Draper James

Draper James
Contemporary yet timeless Southern style is for sale at this boutique in Nashville, Tennessee’s 12South neighborhood.

By Hope S. Philbrick

Reese Witherspoon—a Nashville, Tennessee native and Academy Award-winning actress—opened a retail store in her hometown.  Draper James, named to honor her grandparents, is a bright shop bursting with timeless Southern style clothing and housewares, over 40 percent of which are made in the U.S.

Andrea Hyde, CEO of Draper James, took the time to answer a few questions.

Why locate the store in 12South?
Nashville, where Reese grew up, is a culturally vibrant city that has had a tremendous influence on our brand. Reese has fond childhood memories of shopping with her mother and running into everyone they knew. She was excited about recreating that friendly experience in the [revitalized 12South] neighborhood.

How do you decide what to stock in the store?
Many of the items we choose to make are inspired by Reese’s favorite things. For example, Reese has a candy cane printed dress that she has worn every year for Christmas Eve for as long as she can remember. This past December that very dress became the inspiration for a Draper James holiday dress, which Reese not only wore to her own Christmas party, but she also wore it to the White House’s Tree Lighting Ceremony.

What are some of your best-selling items?
The ‘Totes Y’all’ tote bag is definitely one of our best sellers and has already sold out three times! Dresses are also doing really well for us and are always a customer favorite. Also we have become known for our bold patterns and bright colors—not a lot of black in our line!

How often does new stock come in?
We always have new styles coming in and we often have surprising new product introductions as well. Just this year we introduced a Brunch Collection—everything you need to host a lovely Southern-style brunch. And we recently launched a Tailgating Collection that includes sweaters, bags, and festive party pieces in five popular Southern school colors.

Any “insider tips” for shopping your store?
The store, designed by Mark Sikes, was inspired by a modern Southern woman’s home. Mark, who is known for creating beautiful, classic rooms, is also a lover of blue and white, so he put his expertise to work. The store has multiple cozy seating areas, so you can come in and relax and enjoy a glass of sweet tea, our trademark refreshment. Make sure you check out our stylish blue and white striped fitting rooms—you won’t want to leave.

Any recommendations for shopping 12South overall?
Pace yourself! There is not only great retail shopping along 12South (make sure you visit one of our favorites, White’s Mercantile, a Southern general store), but also lots to eat. On one end of 12South you’ll find people standing in line at Jennie’s Ice Cream and on the other end you’ll see an equally long line at Las Paletas Popsicles and halfway between the two, there’s a line for Sprinkles Cupcakes! There are also amazing places for lunch and dinner in-between sweet shops.

More Information…

Draper James
2608 12th Ave. S.
Nashville, Tennessee

Visit Music City

– Photo courtesy Draper James

HSP15Hope S. Philbrick is founder and editor-in-chief of Getaways for Grownups. She became a freelance writer and editor because she believes that work and fun should not be mutually exclusive. Her work has appeared in dozens of publications nationwide. When not writing, she can usually be found on the road or savoring something tasty.

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