Local Business Spotlight: Zoë & Hadlee

I have been writing this blog for the past year and it  has been so much fun. I started it because I just wanted to improve my writing skills and as a creative outlet, but I’ve really grown to love doing this! Lately I have been thinking about what direction I wanted to take with it in this upcoming year. (Spoiler: there is a lot I want to do!) One thing I would love to do is to promote a local business every month! A sort of highlight of an individual and their shop.

You could definitely say I have a soft spot for local businesses. My first ever “real” job, I mean like more than pulling the neighbor’s weeds and babysitting, was at a local business, Sparkling Tiara. Then I moved on to Billy Goat Coffee Cafe, a locally owned and operated coffee shop. If you know me or have been following for some time, you know that was a little over a five year affair! Overlapping that time I also worked for a few other assorted local businesses. I think the fact that (besides six hours a week for two months when my second job was at Justice) I have worked exclusively at local businesses gives me a unique perspective. I have seen the hardships and challenges, I have felt the family ties of small shops, and I have experienced the behind the scenes of these businesses. I know how much each purchase is valued.

I want to help foster support for these hardworking individuals. I am a proud small business supporter and I want to help others to embrace it as well! So stick with me as I feel out the details, but for now I am so excited to introduce my new, monthly segment- my Local Business Spotlight. Today I am starting with a new find, a precious store called Zoë & Hadlee. A sweet acquaintance, Ali, is the owner and creator of this locally run shop. I asked her a few questions about her store and the realities of running a small business. Here is what she had to say.

For someone who has never experienced your shop before, how would you describe your product? “In our family when you buy someone a gift we call it a happy. I wanted to create a line of gifts of some of our favorite “Happies” in hopes that others would be blessed by it as much as we are. We offer home decor and customized products such as Shirts and coffee mugs. We love to take old vintage items and fix them up. For example, old pictures frames that we paint and distress to give them a new look.”

What makes your products/services stick out from other providers in your area? “We try to make many of our items unique so that that each time you shop with us you find something custom or new.”

What was your inspiration to start your own business? Why did you specifically choose to do what you do? “Zoë & Hadlee are the names of my two beautiful girls who were my inspiration for the business. They are so fun and full of life- and I wanted that to reflect in our business. It all started really as just a hobby, but grew to more pretty quickly. I had been praying for a while to have something that I could do on the side and things just kind of fell into place.”

What was our number one, greatest challenge to getting started? “The greatest challenge for me was just getting started and getting all the equipment I needed. But God is so good and He provided it all. When people got wind of what I wanted to do all the sudden I had people giving me the tools and materials I needed to get started or selling what they had for little to nothing. Before I knew it I had all the equipment needed to get my feet off the ground.”

What gave you the courage to take the leap and start this shop? “The encouragement and support of my family and my faith is truly what gave me the courage to get started. ”

Why is it important for people to support local business? “When you support a local business you are supporting a dream. It is so important to support each other and help other small businesses! ”

What do you think is a misconception people have when it comes to shopping local vs. shopping corporate?  “I think people tend to go more corporate just because of convenience, but in my opinion you tend to find better quality and experiences when you shop small business.”

If you could accomplish one major goal in 2018, what would it be? “My goal would be to have business steady enough that I could stay home more and have Zoë & Hadlee as my main business instead of my secondary business. ”

What is your top piece of advice for someone with a dream of owning a local business? “My top piece of advice would be not to give up. Building a business has its up and downs, but if you love it and you work hard at it you will see the fruit of your labors. Just have the faith!”

Here are a few samples of the precious items that you can purchase from Zoë & Hadlee! I hope you enjoy. The coffee mugs are my favorite- and a great holiday gift. 



One Day in Nashville: Culture, Food, and Fun 

Yesterday was so much fun. My cousin Stephanie is in town so we wanted to show her around some of our favorite places! Here is a run down of our day of local eats and fun exploring! 

We started off at Sweet Biscuits, a locally owned, small business that serves breakfast. We bought several different types of gourmet biscuits to share- ham and cheese, three cheese spinach and bacon, cranberry orange, and chocolate chip. 


From there we headed down to the Nashville Farmers Market!! It was bustling with families and local vendors. We made our first stop at my dads favorite booth — the farm milk. We bought regular and chocolate milk there. (The chocolate milk is so rich and creamy, it’s more of a dessert. We are obsessed). Then we wandered through the food and local crafts. It was so pretty! The weather was perfect and somehow it instantly felt like Fall. The fresh veggies, hay bales, and corn stalks set the perfect scene! Also, Nolie somehow slept through our entire time there! After wandering the booths and watching some live music we walked along the timeline monument that’s in the nearby Bicentennial Capital Mall State Park! It’s a beautiful area with gorgeous greenery and several different monuments and statues, including a “natural” amphitheater. The sunny skies, slight breeze, and laughing family made my heart so thankful.  


Next we jumped in the car so my dad could take us on a new adventure. We watched out the car window as the downtown skyline faded and we ended up on Nolensville road. After a somewhat sketchy stop for gas, we ended up at a place called Plaza Mariachi. (I’m including a link to their website here because I can’t even explain how cool it was!!) Apparently it’s an old Kroger that they renovated to look like a traditional Mexican outdoor market plaza. It has live music, these hanging curtain dancers, and fun vendors with tasty food! We tried the nachos at one place and a unique honey pizza at another. We also tried some fancy smoothie drinks with fresh fruit and then house made ice cream! There was so much to see and do. It was a seriously fun time. I can’t wait for Michael and I to have our next date night there! I’m definitely going to be taking him for the salsa night.  


After we watched a show (which happen in the main plaza throughout the day and is free) we took Stephanie to our last stop, the Shoppes on Fatherland. It’s a thriving new area of East Nashville that is dedicated to local business. We love it! We always go to this one store on the block that sells the coolest basalmic vinegars. Dad has become a sort of collector. Then we wandered around a few other stores, including one shop owned by a blogger I love!! It’s called the Shine Project. She employs inner city, first generation college student to make jewelry, of which the profits go into their college fund. Y’all have to check her out! 
After we finished up there we headed back home. We made delicious pasta and half baked cookies with ice cream. Seriously, it was an A+ kind of day.  

The Third Annual Peach Festival 

Yesterday Michael and I took little Nolie to her first little festival! The Peach Truck hosted an event with live music, food trucks, face painting, local vendors, and … PEACHES! It was so much fun. We started off rocky when I accidentally gave Michael directions to the wrong farmers market.  However, once we finally got there it was so much fun. 

There were several local vendors.  We saw some companies we love like the Frothy Monkey and Baby & Company. However, we also were introduced to a ton of new finds! It was a great experience.  

I think the highlight of our time though was buying our bag of peaches! Michael had one for breakfast and said it was wonderful. 

I’m so happy that we got to take the little one out on such a gorgeous night. Also, I won’t lie.  It was fun having people gush over the baby everywhere we were! She was so good and didn’t fuss once. She just had wide open eyes watching everything! I can’t wait for next year. I think we found a new family tradition.