Nashville, Day 2

threebrothersWe got up in the morning and walked up the street towards Vanderbilt and a good coffee shop, Three Brothers.  The heat of the day was just starting to kick in.  I forgot how hot it gets in the south.  Growing up in the DC area I quickly recalled being in a constant state of sweat all summer long.  Not something I really ever enjoyed.

magnoliaAlthough the magnolia trees are certainly beautiful.

CkTWKAkWYAA_jY1We went back to the hotel to get ready for Launch Tennessee.  A really great event.  There are people from everywhere but the excitement from the Southern community of investors and entrepreneurs is not only impressive it is empowering.  I spoke about the shifting and success of women led businesses that only continues to move upward as well as the importance of continuing to carry the flag for equality.  I then got to sit down with Kelly Hoey (who moderated the panel), Jewel Burks of Partpic and Corie Hardee of Union Station to talk about their businesses and the ups and downs of raising money and building a business.

peglegIt was time for lunch so I met up with Fred and Corie joined us to try Peg Leg Porker.

lunchWe did not go for the Memphis sushi – aka sausage, cheese and crackers.  We opted for pulled pork, ribs, mac and cheese, cole slaw, beans, smoked green beans and Kool-aid pickles (weird).

imogeneandwillieCorie had a flight to catch so Fred and I went to another area of town, 12th South.  A walking street in the middle of a neighborhood with stores, restaurants, bars etc.  Really charming.  Our first stop was Imogene + Willie.  They make their own pants.  Love the patterns hanging from the ceiling.

whitesWe walked down the street to Willie Nelsons daughters store, White’s Mercantile.  A concept store filled with cards, cookbooks, condiments, puzzles, and more.  A great mix of things.

popsIt was hot and Las Yaletas which has been in the neighborhood for 10 years was calling us.  Mexican popsicles some with cream some with fruit etc.  A true mix.We went with pistachio cream and lime/raspberry ice.

lilacThis lilac tree caught my eye.  One of my favorites.  We used to have them in our backyard growing up in Ann Arbor Michigan and they would take over the back fence in the springtime.

filingstationLots of local brewers here.  The Filling Station is stocked with amazing beers (and cigars too)

jamesHad to check out Reese Witherspoons store, Draper James. Will certainly be interesting to see how this does.  Opening up a store with this much merchandise that looks very similar to a chain store in the 80’s is a big financial bet.

sprinklesSprinkles is the cupcake haunt.  Smelled good in there.

frothymonkeyThe local coffee spot, Frothy Monkey.  Coffee in the morning, beer in the afternoon.

flowerA beautiful flower store, Flower Basket, for your garden that is under the sky not brick and mortar.

flipsideFlipside is such a great space.  It opens up to the street with these big windows and looks like a great local spot for dinner.   Also stopped in a store across the street to pick up a new shirt.  I looked like a wet rag from the heat.  Great women’s store. Emerson Grace.

;kzzaWe headed back to the event for cocktails before heading out to dinner.  We had dinner at City House. We had a salad with Vidalia dressing and sunflower seeds, Octopus with a bbq sauce, yellow eyed peas and pickled turnips, rigatoni cauliflower ragu with pecorino, bread crumbs and parsley.  The winner was the belly ham pizza.  Belly ham, mozzarella, grana padano, oregano and chiles.  The crust is so thin it is amazing that it can carry the topping which was heavy but not too heavy.  An excellent pizza.  Should have just done two pies.  Great wine list too.

We made our way back to the hotel to get up at the crack of dawn to catch a flight home to NYC.  Two days in Nashville is perfect.  The community at the event is what really made an impact on me.  We are seeing urban cities flourish over the last decade and with that is a blossoming start-up community making a difference.  Big thanks for the group at Launch Tennessee for asking me to come down.  I rarely do evening activities or weekends but I am really glad that I said yes to this one.