Thirty years ago, Trisha Nesbitt owned a home goods store in Kentucky. She closed down shop when her family moved to Middle Tennessee, and launched a new career in residential real estate—though never losing her enthusiasm for small business; specifically ones that helped others find an inner style.
On Friday, July 19 Trisha is resurrecting that long-lived passion with the grand opening of T. Nesbitt and Co., a home store on Second Avenue North that will offer both antique and reproduction items.
The shop owner says this new project is long overdue: she’s been looking for a store location in downtown Franklin for nearly 7 years. But it wasn’t until the building across from The Coffee House at Second and Bridge became available that she saw an opportunity to be on the forefront of an area that’s quickly bourgeoning.
“As a realtor for 28 years, I love older houses. I appreciate the history it offers. When I saw that this former home was an option, I quickly jumped on it,” she says. “I’m excited to see this area growing, because there’s so much more to downtown Franklin than Main Street!”
At an early age, Trisha became familiar with the ins-and-outs of family-owned operations: her parents ran a furniture store in Kentucky for some 50-odd years. She says her rite of passage came through buying trips and traveling to Atlanta and Dallas markets; and now with two granddaughters of her own, she hopes to spark a similar interest for being both inspired by style and business minded.
“This—owning a store and interior décor—is my passion and what I’ve always loved to do. As a realtor, I’m in and out of people’s homes all day long, and it makes you realize that a home and its style is a reflection of who you are,” she said. “I want to help people express themselves through items that speak to them. Rooms can be a great escape, and I hope my customers feel motivated to create an inspiring space when they walk in my shop.”
Trisha has stocked her intimate, four-room space with a wide-ranging array of furniture, home accessories and gift items that reflect the charming character of the home it’s housed in. The owner purposefully cultivated merchandise that’s both new and old; from Turkish kilims hand-woven in recent years to vintage fly fishing rods that hang next to a bulky industrial desk that Trisha says would look fantastic in the right breakfast room.
“We have everything from antique clothing items to pieces you’d never find again, like this old boot form with an attached spur,” she said. “I think our store will encourage people to think outside the box when it comes to creating their own space.”
Inside the shop, Trisha has styled a soothing ambiance that promotes her own design philosophy: there is no fixed set of absolutes when it comes to decorating.
“Style tells a story, it doesn’t depend on stiff rules. And my style is transitional. I am bringing a touch of retro to rustic, with a splash or urban, so that you walk away with a piece that either captures a certain sentiment or a moment in time,” she said. “The item could be something quirky, like these handmade wooden sheep I have. Or it could be nostalgic, like this massive Webster dictionary that’s got to be 100 years old.”
Trisha says she knew she’d open a store in downtown Franklin from the first moment she drove through it in 1985.
“I knew without a shadow of a doubt that I’d own another shop. And it had to be here,” she said. “I tell this story a lot, because I’ll never forget it. My family was moving from Kentucky to Williamson County, and we drove through downtown Franklin for the first time 28 years ago. We were on Main Street, and I turned around to my husband and two young daughters and said:
“I don’t know about you, but this looks like home to me. And that’s the way I’ve felt since.”
T. Nesbitt and Co. opens Friday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Their normal store hours will be Tuesday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
“Faces of Franklin” is a series on merchants in downtown Franklin that runs in the Williamson Herald each Thursday.