also features jewelry, crystals, accessories, candles and leather goods.
“I am of Native American descent and in studying that culture, I learned a lot about the trading post,” Brittney explains. “Tribes would travel to trade their goods, and that’s how I want this place to feel to locals and tourists who come here and trade their money for U.S.-made goods. We want customers to feel a part of our tribe and trust the clothing they are spending their money on. They can spend their money knowing what they bought was bought and made fairly.”
Tribe Kelley is located at 1912 21st. Ave., Nashville, TN 37212. Learn more at (615) 332-1444 or at tribekelley.com.