Bright Lights and Faded Jeans

Hero/feature image taken at night from below of the red, green, purple, yellow and blue neon lights of shop and bar signs lining the building of a street in Nashville. At the center of the image is a sign with "Nashville" written horizontally in all caps across the top in red neon lights, the word "crossroads" stacked vertically just below, also in red neon lights and lined with bright blue neon lights and resting on the horizontal, red-lit words "music city".

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.

Black and white image of the back of a band sitting casually with their instruments in a backyard. A crowd is watching the band play. There is a brick house in the background, large trees to the left and right, and string lights slung from tree to tree across the image.

My Truth:

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.

An image take from across the street of the imogene + willie shop in Nashville, Tennessee. The building is made of white painted brick with a slate black roof and red brick chimney. On the white brick above a panel of windows is a small, red cross. The doors are large, oak, and adorned with plants. The right half of the building juts out into an awning with a circular imogene + willie logo hanging from the roof. A vintage maroon Cadillac is sitting in front of the awning. The sidewalk is wet from rain and a wooded area of yellow and green trees sits behind the building.


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.

An image of the inside of the Third Man Records shop. The shop is narrow and packed tight with neatly organized records. The wooden walls are painted bright yellow with black accents. The neon red lights of a record stand glows brightly throughout the room. An old, yellow juke box is in the right foreground of the image. Posters line the back, black brick wall that is adjacent to a set of three windows.
Photo courtesy of Jack White
Photograhy by Ole Bendik Kvisberg of the entry way to the Country Music Hall of Fame with the words "Will the circle by unbroken"
Photo courtesy of Ole Bendik Kvisberg


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.

A horizontal image of a man wearing a white kitchen uniform working the large, open kitchen counter of a restaurant. Ingredients of all sorts line the stainless steels counter tops on the right and left side. The man is cleaning pots at the wood counter top in the cent of the image. Behind the counter lining the opposite wall are three green booths. The wall that they line is a splotchy light grey decorated with eclectic lanterns and groups of colorful paintings.
A horizontal image of a closed in porch with empty brown wooden tables and black metal chairs set as a dining area. Each table has 6 seats (three on each side) and cutlery sits on the table in front of each chair. The far left wall is made up of large windows separated by brown, wooden planks that intersect to form squares. The windows look out to a small wooded area of green foliage. The roof is also made of brown wood. The floor is a cracked stone mural of a brown tree with light green leaves set against an off-white stone background. The far right wall is old, worn red brick and on the right side of the far back wall, there is an old wooden panel door set in brick with stone steps leading to it.


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.

A horizontal heavily contrasted black and white image of the roof of the imogene + willie shop in Nashville. The roof is triangular with black shingles and has a small chimney on the right side. Sticking out from the from of the roof is a white circular sign bearing a small symmetrical cross. Black all-cap lettering circles around the cross continuously.

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.