In the past two years Taigan.com, has become a preeminent source for the most discerning online shoppers. Behind that success are Southern gals, CEO Elizabeth Nichols and founder Mary Catherine McClellan. The duo spends a lot of time travelling the country searching for the best of boutiques and craftsmen.
As the vetting team at Taigan.com (which is based in Brentwood, Tennessee), the team is proud to be considered very picky. “Whether it’s Main Street or down a dirt road there is no end to where we will go to find the best shops, designers and artisans to present on Taigan,” Nichols says. Needless to say, the ladies know a thing or two about what makes a good shopping spot. “The experience has to be every bit as good as the product on the shelf or the clothing on the hanger,” Nichols says.
We sat down with Nichols and McClellan and discussed some of their favorite shops in the South—all of which deliver great product, inspiring design, and of course, Southern hospitality. With so many to choose from, it wasn't easy to narrow the list to 10. Here is what they have to say about some of their favorites.
1. Haven Sanctuary of Style in Franklin, Tennessee Claudia Robertson Fowler curates a fashion-forward selection of L.A.M.B. shoes, Elizabeth & James dresses, Haute Hippie, and Erickson Beamon jewelry at Haven. If you have the chance to be styled by owner Claudia , jump at it! She combines pieces in a way that you would never think of, like a white ruffled skirt, cowboy boots, a denim jacket, and a gold and crystal vintage necklace, and makes it look amazing. And the window displays are totally representative of her style—always inspiring.
2. REVIVAL in Chattanooga, Tennessee A great shop has so much to do with the personality behind the shop. Located in Chattanooga’s hip Warehouse Row, REVIVAL's proprietors Rodney Simmons and Billy Woodall have transformed a historic warehouse and filled it with lush upholstery, lighting, and fun discoveries. It’s not unusual to see an industrial table next to a vintage wooden horse Rodney has found.
3. Aidan Gill for Men in New Orleans, Louisiana Famed barber Aidan’s Gill has a dapper style that resonates through his parlor and shop. Not only is he known for the best men’s hot-towel shave in America, he also carries a great selection of men’s accoutrements from bow ties and shaving creams to grilling equipment and toy tin soldiers. The spot is colorful and inviting, and thoroughly manly. If you're lucky, Aidan will invite you to the patio for a drink of Irish whiskey.
4. 100% Capri in Miami, Florida Everything 100% Capri does is beautiful and elegant. With their signature Italian linens from Capri, the team creates timeless women’s and men’s clothing, canvas totes, leather belts, home linens, and suede moccasins. Most of the collection is presented in only four colors: white, navy, chocolate brown, and natural. And the staff’s hospitality is superb—every piece is freshly pressed before you go into the fitting room.
5. Peter Nappi in Nashville, Tennessee This hip studio in Nashville’s Germantown is stocked with its own brand of expertly crafted leather boots, handbags, and belts, alongside vintage wrist and pocket watches. The Peter Nappi group is so passionate about what they do. They emphasize the quality of raw materials and craftsmanship of the items. The studio has a baby grand piano and instruments throughout, which are used when hosting one of their private shows with local, and often notable, musicians. It’s one of the most coveted invitations in Nashville. (We love this Peter Nappi video McClellan shared with us!)
6. Julia Christian Gallery in Savannah, Georgia This store just draws you in. There is so much color everywhere. Husband-and-wife artists Bob and Julia Christian have built a strong following in their 37 years of producing paintings and handcrafted furnishings. Here is a place where you have the creators at your fingertips. You can walk in and have them work their magic on your grandmother’s demi-lune table.
7. Appalachian Fireside Gallery in Berea, Kentucky The ever-changing collection of talent and items at the Appalachian Fireside Gallery will endlessly inspire you. Braided rugs, pinch-clay pots, cornhusk nativity sets—you never know what you will find. The town’s Berea College encourages students to trade craftwork for tuition making it a hotbed for artisans. This is a shop where the work is coming from people who are pursuing their craft as a career.
8. Forty Five Ten in Dallas, Texas Dallas’s noted Forty Five Ten boutique doesn’t skimp on its promise to carry a little bit of everything. From casual J Brand jeans to Michael Bastian suits, fashion books, Lanvin stationery, John Derian flatware, and Marni for kids—this fashion house has everything to cover a style-conscious family. Forty Five Ten is highly regarded throughout the fashion community as one of the most impressive boutiques in the country. And it has a charming café to top it all off.
9. Found For The Home in Houston, Texas Found’s new space is fantastic. There are tons of purple hydrangeas crammed in bowls around the shop; the whole scene makes you want to take a big breath and take it all in. You’ll love the selection of purple leather pillows and petrified tree side tables and coffee table books, but it’s the team’s welcoming attitude that makes it a must-stop when in Houston.
10. Star Provisions We never go to Atlanta without stopping at Star Provisions, the gourmet pantry shop that accompanies Westside’s Bacchanalia restaurant. It’s so much more than food—they have table linens, flatware, books, and fun quirky tabletop decorations. On the food front, you can stock up on gifts like 100-year-old balsamics, and rare cheeses, jams, and charcuterie.
You've heard about some great Southern shops, what are some of your favorite? Tell us in the comments!
Related links: Southern Living: An Insider's Guide to J.R.'s Dallas Southern Living: Where to Shop Kentucky Derby Weekend Southern Living: Shop Houston Heights Southern Living: Shop 'Til You Drop in Savannah Southern Living: Shop Chattanooga's Warehouse Row Southern Living: Where to Shop in Nashville Elle: 50 States of Shopping Lucky: The Lucky Store Directory