Valerie and I enjoy a road trip. Sometimes we've been known to take a road trip so far, we've actually flown to get there. (New York, Portland,...next...) It's what gives us that recharging we need to make our store fresh and new. When we can't go for a long trip, we head to Anthropology for inspirations. We all have our muses, and we flea chicks know that a good road trip is the ultimate muse of all. So off we went in the truck with stars in our eyes for Nashville.
Heading to Nashville seemed a bit out of character for us both. Neither of us are country music fans, or particularly interested in the Grand Ole Opry. I'll admit when I saw the billboard size Gibson guitar all lit up like National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation I got a bit giddy. So why Nashville? Well, this where the Heart of Country antique show is held every year in the most fabulous hotel, The Opryland Hotel. My Dad and his wife were attending and wanted us to come up to the premier show with them to check it out. Dad had warned me early that it was pricey, but a great experience and well worth the trip.
So, we get all dolled up me in a black silk shirt and boots, Valerie in her prarie skirt, mustard blazer and boots (both pairs of boots were Lakewood finds by the way!) and head over to this gorgeous hotel for the premier night of the show. It was as Dad had mentioned, pricey, but well worth the hours spent walking and touring the beautifully displayed booths of mostly Americana antiques. We saw some fabulous ideas, which we of course wrote in our handy dandy notebooks to bring back and reuse in our store. The food, music and drinks were a delight and added to the evening's ambiance.
Now Valerie and I were creatures of habit at Lakewood. We'd check our favorite vendors, hit the donuts, tour some more booths, then hit the margaritas at the Firehouse. So, it seemed only natural that we would choose this route, only in finer clothes and fancier booths having a margarita in our hand. While stopping to sip our beverages and nibble on some treats, Valerie exclaimed, "That's Mary Emmerling over there at the Country Home booth. She's signing her new book, Crosses." "What, nooooooo. Really.....Oh should we go......." I exclaim. Sure enough, we walked over and this way cool dressed blond was Mary, Creative Director of Country Home magazine AND author of only about 20 books on decorating and such. So like two teenage girls in Hollywood we asked if we could get a picture with her please. She was dear, so approachable and nice. We told her a bit about ourselves and she immediately grabbed her friend from Roswell and introduced us. We gave the friend our card and said please come see us. Somehow, in our conversation we also mentioned having had a margarita. Mary was like, "What, they have those here?" See, we asked because they had a full bar and we didn't want wine or champagne, and like I said the ritual thing... We said our goodbyes and hugs and walked away grinning so big you could have used our toothy smiles as piano keys! As we walked away on cloud nine at our encounter with fame, we looked at each other and as though reading each other's minds said, let's buy Mary a margarita and give her our card. So we did, and she was thrilled. She even put our card in her, well let's just say a safe place! We left the show full of great ideas and stars in our eyes.
Nashville surprised us, and it will forever be the place we met..............Mary Emmerling. She's not Shania, or that American Idol girl that beat that other country girl at the CMA Awards, or Dolly, but to us, she is a star amongst stars in the Nashville sky!