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As many do, I continued working my way up the pay ladder, not always necessarily in my desired field, but growing my financial base. At the end of workdays and on weekends I acquired small decorating jobs and worked part time with clients over the next 10 years. After “retiring” from working for other companies I began working full time for myself. Having grown up with a mother and grandmother who were wonderful cooks and fabulous hostesses, I had always entertained, cooked for my guests and set a beautiful table. So, as I set out to “work for myself” I began catering in friend’s homes, designing flowers for weddings and dinner parties and helping clients to decorate their homes. For 34 years I have enjoyed making my and other lives more functional, more meaningful and more beautiful.
After remarrying in 2014, I opened The Collected Nest. We began with vintage painted furniture and affordable home accessories. With all things being new in my life, a small “shop” inside Gas Lamp Antiques Decorating Mall was the perfect way to keep everything creative moving along while having time for this new, wonderful second chance. The success of the painted furniture has led to so many other adventures. The biggest one being pillows. I had a few inexpensive “test pillows” made to compliment the furniture. The pillows would not last more than a couple of weeks. This set me on a journey of researching what types of pillows were available to those not using a decorator/designer. The answer to that was mass manufactured sometimes less than desirable affordable pillows or $200-$350 desirable pillows in high end shops that would break most people’s budgets. Our pillow collection was born. Designer fabrics, locally manufactured and each at $74 or less.
I have a 21 year old son, Montgomery that is in college and my husband, John, has two children. David is a K-9 police officer in Southern California and Chelsea is a recruiter for an international resort with her office being in Florida. John, a Southern California native, has just “early retired” from Nissan North America where he was in corporate management for over 33 years. So, there is a very new chapter in our lives being written as I start this leg of my work. John and I enjoyed our first home in Oak Hill for four years. In May of 2018 we purchased a home in the Belle Meade area and began a renovation that for the most part was finished 3 months later. We moved in late August of 2018 and fine tuning and finishing touches are still underway. During this time, I began posting to Instagram the renovations, our dinner parties inviting friends in to our new home and the food we shared with them. The response has been so much more than expected and very much appreciated! This is where my blog begins.
The Collected Nest is still thriving at three locations in Nashville. Under the same name, I will be sharing with readers my take on… Home, Food & Flowers. Not everyone has 30 years of design experience, not everyone is a gourmet cook and not everyone is has a floral background. But, everyone should feel comfortable in their home, enjoy having a few friends over, be able to cook a bit and pick up a few flowers at the grocery and make it their own. After all, having someone in your home is one of the most personal gestures you can make. That home, your nest, should speak of you and to you. It is the aspect of the home speaking of you where I can share with you some ideas to make your home more enjoyable and beautiful. When I walk through my doors, I am greeted with collections of many different items that remind me of events, trips and even things I have to look forward to. My collection of brown transferware china reminds me of all the different antique and thrift shops where it has been acquired over the years, the many meals that have been served on it and the meals yet to come. The art on my walls reminds me of school art shows with a young child and wanting to support that school and their endeavors. My list is long of collections; mismatched silver-plate flatware, monogrammed napkins, milk glass cold cream jars, vintage blue jars, antique and vintage door knobs and the list goes on. I consider my home to be well loved, well lived in and certainly well collected. Note, that I said well lived in. Why? I believe everything should have a purpose and be used. Nothing stored in a closet will do any of us any good. That brings me to my purpose. Which is, to impart to you the knowledge I’ve acquired over the last 30 or so years about Home, Food and Flowers because... Your Nest Should Be Well Collected.
I have been posting on Instagram Stories for a few months now some tidbits about flowers and a few peeks of our home. As I build my blog we will begin some videos as well. I will keep you updated through our Instagram Feed and Stories as to where you can find what’s new with The Collected Nest. We have a PopUp Shop scheduled for September, a three day event in December, the blog and of course the three Nashville shops. Our website is up and looking good. More content will be added in the next couple of weeks. You can go to our website now and subscribe at thecollectednest.com
Feel free to email or DM me anytime you have thoughts or questions. Please know that I will always give credit to sources, but I will not be sourcing companies for collaborations, product endorsements or monetary gain. If I’ve used a product and like it, I will tell you. If I like a particular store, shop or Instagram account, I will share that with you, also. If there is a product or shop you’d like me to try, let me know (I especially like local along with local brick and mortar). If you like what you read, enjoy my videos or find my information and experiences helpful (or just plain funny), please share with your friends and followers… give us a shout out. We would appreciate it!