Food for Thought: Changing the World
Food for Thought: Changing the World In partnership with Vanderbilt University’s Office of Community, Neighborhood, and Government Relations, the Frist Center for
Since its inception in 2010, beloved local brand FashionABLE has been empowering women through sustainable job creation across the globe, employing makers in Ethiopia, Kenya, Mexico, and right here in Middle Tennessee. The brand, which began as a line of handwoven scarves and accessories, has since grown to include leather goods and handmade jewelry.
With that growth came the need for more space, which FashionABLE found in The Nations’ refurbished Stocking 51 building. In addition to its first brick-and-mortar storefront, FashionABLE’s new address serves as the company’s headquarters, too.
For Barrett Ward, founder and CEO, the brand’s expansion correlates directly to the growth of its mission and the women it employs.
“This signifies our company and mission are growing,” he explains. “This space and these beautiful products, they all have to be an analogy, a symbol, for the hundreds of women who have overcome desperate circumstances, who now have these incredible stories of growth to share.”
The striking 1,000-square-foot retail space features a jewelry bar, curated leather bag wall, and lounge, with vignettes of smaller leather goods and woven accessories throughout. The remaining 3,000-square feet comprise office space, order fulfillment, and jewelry production, a feature that Ward is particularly proud of.
“We want people to feel like they’re an intimate part of the FashionABLE storyline, not just coming here to shop,” he shares. “Come meet the women who are making your products and hear their stories. That’s what’s exciting, to me, about having a flagship store—having the makers in this space, as well.”
What’s next for FashionABLE? The brand continues its trajectory of growth, introducing new retail offerings, including apparel, later this year.
5022 Centennial Blvd; livefashionable.com