Tennessee Shops

Shop city
Col. Littleton
135 Mill St., Lynnville
Years ago, when we spent months on set in Nashville, we happened upon a shop on a side-street selling leather hand-crafted goods—everything from suitcases and satchels to a leather fly swatter—made by an actual Colonel by the name of Littleton in a town a few miles outside Nashville. It was and is still too good to be true. Over the years, he has gained much acclaim, and has his own shop section in the Nashville Country Music Hall of Fame. It's a true Tennessee original.
Draper James
2608 12th Avenue S., 12 South
If you've spent any time perusing the website of Reese Witherspoon's quintessentially Southern lifestyle brand, you'll pretty much know what to expect in the store. Located on 12 South, a well-known shopping area, it immediately draws you in with blue-and-white-striped awnings and perennially colorful windows. Once you make it through the shiny navy lacquered doors, you'll find bold floral prints, preppy stripes, and cheeky home goods, like their signature "Totes, Y'all" bags. It's the perfect place to pick up Southern-inspired souvenirs for friends or a cute party dress.
Gruhn Guitars
2120 8th Ave S, Downtown
This is the place to get a guitar, banjo, mandolin or any “fretted” instrument, if you’re picky about terminology like the experts at Gruhn. George Gruhn started the store in 1970 and it has come to be one of the, if not the, premier place in the U.S. to buy instruments. The client list is a who’s who of musicians—Eric Clapton, Johnny Cash, Bruce Springsteen, Elvis Costello, Neil Young, and many, many more. The store and repair shop specialize in vintage models and they keep a file on the history of each and every instrument in their inventory. Basically, if music is your thing, you’ve got to pay them a visit. Their website is a frett aficionado’s haven with George Gruhn’s newsletters on fretted instruments and features on particularly special models. If there’s a vintage model you’re particularly interested in, let them know and they’ll keep an eye out for you.
Hatch Show Print
224 5th Ave. S, Downtown
A working print studio and shop front, Hatch Show Print is a Nashville institution, having produced advertisements and posters for local shows since 1879. Fittingly, it is now in the hands of the Country Music Hall of Fame. Here, you can buy reissued posters of old-fashioned advertisements and concerts—Roy Orbison, Dolly Parton, Hank Snow, and more. The staff here is incredibly friendly and happy to answer your questions about the studio and its history. You can also have a poster custom-designed and printed there, but conceive your design way in advance as these limited edition prints take at least 6 weeks to prepare.
Imogene + Willie
2601 12th Ave. S., 12 South
Hailing from Henderson, Kentucky, Matt and Carrie Eddmenson—childhood friends and now a married couple—worked together in Carrie’s family business, developing denim collections for brands like Rogan, Earnest Sewn, Seven, J.Brand, etc. They moved to Nashville in May 2009; refurbished an ex-gas station; hired Nestor, a pattern maker and sewer, and Gloria, a master sewer, in June; and, in July, opened the magical store that we were lucky to visit in February. The store sells handpicked denim from select brands like A.P.C, choice vintage pieces like cowboy leather jackets and boots, scarves hand-dyed by Carrie’s brother in India, and Imogene + Willie brand bespoke jeans, made of tough denim that you have to work into. After a few months, they guarantee, you will have a soft pair that fits you and only you and bears the marks of your wear. (For the less hard-core denim buyers, you can also purchase a pre-softened, pre-“lived-in” pair.) Carrie recommends you write the date of your first wear inside the pocket of your jeans: And thus begins your journey together… Everything in the store has a story, which you become a part of the…
Manuel Couture
800 Broadway, Midtown
Manuel is the costumer par-excellence for all the big-time entertainers from Elvis, to John Lennon, to Bob Dylan. If you remember Elvis’s gold lamé suit, then you remember one of Manuel’s creations. Manuel moved to the United States from Mexico and in his early career worked in another famous costumer’s workshop, Nudie’s, where he learned many tricks of the trade. After years spent in Hollywood, Manuel moved to Nashville and started his own establishment. Each piece in the store is handcrafted and has Manuel’s special touch. Truly worth a visit, if only just to gawk at the intricate, often rhinestone-laden designs; you can visit the store between 10 am and 4 pm on weekdays or by appointment.
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