design: nashville design retreat


after our brainstorming session, we decided it was time to head out of town for a true ‘design retreat.’ so, we put on our road-trip playlist (starting with a current favorite, Imelda May), and headed south to Nashville, TN.  the purpose of this trip was to cut out the distractions and focus on designing a new line of textiles. staying for a few days in a secluded farmhouse just north of Nashville, we managed to do just that. while we still have a lot of work left to do (this is much harder than I thought!), this was a great way to kickstart the design process. we were able to take breaks by the little pond out front (scaring off the wild turkeys, first)- at least until unidentified insects (are those wasps or flying ants?) scared us off! or, take mind-clearing jogs through the 100-acre wooded landscape winding past green bluffs and streams.

our first afternoon, we took a well-deserved break for lunch at nearby Thomas Drugs, where we devoured grilled cheese and Dr. Pepper (made fountain style!) at the aged counter. the true soda-fountain locale (and some fun ‘statues’ we passed on the way back to the farm) called for some instagram-styled pics:

Amanda at Thomas DrugAndrea at Thomas Drug

Gas Station Indian

Appeared to be guarding the diesel pumps at a gas station... or is he saying 'you must be no higher than this to enter'?

Pink Elephant

What is it about pink elephants and alcohol?

after a few days in the serene wilderness, we were ready to pack up and take in some nashville city life. we first headed to the [lovely!] nashville main library to finish up some textile and theme research. the nashville public library, the current version of which was opened in 2001, was a gracious place to hide away on a rainy afternoon, and had spacious and quiet reading rooms that we could pore over design and history books.

after all that hard work, it was impossible to resist the lure of music and drinks on broadway. amanda’s friend suggested a bar to check out and we were lucky enough to stumble upon a great band that played all night at Layla’s Bluegrass Inn.

before leaving town, we had one more stop to make: Hatch Show Print- one of the oldest letterpress studios in the US still making posters just like they used to! i can’t believe that i didn’t take any pictures of the shop, maybe because i was in awe of all the type and woodblocks stacked high along all the wall, with letterpress printers of all shapes and sizes taking up the floor. posters old and new provided a colorful wallpaper backdrop to the studio. this video (produced by Hatch) does a great job of showing and explaining what they do… better than any pictures of mine could!

all in all a successful trip: work, check; sun, check; inspiration, check; fun, check & check!


Until next time, Nashville!



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