When Nashville-based Holly Williams received an email from her broker about an available storefront on Magazine Street, she flipped out. The owner of White's Mercantile had been steadily expanding her reach beyond Music City with locations in Charleston, Louisville, and even Malibu. New Orleans had been on her radar for a while and was always a favorite of the singer-songwriter (FYI, Hank Williams Jr. is her father).
From visiting with her grandparents in the '80s to gracing the stage many nights at the House of Blues, she has become familiar and a fan of the city. "The history, the culture, the music, the beignets, the zoo, the streetcar, and the architecture. What's not to love?"
That fateful email changed everything. "I was putting my baby boy down for bed, standing in a nightgown as I got the email with a picture of this space," she says. "I could not believe the beauty of this building and we jumped on it immediately."
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Williams opened the doors to her 7th location of White's Mercantile in May (the first opened in 2013). The modern general store carries everything from goop products (White counts Gwyneth Paltrow as a friend and customer) to candlewick trimmers to shirts that say "Mama Tried" to dog treats and beds. (Bonus: White's is dog friendly.) The shop sells many locally-made products including a selection of El Guapo Bitters, Bonfolk socks, and Love, Cookie.
The store's objects are varied, yet cohesive which she says is a mix of items she falls in love with or discovers while touring and traveling. The assortment of local and faraway items are displayed on antiques and the warm, homey feeling that Williams hopes the store evokes is apparent in moments.
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White's isn't Williams's only endeavor: her retail journey began with her first boutique called H.Audrey and she has flipped several properties across Tennessee. The Nashville-native also has aspirations of learning classical piano and going to school for architecture. "So when I'm restoring homes my contractor doesn't have to see my scribble on a ripped Post-it note."
The Jill of all trades is also a wife and mother to 3 young children. She draws inspiration from her own mother when it comes to balancing her many acts. "I really try to spend a great deal of time with my children, delegrate where I can, and make them feel that their mom is present and putting their needs above work goals, as my mom always did."
She says that while music is her first love, her experience in retail has been truly impactful. "From dressing women to feel their best to curating items for a well lived life and home at White's, these are the things that truly warm my heart, and make all of the stress of running a business totally worth it!"
Below, Williams details some of the lines that are carried in the Magazine Street store:
White's Mercantile is located at 3811 Magazine Street and is open Monday-Saturday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sunday from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. Follow along on Instagram.