White’s Mercantile

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White's Mercantile
Grab some chocolate, a cashmere sweater, locally-made beard oil and more at this store in Nashville, Tennessee’s 12South neighborhood.

By Hope S. Philbrick

White’s Mercantile is a modern general store that stocks clothing, gift and household items, including local/regional foods, soap and beauty products, jewelry, leather goods, hats, candles, books, housewares, home décor, and more. “It really is a large mix of items!” exclaimed one local fan.

Holly Williams (a singer/songwriter, the daughter of legendary country music Hank Williams Jr. and granddaughter of legendary country music star Hank Williams, Sr.) owns White’s Mercantile, which is located in the 12South neighborhood. She also owns the acclaimed women’s clothing boutique shop called H. Audrey located in Green Hills. “She’s just the epitome of Nashville fashion,” gushed the fan. “She’s got that tie to music being a singer-songwriter herself, and her style is laidback, unpretentious and authentically cool!”

We had to find out more and recently chatted with Holly Williams by phone.

Tell us more about your shops.
White’s Mercantile is a general store with modern day taste. It’s a one-stop shop for everything. I love general stores, my great-grandfather owned one and though I never met him I heard family stories. I got tired of driving all over town to get different things like olive oil, a birthday card, a sweater, coffee table book, you name it, so we carry goods from all over. We opened three years ago in December and also have a location in Franklin. H. Audrey is 10 minutes away; I opened it in 2007. It carries clothing from all kinds of different designers from all over. White’s Mercantile is an extension of that. I loved having a clothing store but I got married and needed more household items. When I was growing up 12South was a dangerous area but in the last five to seven years it’s completely revitalized. White’s Mercantile is in an old gas station from 1930.

What is the clothing style at White’s Mercantile?
It’s a little bit basic. You’d go in there to get staples for your wardrobe; grab some jeans and a white T-shirt and a statement necklace. If you’re in town and need a last minute outfit it could fill the void for you.

How many items are in stock on average?
There’s a ton of stuff in there, thousands of items, everything from lip balm to beard oil to food items and bigger stuff.

How often does the inventory change?
Literally every day, we’re constantly buying new things. If I find something when I’m on the road I’ll bring them back to town. We have our bestsellers and I’m always on the lookout for new great quality items.

What are your best-sellers?
We have great white mason jars, local beard oil, a candle line that’s locally made, a cosmetic line that’s locally made, we have lot of natural foods mainstays and lobster rolls.

What’s the busiest time of year?
Now 12South is busy every day, but it’s really busy around Christmas. The whole neighborhood is packed at that time.

Can you tell us a bit more about shopping in 12South neighborhood in general?
It’s one long block with all kinds of different boutiques from clothing to great restaurants, an ice cream shop, Reese Witherspoon’s new store, Corner Music Store where famous national musicians have shopped for years, Imogene + Willie specialty denim maker, there’s really something for everyone. People will park at one end and walk up and down the whole way, stop to have lunch, a scoop of ice cream, stay for dinner.

If someone shops at White’s Mercantile but is unfamiliar with 12South, do you offer advice?
We have a little ‘local love’ list we hand out to customers.

Any insider tips for shopping 12South?
Check out the local shops. They have a lot to offer.

White's Mercantile

– Photos courtesy White’s Mercantile

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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