For celebrity stylist Claudia Fowler, opening Haven: Sanctuary of Style in downtown Franklin was a natural step, one that progressed from creating crazy style combinations as a young fashionista to dressing high-profile musicians. The chic boutique she’s been cultivating since 2006 has become an oasis for fashion mavens, one that’s bringing celebrities and customers from all over the Southeast to its two-story loft on Main Street.
“I fell in love with downtown Franklin and opened Haven because I needed another creative outlet,” Fowler, who’s been a fashion stylist since 1992, says. “Haven is a place for fashion lovers to be inspired visually and through smell, touch and sound. It’s a place anyone can spend time in and find something to connect with.”
Whether she’s jet setting to New York or Paris, Fowler never fails to produce a plethora of fabulous and fashion-forward garments that include lines from top designers like Alice + Olivia, Robert Rodriguez, Haute Hippie and Jeffrey Campbell. Fowler mixes in one-of-a-kind jewelry and pieces from budding designers to keep the merchandise unique and produce a space that’s sparkles with vogue creativity.
And it doesn’t hurt that Fowler has a styling resume that reads like a “who’s who” of the music world, many of who (ahem, Martin McBride) still visit the store frequently. Fowler—who says her favorite part of styling is working on natural instinct, pulling together—cites her family’s background as a source of her career’s inspiration and attuned detail to craftsmanship.
“As young girl, I remember having a pair of Hawaiian-print corduroy bell-bottoms. When I grew tired of them, I cut them off into shorts. It just came naturally to me, I was comfortable wearing things that didn’t look like everybody else,” she says. “My father (Scotty Robertson, former Phoenix Suns basketball coach) was also a big influence on my style.”
And though her store has been featured in the likes of big-name publications like Lucky magazine, don’t expect a stuffy vibe out of Haven.
“Our clients are a combination of lots of artistic people, from Williamson County residents to people working in Nashville or visiting Franklin,” Fowler says. “Celebrities shop and aren’t uncomfortable, families wander in—all people looking for cool inspiration. It’s a comfortable place to be!”
Like much of its encompassing block, Haven’s pre-Civil War space houses a history even more rich than its clothing’s fabric. Fowler says it’s important to her that Haven’s internal style mirrors that historical component of the former grocery building.
“My vision for the store is reflected both in the interior and the merchandise,” she says. “I have a very hardworking team that carries this out in the windows, the displays and throughout the shop.”
She’s been open for nearly six years, but Fowler says each day brings a new memory for the downtown store.
“I remember saying a prayer with my staff as we opened the doors for the first time and what our first sale was–a pink vase!” Fowlers says. “We’ve had so many fun moments since we opened, from major rock stars asking who we were playing in our store at that moment to our Mad Men birthday party.”
As for her location, Fowler says she’s thankful for Haven’s environment.
“I absolutely love all of the shopkeepers down here. We’re all a hard working bunch with a love for ‘mom and pop’ businesses,” she says. “I think we all employ great, creative people who’ve made a community of wonderful friends.”
For more information about Haven, go to www.sanctuaryofstyle.com at or visit their store at 343 Main Street.