Stepping into Nutmeg while strolling through the Shoppes on Fatherland is like stepping onto an empty stage that's waiting for you to fill it with your creativity. Knitting, crocheting and sewing props line the outside walls, waiting for the next maker to perform a magic act that will transform wool yarn, cotton fabric and notions into something that only previously existed in the imagination.
Mod member Meg Anderson opened the shop last August and runs workshops out of the space as well. Here, she shares with us how she's weaved together her passion for fashion, creativity and family into a growing business.
HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN IN NASHVILLE?
I was born and raised in Nashville. I was so passionate about design that I attended O'More College of Design and Watkins College of Arts at the same time in the late nineties before I had my kids. Then, when my son started kindergarten, I went back to school and earned a degree in Creative Writing at Belmont University. I've been in the East Nashville area for 13 years. It just fits me.
WHAT IS THE BIGGEST CHALLENGE YOU'VE OVERCOME
Stop doubting yourself. Doubt was the biggest hurdle to starting my business. I had the dream of opening a shop 12 years ago but didn't have the confidence. It wasn't until I was able to start thinking about what could go right instead of what could go wrong that I found the courage to go for my dream. You're probably more capable and talented than you know. Just go for it.
WHAT TIPS CAN YOU OFFER ABOUT SUCCESSFULLY ADVANCING YOUR CAREER?
My motto has been "Grow Slow. Grow Big."
I knew I wanted to have a storefront and more space for offering workshops and courses. But I also knew I wanted to findway to do it all that wouldn't put my family or my home at risk. I'm a single mother and I couldn't risk the well-being of my two kids.
I started offering small workshops for adults and children in my home. Then I grew into hosting a pop-up store about twice a month. Last August I opened the space here. This August I obtained a Kiva loan to help me grow my inventory and staff. My goal is to have a space about twice this size and more staff so we can offer a whole separate learning area.
WHAT ARE THREE THINGS WE WOULDN’T GUESS TO BE TRUE ABOUT YOU?
- People are always surprised to find out that I have two kids that are pre-teens. I don't know why. I guess they think I look younger.
- I absolutely love South Korean and Japanese pop culture. My guilty pleasure is watching Korean shows on TV. A lot of times they have subtitles but I'm also teaching myself Korean. I want to travel there to learn more about their fabrics and bring some back for the store.
- I'm a total comic book geek. It's another guilty pleasure but one that I can share with my kids. I'm definitely a DC Comics gal.
HOW DO YOU MAINTAIN A WORK/LIFE BALANCE?
Work/Life balance is hug for me because I'm a single parent. I've consciously built up my life to ensure that I can be successful and be there for my kids. But a lot of it's trial and error.
When I first opened the shop, I would put the kids to bed and then spend another four hours answering emails and doing other store business. I started to burn out. I lost my focus and my inspiration. It was then I realized that there were no yarn emergencies in the middle of the night. So, I started setting some boundaries around my business. Now, I try to limit my business activities to the time I'm actually in the store. I still knit and sew outside of the store, but that`s more of a creative outlet.
WHAT MOTIVATES YOU TO GET OUT OF BED IN THE MORNING?
I get to wake up each day to a life I've created for myself. Once that allows me to spend quality time with my kids, make tings and help other people make things and get inspired. We live in such a fast-paced world, I like that I help people slow down a bit. I feel like my generation didn't get a chance to do that a lot.
Nutmeg is located in the Shoppes on Fatherland, 1006 Fatherland Street, 37206 and is open Tuesday through Saturday with some workshops on Sunday. You can usually find Meg (and sometimes her children) there.
Tammy Hart is a marketing consultant who helps startups and small businesses establish marketing game plans that create meaningful customer connections. She draws on an extensive background in content marketing, content development and art to develop results-oriented, cost-effective marketing strategies that are doable.