speaking the local language: gen & benjamin sohr, pencil & paper development co.

Meet the Nashville, Tennessee designing duo.

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In case you haven’t had the pleasure of an introduction, meet GEN & BENJAMIN SOHR, co-founders of Pencil & Paper Development Co.—and this month’s ‘Local Language’ shopping spotlight!

These two are no stranger to the domino designer community thanks to their now-signature use of bold color and whimsical pattern pairings, but this time around, we wanted to get their insider’s scoop on the best places to shop in their resident Nashville, Tennessee. Consider this your warning—their tips might just necessitate an emergency springtime trip to the “Music City”!

Imogene + Willie represents all that is wonderful about Nashville wrapped up in one amazing package. Owners (and husband and wife team), Matt & Carrie Eddmenson, are the purveyors of “cool.” If you’re in the market for the perfect fitting jean, this is the place! Their shop is located in one of our favorite Nashville neighborhoods, 12th South, in a great old gas station. Along with their infamous custom made denim, private label line and vintage finds, they also carry favorite brands like Warby Parker and Aesop. If you are lucky enough to be in town for the “Supper + Song” series, it is not to be missed. There’s nothing better than catching a show in the store’s amazing backyard, and if you’re really lucky, you might find our favorite food truck, Mas Tacos, parked out front serving up some of their ridiculously delicious tacos.

White’s Mercantile is another great spot located in the 12th South neighborhood. It’s owned by our friend, the super talented musician Holly Williams. Not only is Holly an amazing musician (and daughter of country music legend Hank Williams Jr.), but she also has a wonderful knack for hand-picking the perfect mix of vintage treasures and beautifully curated gifts. Special bonus: there is typically a rotation of amazing food trucks out front, perfect for grabbing a bite to eat and sitting outside to people watch.

You can’t come to Nashville without making a stop at the legendary Hatch Show Print. Since the late 1800’s, they’ve been making hand-printed wood block and letter press posters for all of our favorite musicians. They just recently moved into a new shop after being on Broadway for many years, but lucky for us, they have kept the original studio intact in the new location, and now you can actually watch posters roll right off the press! I promise—you won’t leave without an amazing Hatch Show Print original!

Kayce Hughes is not only a dear friend of mine, but one of the most stylish and talented women you’ll ever meet. And her store is everything you would expect—pink walls with playful bamboo furniture and the perfect vintage floral sofas. It’s like walking into your best southern girlfriend’s living room. And, of course, Kayce’s store is filled to the brim with the perfect mix of colorful classics for women and children. It’s my go-to spot for the perfect playful accessory. This busy mom of seven, designer and business owner makes it all seem effortless. We only hope a bit of her magic rubs off when we wear her signature preppy-meets-vintage designs.

An insider tip, although they don’t yet have stores, by appointment you can check out two of our favorite local lighting companies, Southern Lights Electric and Sideshow Sign Company. These guys are doing amazing work, and you can find many of Southern Lights fixtures in our favorite local coffee stop, Barista Parlor and Rolf +Daughters. You’ll spot Sideshows vintage inspired signs at Imogene + Willie and at Biscuit Love.

Wonders on Woodlands is owned by the cutest couple, Wayne and Debbie—they’re so charming, you’ll want to invite them over for dinner. And, true to the name, this sweet vintage house—located in East Nashville on Woodland Street—is packed with amazing treasures. This design savvy couple has an exceptional eye for curiosities and beautiful mid-century scores. It’s one of our favorite places to spend a Saturday.

All of this shopping is sure to make you hungry, and we have a few food favorites that are not to be missed. Rolf + Daughters is our go-to dinner spot located in  Germantown, and Mas Tacos is a must-try for lunch in East Nashville.