Break out the champagne! Vignette, Brentwood’s fashion and home hot spot, is celebrating its five-year anniversary this month, and with good reason. Over the years, this one-of-a-kind boutique has been filling local homes with unique pieces and dressing local ladies with beautiful clothes and jewelry. But how did Vignette blossom into the Brentwood staple that it is today? The store’s success can be attributed to owner/rock star Lisa McHugh. We visited with Lisa at the store to find out more about how Vignette came to be.
For the most part, Lisa has lived a pretty normal life. She went to college, met a boy, married that boy, had babies and dedicated her life to raising her children. But as they do, her babies grew up. And although Lisa loved her job as a stay-at-home mom, she was ready to explore her passions and use her art and design degree. “At a certain point, I wanted to be more than a stay-at-home mom,” Lisa says, “so in 2006, I got my business license—only doing baby clothes at the time—and started going to booth shows.” She then got a booth at Gas Lamp Antiques Mall, where she further explored her entrepreneurial passion. Lisa says, with a grin, “I realized, ‘gosh, I want to do this on a grander scale!'” When the opportunity arose to lease what is now Vignette with a fellow Gas Lamp booth owner, she jumped at the chance.
In 2010, the two entrepreneurs transformed a Brentwood fitness studio into Vignette. The name refers to the literary definition of the word, meaning a brief scene that focuses on one particular moment in a person’s life. “A lot of my things have stories,” Lisa says. “The whole concept behind Vignette is that it’s part of your story.”
In January, Vignette acquired the space next door and expanded. The new area includes home decor, and the original section houses jewelry, clothes and an upstairs art gallery (where you can find the famous Vignette birds). The addition also includes a small baby section, a nod to Lisa’s original business roots. “Right now, we’re working on getting organized and expanding our baby section,” she explains, clearly excited about this project.
When I asked what makes her store so extraordinary, Lisa replies without hesitation: “I have great staff, first and foremost. It’s not just the merchandise; it’s the people who work here. And everyone has been here with me for a very long time. I never have to worry whenever I have to leave.” When I met Vignette’s enthusiastic employees, I could see what Lisa meant. You can tell they really care about the store and are dedicated to helping in any way they can.
Lisa also attributes Vignette’s success to its gorgeous jewelry, clothing and home decor items, a lot of which are made locally. “We have tons of local artists. And if they’re not a local artist, they’re still artists. There’s that uniqueness to it,” Lisa says. “We’re always finding something that you won’t be able to find somewhere else.” Some of the locally crafted merchandise they feature includes brands and artists like Kari Beth, Freshie & Zero, Modern Bronze, Red Earth, Christina Kober, m.florita, Handmade Studio TN and Rebecca Muth. So if you’re a fan of supporting local, Vignette is the place to shop.
Items that are not local are hand-picked by Lisa when she travels to markets around the country. “I still love going treasure hunting to find unique stuff. I can’t really say where all I go, but I can say that I go all over,” she says. “I’m traveling to markets a lot and finding one-of-a-kind goods, probably five or six markets a season.” So when you go to Vignette, you know you’re only getting the best of the best, thanks to Lisa’s eye for quality.
During our time with Lisa, we mentioned how incredible the refreshingly bright atmosphere of the store feels. And we learned we’re not alone in that sentiment. “It’s the overall feel. We’ve had customers talk about how good the store makes them feel,” Lisa explains. “If they’re having a bad day, they like to pop in here.” And we completely agree. From the second you set foot in Vignette, you feel rejuvenated because of the gorgeous white walls and abundant natural light.
There was just one more question that needed answering: What’s the story behind the birds? When we asked, Lisa laughed at first. “The birds … I was in Texas at an antique place, and they had birds. And I thought that was the coolest thing! So I told myself that when I had a store, I was going to have birds!” In 2010, when she opened Vignette, she bought three zebra finches.
However, it turns out the birds were a little harder to handle than she imagined. Lisa used to keep the finches together in the same cage, but they couldn’t keep their wings to themselves and kept having babies. “We finally figured out to separate the boys from the girls, which is actually not easy to determine,” Lisa laughs. “There was one male who didn’t quite fit the bill for how a normal zebra finch looks, so babies just kept being born even though the genders were supposedly separated. … Let’s just say that we started out with three birds and now have 14 or 15.” Today, they’ve got it all figured out and the females live with Lisa at her home while the males continue to bring joy to the store’s patrons.
After learning Vignette’s backstory, it’s no wonder that they’ve been a Brentwood go-to for five years now.
Vignette is located at 130 Wilson Pike Circle, # 200, in Brentwood. The shop is open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Saturday. Learn more at (615) 370-7990 or online.