Buckle up and stomp around Music City with Carrie Eddmenson.
If you haven’t figured it out already, Nashville is a pretty special place. It also happens to be filled with some pretty special people. Not sure if there’s a connection there. Probably. One of those special people also happens to be a person named Carrie who happens to be the co-founder of one Nashville-based denim brand imogene + willie. Definitely a connection there. Carrie and her husband Matt set up shop in an old gas station back in 2009 to honor their family’s passion for denim. Ten years later and you could say Carrie knows her way around the Music City. From backyard state parks to eclectic record shops to that same little old service station, she’s well-versed in the ins and outs of the town. Carrie, show us around.
I love Nashville…what it is today. But I fell hard in love with the Nashville of yesterday.
To be able to tell you what I would do, see and eat in Nashville—I feel like my most honest recommendations come from those special days when we made this city our home over a decade ago. And to me, the beautiful thing about these choices is that they are steadfast—there yesterday and still here today.
If you are obliged to try the same, you are going to have a really special day.
Get up kind of early and go hike (or walk) at Radnor Lake State Park.
Radnor is Tennessee’s first state natural area, and ironically, where our house sits—we don’t have a neighbor behind us. Radnor is our backyard.
Then visit our first home in Nashville: our store imogene + willie in 12 South and where we started this business in 2009. Get fitted for a pair of jeans by the amazing team. You don’t have to buy them, just let them do their thing.
You need to go see Third Man Records founded by Jack White.
So much of what Jack does is preserve and celebrate the old music of Nashville while himself remaining a contemporary king of rock ‘n’ roll.
And, throwing a curveball here, I suggest you also see a place that I hear is so special, even though I’ve embarrassingly never been. You need to go see the Country Music Hall of Fame. We are going to take our daughter Sally to do the same. Finally, if you can, go see a show at Ryman. It doesn’t matter what it is, it will be magic. You won’t be disappointed.
There are so many fantastic restaurants in Nashville, old and new. So many. But when asked my favorite, it never changes: City House. 15 years ago, Tandy Wilson committed to creating dishes made with seasonal ingredients from local farms with sustainable farming practices.
We started our business in Nashville just a bit after Tandy opened his doors. We have so many wonderful memories eating in that old house. I think my most favorite…Sunday suppers, where Tandy and his team fix a beautiful spread, all from the leftover ingredients from the week prior.
A few more options, and although these are newer, they feel like they have been here forever: when you’re planning your trip, do your due diligence and figure out when and where to eat a meal under the direction of Sean Brock. He has three restaurants in Nashville: Joyland, Audrey and The Continental. Each one has wildly different food, experiences and price points. And you never know where he will be—he might end up cooking your meal for you.
Carrie Eddmenson is the co-founder and creative leader of imogene + willie, a premium denim-focused lifestyle brand based in Nashville, Tennessee. Carrie, along with her husband, Matt Eddmenson, established imogene + willie from the ground up, authoring the business plan and fundraising for the company, instituting a culture that would serve as the foundation for what the brand has grown to today.
Over the years of the company’s institution, the relationships Carrie has fostered with local Nashville businesses has cultivated a strong community, resulting in an evolution of the landscape of brick and mortar retail, and establishing imogene + willie’s flagship store as a centerpiece of local pride.