Tuesday, October 7, 2014

OAK Nashville coming to Charlotte Avenue

A new, unique home furnishings store will be opening on Charlotte Avenue this year, and we took a moment to chat with owner, Ginny Pope as she prepares to open her doors...

Tell us a little about yourself, where you're from and why you decided to open Oak Nashville.

A little bit about myself.... hmmmmm, where to start?  I'm super funny (so I tell myself), my favorite color is black (not sure that's a real color) and in another life I'm pretty sure I would have been a great drummer in a rock band. 

My husband and I are both from the Middle Tennessee area.  We moved away for about seven years and have been back now for four years and loving it. We decided to open OAK Nashville to help people find one of a kind (OAK) items that inspire them to reimagine their space and redefine how they live in it. We also wanted to offer these one of a kind pieces at an affordable price. 

Is this your first endeavor into owning your own business?
This is definitely not our first rodeo, however this is the best one by far. In the past, money was the main driver in opening past companies and this one has been built on a passion for creating and learning to create new things.  With the failure of past businesses or deciding to walk away for various reasons, we were no longer interested in building an empire, we were more interested in building a life.  I used to define myself by what I did and now I choose to define myself by who I am.  Probably way more info than you were seeking, but I'm an open book. 

Give us glimpse into what sort of things your store will offer and when you plan to open your doors.
Most of the items in our store have been found and given new life or created by local artisans and craftsman.  We also have gifts, furniture, accessories, lighting, pillows, artwork and much more.  If we don't have what you're looking for, we'll find it or build it.  We will also offer classes each month.  Classes will range from painting a piece of furniture to Intro to Tools to building a piece of furniture.  We want to empower people to create things. Although it is our third "open" date, we hope to officially open our doors on September 29th! I can't believe it!

What made you decide to open your business on Charlotte Avenue?

Well, we live in Sylvan Park, so selfishly we wanted to be as close to our neighborhood as possible, plus we LOVE our neighborhood.  We also felt like the "west" side needed more small, locally owned businesses to bring some Nashville flavor to the area.  It's definitely getting there and we are super excited to be part of what Charlotte Avenue is becoming.  Headquarters, ML Rose, Hattie B's, Porter Road Butcher Shop, FABU, Yoga Harmony and many more have paved the road for the rest of us deciding to call Charlotte Avenue home. 

How did you come up with the name OAK Nashville?
OAK actually stands for one of a kind.  The idea for OAK started years ago when I was working for a designer in Atlanta.  Although her pieces were absolutely beautiful, I was never able to afford anything she had.  Being a young professional at the time, it was super frustrating.  It seemed like I would have to wait until I retired to actually buy a quality/unique piece of furniture.  Fast forward several years later when we moved back to Nashville.  We had the opportunity to build our dream home in Sylvan Park.  All our money was spent on building our home, so by the end of it, we didn't have any money left to invest in pieces that really spoke to our style, so I just started building and refinishing furniture.  From there, people started asking me to build or refinish pieces for them.  A quarter life crisis and some wine finally pushed me to officially launch OAK Nashville.  

Are there any particular businesses or restaurants you would like to see open on Charlotte Avenue? 
Word on the street is FLIP burger is coming to town (actually across the street from us), so that makes me super happy.  Other than a good cheese burger (thank you ML Rose), I can't really think of another business I'd like to see over here.  Scratch that, I would LOVE Barista Parlor to open a location on our side of town.  I would literally eat a sausage biscuit and drink a vanilla bourbon latte every day.  I could literally fund their location on Charlotte by my obsession with their coffee and biscuits. Then I would need to get a membership at Yoga Harmony....
What I'd really like to see are more small, local businesses on Charlotte.  I feel East Nashville has mastered what that looks like.  Maybe a small business incubator to help companies get off the ground (similar to the Shoppes on Fatherland).  That would be awesome.  We need to support the small businesses in Nashville.  They are defining what this city looks like and they will help define what Charlotte looks like as well.

What is your favorite thing about Nashville?
The community.  I never really knew the Nashville community until I started OAK.  Meeting people in the community, partnering with people in the community and just getting to know the community of craftsman and artisans has been such a rewarding process.  There is no place like Nashville when it comes to opening a new business.  The support and help we've received has been incredible.  It has literally taken a village to launch OAK and help open the doors to our store.  It wouldn't have been the same journey without the support and help from the community.

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