Where did you grow up?
I lived in the Midwest until my late twenties, mostly in Illinois. I went to college in Indiana and moved to Minneapolis and suddenly couldn’t deal with the winters anymore. So I moved to Georgia.
What brought you to Nashville?
My husband Drew and I fell in love with Tennessee when we’d go visit my parents there. We loved the countryside around where they live, and would go into Nashville whenever we could, especially once my sister Lauren and her husband Neil moved there. It’s changed so much in the last 6 years—so many people are moving here, and there are suddenly all kinds of great restaurants and coffee shops. It’s a big city, but not as big as Atlanta, where we were living, and it’s a lot more laid-back. We talked about moving to Nashville for a while, and when Lauren and Neil moved to Savannah we took the chance to switch states with them and rent out their house, where we live now. It’s adorable.
What do you do for a living?
I have an online vintage clothing/home goods shop called Auraria. Lately I’ve putting my energy into gathering things for the Porter Flea Market, where I’ll be sharing a booth with Lauren for the second time—she designs great clothes and makes necklaces and pottery. I’ve been finding lots of weird ’80s/’90s pieces for it—lots of silk dresses, vintage pots, and ’70s craft books, and I’ve been making hanging air plant baskets to sell there too. I also do some freelance writing, and Drew and I run a travel blog called The Southerly.
How did you get started?
Way back in 2006 I joined a Flickr group called Wardrobe Remix, where I’d post whatever strange outfits I’d come up with each day. I was obsessed with thrifting, and was finding so much stuff that I started an online vintage store on Ebay, and then a fashion blog. Over time I became more interested in newer clothes—mainly independent labels—and got burnt out on thrift stores and vintage selling. The times changed too; the market became oversaturated, vintage clothing became less exciting. I quit selling and thrifting for a while, but now it’s interesting to me again. My style has changed since I was in my twenties, and now I look for different things: simpler shapes, better fabrics (more silk!), the kinds of ’80s avant-garde-ish and ’90s minimalist pieces that I would have passed up before. Right now, I’m more excited by vintage than new.
What’s your favorite thing about your neighborhood?
I live in a little neighborhood full of 1950s houses, and it kind of reminds me of the neighborhood I grew up in in small town Illinois. It’s quiet, there’s lots of space, big yards (plenty of room to garden, which we’re really into right now), a community feel, complete with potlucks and movies in the community garden . . . But I have to say that my favorite thing about our neighborhood is the fact that it was built on a Civil War battlefield. Not a big one, but skirmishes took place here, and when I’m out in the backyard at night by myself it can get eerie. Our subdivision is also named after a plantation that used to be here, but the house was destroyed a long time ago and I can’t find much information on it at all.
What’s the last treasure you found?
Drew and I were at a creepy, filled-to-the-ceiling thrift store outside of Clarksville, and ended up finding a beautiful kilim rug for $15.00.
If you were going to eat your last meal in Nashville, where and what would you eat?
We eat vegan, which rules out most places, and I’d want to go somewhere with a real Nashville feel about it. I think I’d have to go for a barbeque tofu sandwich and fries and a gin and tonic at Drifters BBQ. It makes me think of the old Nashville: no barnwood clad walls or artisan cocktails (though I like those too, but you can find them in any city these days), nothing fancy at all. Mainly we like it because it’s prime territory for spotting cast-members from Crazy Hearts Nashville. It was maybe the worst reality show I’ve ever seen, and it was cancelled pretty quickly, but it was unintentionally funny and we got hooked. When our friends came to town we binge-watched the whole season, then went to Drifters and saw the main character (he was embarrassed to be spotted but nice).
If you could have a sleepover with anyone who has ever existed, who would it be?
Ru Paul, for sure. He could be my drag mother and life coach.
If your life was a TV show, what would be the theme song?
Maybe Metal Guru by T. Rex? No real reason—I just like it. It’s happy, and it’s the kind of song you don’t mind hearing over and over again.
What does Nashville need that it doesn’t have now?
Better public transportation and a Native Foods!