nash newbie

Newbie in Nash: Fashion-ABLE – making money & making a difference


clothes, bags, purses, oh my!

In this edition of Newbie in Nashville – I want to tell you about a place I recently did a story about. It’s called Fashionable – and not only is it a beautiful boutique with fashion-forward and gorgeous merchandise (bags, jewelry, clothes!) but the products are all made by women who have overcome.

FashionABLE workroom


At first glance, Fashionable boutique is like any other retail shop, but then you hear the story about the merchandise and where it came from. “This is our Joslyn sandal, it’s named after one of the women in Peru we work with,” says Barrett Ward, the founder and CEO of Fashionable.

That’s when your perspective on the chic boutique changes. The concept behind Fashionable was created by Barrett Ward, when he was living in Ethiopia with his wife, who is a social worker. They saw the heartbreaking reality there first-hand. “We started seeing young girls and young women waiving to us on the street and we didn’t know why. Eventually we found out they were soliciting sex,” says Ward. “The bottom line, really why we started Fashionable was we were working with women who came out of the commercial sex industry.”

jewelry soldering

Then Ward and his family moved to Nashville, where their desire to help others only grew. “We kept hearing from them, we love the rehabilitation we appreciate the charity but at the end of the day when we finish this process we still don’t have a job, we still don’t have a skill on the other side. So I said, I wanted to get active in the solution-side not the Band-Aid side, but the long term solutions to poverty,” says Ward.

That long-term solution is a job, and that’s where Fashionable comes in. “How we start the process with women is we visit the places where they come from like Hope Center, Magdalen Center and we do crafts with them, like jewelry and if we see women who are attracted to that we tell them there is an opportunity for them,” says Ward.

Everything sold by Fashionable is made by hand, by women who have overcome. They make clothes, jewelry, shoes, bags and soon, denim. They go through training and then set up shop in the back of the boutique. Barbara Pitts is one of those women.

sign in boutique workroom

“I primarily do soldering, but a little bit of everything,” says Pitts.

Barbara’s dream was never to make jewelry. In fact, for a while, she didn’t really have a dream at all. “I struggled with drug and alcohol abuse for many years until it got to the point it took everything I had away from me, including my daughter,” says Pitts. “I lost custody of my daughter. I just knew at that point something had to change.”

Pitts went through the program at the Nashville Rescue Mission. She turned her life around and got her daughter back. But then, like many women in her position, she needed a job. “It’s also really hard also to find a job when you have different convictions. People look at your past and judge you but Fashionable doesn’t do that,” she says.


Now Barbara is “able” to provide for her family in a safe, creative space. She’s found her home, where she turns nothing into something beautiful. Her job, much like her life story. “It really is ashes to beauty. You turn out this beautiful piece of jewelry.”

Fashionable is open for shopping at their location on Centennial Boulevard or you can shop online here. If you are a woman interested in a job, just stop by the store.



Barrett Ward is the type of guy you could sit and talk to for hours. He’s fascinating and super charming. His passion is contagious, and it’s almost immediately clear this guy has a heart of gold. He wants to make this world a better place, and he’s doing it by helping women all over the world. He’s surrounded himself with incredible women, of course at work, but also at home. He’s the proud husband of a social worker and the father of 4 daughters! Barrett and his wife are truly leading by example.

FASHIONABLE is located at Stocking 51, 5022 Centennial Boulevard in Nashville.

nash newbie

Newbie in Nash: Antiquing in Nashville

…and beyond! I am an amateur antique-r. So you may be thinking, well why would I go to her for advice on antique shops?! That’s exactly why! I am doing the hard work for you, stopping at the antique shops in middle Tennessee and sharing my favorites with you. I’ve got A LOT more to see, but here are a few of my favorite finds.

First stop, Franklin. Ah, Franklin. What a gorgeous, small town! Antiquing aside, this is a wonderful place to spend the day. Now if it’s antiques you’re interested in, this little town is a must-see. (Also make sure you have breakfast at Puckett’s. You can thank me later).

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JJ Ashleys: We got really lucky here. This beautifully decorated home interiors shop has everything you need to make your house look like it belongs in a Garden & Gun Spread. Our dining room table is from there, and it’s one of my favorite pieces in our house!

The Barn Door: This place is a hodgepodge of just stuff. Yes, old barn doors are for sale (channel your inner Chip & Jo!), but so are trinkets, paintings, lighting, vintage signs, etc.

The Shop Around the Corner: OK this place got me into serious trouble. I went in thinking, I don’t really need anything, I’ll just browse. Ha. That’s not really possible to do here. I spent too much money…but omg this place is adorable! You’ll probably need to do a few laps around because you’ll miss something the first time, I promise. They also have quite a bit of ‘new’ stuff, not just antiques.

A few other Franklin notables: Arbor Antiques, Kelly Spalding Designs, City Farmhouse and Scarlett Sales antiques. 

What are your favorite antique shops in Franklin? Share them with me! I’m always looking for my next great find….

Prepare yourself – it’s a day-long thing to go antiquing in Franklin! You won’t want to leave. Next up – Nolensville antiques!


Wedding Wednesday: Make your booze special

Happy Wedding Wednesday! Yes, whether you are a drinker or not, booze is important on your big day (unless you’re having a dry wedding, if that’s the case good for you).

What I mean is, that’s going to be one of the first places your guests stop at when they arrive at the reception. A full bar is preferred, but if you can’t swing that then beer and wine will suffice. Whatever you serve, there are ways to make your guests’ bar experience special.

-As I said in my OD DIY post, creating a center piece for the wine is easy and has a big impact. I bought a large wooden “W” (my new last name) off Etsy and glued wine corks all over it. Leaning it up against the bar made a big statement and looked very chic. It’s now hanging in our mudroom!

-Make it YOU! Custom drinks are always a hit at weddings! And you can have fun with the names. We created these for our special day:

His: “Old Man Justin” It’s a twist on the old-fashioned, because my husband’s nickname is “old man,” because he can be a bit of a homebody and doesn’t like going out a lot! Here’s how we made it:

-1 oz Bulleit 

-1/2 maraschino liquer

-1/2 orloroso sherry

-2 dashes Regans Orange bitters

-garnish with orange and served in an old-fashioned glass over ice

HERS: “Half Bear the Other Half Cat” For my fellow UT Vol fans, you know these lyrics. Rocky Top, you’ll always be, home sweet home to me! Here’s how we made it:

-1 oz Sugarlands Sweet Tea Moonshine

-1oz Barenjaiger honey liqueur 

-top with lemonade and serve over ice in a mason jar, garnish with lavender sprig

-Easy add, big impact: striped paper straws! You can buy these in bulk online or at any party store. They add a pop of color to your guests drinks

-Drink signs! I bought small chalk board signs at Michael’s and used a white paint pen to name the drinks. Super easy! nikkijustin1196-3672218582-O

-Where to cut: Cocktail napkins: Yes, these are an unnecessary expense. So if you need to cut something out – this is my suggestion.

-CUT: Champagne toast. No one will miss it and it’s usually a couple hundreds bucks.


Tech Tuesday: New app!

So I’ll admit it: I have a black thumb. I did not inherit my mother’s green thumb. Not one bit. She’s SO good at gardening – she’s won the yard of the year, month, etc a dozen times. Unfortunately for me, I did not pick that skill up from her. Although I am hoping it will grow on me. For now, I’m pretty much guessing and flying by the seat of my pants when it comes to gardening. I either over-water or don’t do it enough, put things in direct sunlight that shouldn’t get much sun at all (last year, I killed a cactus) or just forget to do anything at all.

One thing I never seem to neglect – my phone. It’s glued to me at all times. (I know this is not healthy, I’m working on it k?) So when I found out about this app that helps you garden, I hit download immediately. It’s called SmartyPlants and it tells you everything you need to know to make your garden grow.

All you do is snap a pic of the plant-in-question, upload it to the app and voila – your questions are answered! The app will even remind you to water your plants!

More about Smarty Plants here. 




This is leadership

I’m pretty lucky that I have such incredible leaders in my life to look up to, both of my parents are shining examples of what I want to be when I grow up. (And now, I’m not grown-up yet. Still working on that OK?)

Of course in their work accomplishments, their marriage, their love for me and my sisters, but also in their every day life. This small stuff that most people don’t notice.

I called my dad last weekend on my way home from work. While most people are out running errands, gardening, sunbathing, etc, my dad was picking up trash on the streets of my hometown of Kingsport, TN. No, he’s not the garbage man. Nor did he have community service hours to complete. He’s actually a CEO. But on this Saturday morning, he wasn’t in a board room or speaking to a crowded room, he was picking up trash people left behind from an event the night before.

When my dad told me that, I laughed and said, but why? His response, was that there was trash that needed to be picked up, and the person who usually did it was on vacation. So instead of letting the trash pile up, or to call someone else to the dirty work, my dad grabbed a trash bag and got to work.

That’s the mark of a leader. No, it’s not his job, but he did it anyway.
And by the way, this isn’t unusual for my dad. Almost every day on his lunch break outside of his office you’ll see my dad walking around picking up old cigarette butts and throwing them in the trash. Why? Because it needed to be done, and he’s perfectly capable.


As my dad was telling me this, I told him to take a selfie and send it to me. I knew this was something worth writing about! And by the way, a friend of his stopped by to help. See how that works?

Thank you, dad, for doing the grunt work and showing us all what it really means to lead.



Beauty Blog: Bathtub bliss

my haven.

I take a bubble bath almost every single day. In fact, when we were house-hunting, a big, lux bath tub was one of my ‘must-haves.’ Now that I have my dream tub, I take full advantage of it as often as I can!

So yes, I am a beauty junkie—but that isn’t just for my makeup counter. I tend to go a little crazy on my bathtub essentials and at-home spa treatments! Here are a few of my favorites!

-First, you have to have a tray to hold your iPad (to stream Friends, obvi), a Turkish hand towel, and all the products I’m about to share with you! I got my tray at Amazon, it’s made of bamboo and it’s sturdy but still very spa-like.

Molton Brown ‘seamoss’ stress-relieving bath soak: First, this stuff smells amazing. Second, it turns your tub a beautiful greenish blue like the ocean! Tell me that’s not soothing in itself! Last, it’s stress-relieving (as the name suggests) and de-toxing, so you get out of the tub feeling all fresh and ready to go.

-My all-time favorite scrub & body wash for everyday use is Laura Mercier’s Almond Coconut Milk Scrub. Your skin will smell downright delicious. It’s super moisturizing and really rich.

-Another go-to is the Tree Hut Coconut Lime Shea Sugar Scrub. This stuff smells incredible and really gets all that dead skin off!

-I love a good mask. My at home-spa treatment game is pretty on-point, so for everyday use I recommend Charlotte Tilbury Goddess Skin Clay Mask. It dries pretty firm on your skin during treatment but not so much that it’s uncomfortable. Pro-tip: After rinsing it off, splash your face with cold water to tighten pores!

GLAM GLOW Firming treatment mask in Sonic blue: Yes, your face WILL BE BLUE and it’s awesome. But unlike the Charlotte Tilbury mask, this stuff is thick and dries hard. Like, you can’t move your face hard. But, that’s how you know it’s working! This isn’t your everyday use mask, so the jar will last you a while. It’s firming and lifting, and I really noticed a difference. Honestly, I’m a fan of all GLAM GLOW products.

-The good-old, Sephora sheet mask! Yes, you look like you are straight out of a horror movie, but this super moisturizing mask makes a big difference. Plus, they only run about $6. I always pick up a couple each time I am in Sephora. (Beauty junkie problems)Dr. Brandt Microdermabrasion exfoliator: I got this stuff for free in my Fab Fit Fun Box, and I’m a huge fan. The scrub has tiny little micro-crystals that really work! Use it twice a week, and you will see a big change in the brightness of your skin. Be careful, though, no hard-scrubbing required.

-If your bubble bath is more of a quick dip, this splash mask is for you! I love the Energy Yellow Citrus & Honey Splash Mask by Blithe!

Follow your tub time with a big fluffy towel and a good robe, and it’s almost as good as a spa day!


Wedding Cake Wednesday

Happy wedding Wednesday! I hope these posts have been helpful to all you future brides! Let’s talk wedding cake. As I’ve said before, figure out what matters to you and what you want to spend money on—if cake is a big deal to you and your groom – set aside a few hundred dollars for the cake. Double it if you’re fancy.

Traditionally, you need two cakes: A groom’s cake and a regular wedding cake, plus dessert. We decided to only do two cakes and I think it worked out well. No extra cupcakes were needed.

Initially, our wedding cake was pretty elaborate, with hand made sugar flowers and a gorgeous gold design. But when we went over budget this was the first thing to get cut. I enjoy cake, but not that much.

We went with a buttercream chocolate and vanilla cake with swiss dots. Simple, classic and elegant, but nothing really to write home about. The groom’s cake was where we had some fun! I did love the cake topper – which was gold and said “love.” That was from Etsy and it was about $20!


To go with our theme, District to Dixie, we decided to bring some of DC to our special day. After all, it’s where we fell in love! Our cake was a replica of the Capitol Dome! nikkijustin1478-3672240472-O

Now for some insider knowledge… If you are having a big wedding like I did – here’s where you can save some serious cash. Instead of having your incredible talented (and incredibly expensive) cake baker create a massive cake to feed 250 people, have her make one that looks like it will feed 250 people. Our main wedding cake had 5 layers and looked like it was all cake, but the truth is only the first few were real cake! The bottom half was fake, which meant big savings. We cut the top of the cake for pictures, then the wait staff took the cake to the back to cut it into slices. What our guests didn’t know was there was a full sheet cake in the back already cut into slices. It was the exact cake that we had, just without the fancy icing decor on the outside that’s so pricey.

Bonus idea: Want a pretty set up? Go to TJ Maxx or Home Goods to find pretty cake stands. I found ours (swiss dots to match the cake!) for $12.