We love shopping for local, handmade products, but driving between all of Nashville’s farmers markets, swap meets and flea markets can really eat away at our gas tanks (not to mention our wallets). So, when the urge hits to buy something that was scratch-made in Music City, what are we to do?
Luckily for us, at 8th & Argyle more than 20 local artists are turning a local-lover’s pipe dream into a reality... and they’re doing it under one roof. Technically a co-op, each artist of 8th & Argyle pays a small membership fee in exchange for the right to hawk their wares in the space. The artists rotate in and out of the store, so the inventory is constantly refreshed, and each artist brings something funky and fresh to the co-op. Basically, 8th & Argyle is the city’s newest general store – a place where we can buy everything from handmade kitchen accessories to organic bath products.
We recommend spending some time sorting through the vinyl selection, which is curated by a local DJ and priced similarly to the used LPs at Grimey’s (located next door). We found everything from Tom Petty’s debut album to a must-have copy of the Fast Times at Ridgemont High soundtrack. One room over, polyester pants, cowboy shirts and “Mad Men”-worthy dresses can be found from the folks at Sabrosa Vintage, who’ve set up a few clothing racks in the back of the store. In the back of the store, toward the cash register, is the camp of the Nashville Needle Company, where local seamstresses like Sara McLoud host sewing classes and monthly meet-ups in order to “geek out over fabric.”
“8th & Argyle brings the vendor community together,” she explains. “It’s hard to be a freelancer on your own, taking your goods from craft show to craft show and hoping you don’t get rained out. Here, we’re all about supporting local artists and local customers. This is where we work and where we craft.”
Indeed, it’s impossible to not go on a bit of a shopping spree – purchasing a few bars of Music City Suds’ all-natural soap (whipped up with locally-sourced ingredients from local farms) and a few of McLoud’s hand-stitched aprons, which are cobbled together from reclaimed fabric. “I’ll go to thrift stores and buy crazy clothing to use in these aprons,” she explains, pointing to one apron with a 1970s pattern worthy of “The Brady Bunch.” “In general, the uglier the shirt is, the better the apron will be.”
Luckily, 8th & Argyle is here for good, maintaining regular business hours from Thursday through Sunday. We plan on hitting them up next Christmas (and at least a few dozen times before then, too).