Just the other day we received another HUGE delivery of flannels. For us, delivery days are like Christmas, but my Fed Ex gal must groan when she sees the boxes show up. It’s a lot and they’re heavy. But I digress…As I was upacking the 14 boxes all filled with vintage flannel shirts, I started thinking about them differently, and in so doing, I realized that each flannel shirt comes to us with a story. [Read more…]
I have a funky little birdhouse in my backyard that is now home to a family of chickadees and even though I’ve not yet seen the babies, I’ve fallen in love from afar. I find myself spending more time outside than in my office working, but I have to say that I’ve learned lessons from chickadees.
I never had much of an affinity for birds, because in Los Angeles, there wasn’t a very big bird variety, but since moving to Franklin, TN, I’ve discovered song birds and they are quite something to behold. [Read more…]
It’s true. Our life changed at a pizza parlor one October night in Downtown Franklin, TN.
We’re frequently asked how Franklin Flannels became a reality. It’s not your normal business story because we never set out to have a vintage, flannel shirt business. We usually say that our business found us.
You should know some things before we get to flannel shirts. We moved from Los Angeles to Franklin, TN in August 2013. We knew no one. We didn’t have jobs and we had only visited once for four days. Sounds like a band of gypsies, right?
We were filled with excitement, anticipation and a whole lot of anxiety, because we literally up and left everything that was familiar to start over again. I know…it sounds crazy and maybe it was.
We had faith and hope and each other. What we didn’t know was that Dominic (the artist behind Franklin Flannels and my husband) would have a hard time finding work. He had been a hair stylist in Beverly Hills for 25 years and we thought, “Who wouldn’t want to hire him for their salon?” We soon found out that the welcome wagon wasn’t very welcoming.
It’s painful to watch the man you love struggling and one night we were talking and I told him to quit! He was working at a salon but they didn’t send him any business. He looked at me and said, “What am I going to do?” I didn’t know, but told him “something will show up.” I had no idea if it would or not.
I started praying hard.
The Pizza Parlor
One night I didn’t feel like cooking and we headed to Downtown Franklin for some Mellow Mushroom pizza. This guy walked by in a cool flannel shirt and I stopped him and asked where he bought his shirt. Turns out his wife was messing around and made it for him. Dominic looked at me and said, “I can make you a shirt like that.” Huh? Dominic’s an artist but transforming shirts has never part of the repertoire. Two days later, I had an awesome faded, distressed shirt.
A Business is Born
My shirt became like a uniform and one day we went to visit a friend in her shop and I was wearing my shirt. She asked where I bought it? I told her that Dominic made it. She said, “Make me a shirt and do 25 more and I’ll sell them here.” What? I swear that’s exactly how this business was born. We didn’t even have a name until one night I was lying in bed at 2am and the name Franklin Flannels popped into my brain. Let’s call it Franklin Flannels. Turns out that was a good idea.
Today Franklin Flannels™ is officially trademarked. We have 42 wholesale accounts all over the United States. Our online shop is bustling. We attend some fantastic events in the South and we’re working on creating new products to enhance our line. We’re meeting terrific people and every day brings something new.
We’re constantly working to bring you the best vintage, upcycled flannel shirts available anywhere and you should know that we’re dedicated to providing awesome customer service.
We know that we would not be here without God’s grace and we are humble, blessed and abundantly grateful.
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Can we all agree that moving across the country is kind of a big deal? Yes? Good, because it is.
Uprooting your entire life and heading out like a band of gypsies is not the norm. I get asked a lot of questions about our move and I know no one really wants to know the long answer.
So usually I say that I was ready for a big life change. And honestly that doesn’t make much sense to anyone either, because who just ups and moves without any family, friends or jobs? It sounds kind of crazy.
I’m pretty sure it was a God thing, but that’s another story.
Recently I posted something on my Facebook page and I was asked this question by a California girl who also has an itch to move.
“I love your posts! I am in So Cal ( lifelong) and wonder how long it took you to acclimate to the weather there? It sounds like “home” to me!”
Now this is a very legitimate question because most everyone knows that Southern California has some pretty perfect weather.
As I reflect on the last 3 1/2 years, what I can tell you is that it takes time to feel settled. I’m a settler and a nester and this has been the biggest challenge for me. D & I were talking the other day about how it’s taken us this long to really feel like this is home…like we belong. We made a few tiny improvements to the house that have needed repair since we moved in…but for some reason we didn’t feel settled enough to make things happen. Settling takes time.
But back to the question about weather…it didn’t take me long to adjust but that’s because I was craving change and I wanted to experience four seasons and Franklin, Tennessee offered just that, only seasons here aren’t too radical. Naturally, spring and fall our my favorites by a long shot and this year we’re having a glorious, magnificent spring!
Winter is kind of dreary but it’s perfect Franklin Flannels weather. Here’s what winter has taught me. Even on the darkest, dampest days in mid-winter there is always beauty somewhere and certainly there is the promise of spring.
As I watch my garden come back to life and the birds making their nests in my birdhouses…I’m reminded that I am in awe of nature.
And can I just also say that my winter wardrobe is pretty cute. Jeans, flannels, sweaters and boots make me a happy girl.
I am not a huge fan of summer but I wasn’t a fan in Los Angeles either. I don’t love the heat and YES…it is humid here. Period. End of conversation.
But with summer humidity comes outdoor concerts with fireflies dancing around you…cookouts with friends…floating down the river doing nothing and the truth is…I’m not the only sweaty person!
If you’re thinking of moving to Middle Tennessee or Franklin, I have a few tips for you.
You might want to take your time. We didn’t and I would recommend you do. Come visit and figure out exactly where you want to live.
Come several times during different seasons. Be advised it rains a lot here. You’ll need to get used to that.
Find yourself a great realtor – one who really listens to you, understands your heart and will look for houses even if you’re not here.
Before moving, make a list of what you’re wanting from this move. Make your list big and specific. We didn’t do this. I just feel in love with Franklin and somehow…some way…I trusted that we were going to be okay.
I don’t think we did it right. It all happened too fast and we had some messes along the way. I don’t want that for you.
You have to know this great country of ours has huge regional differences. You can’t move from California or New York and expect things to be the same. You’ll miss some stuff that you took for granted. Find a trade-off.
You’ll be challenged in ways you never dreamed possible, but you’ll be okay. You’ll find your way, because if you decide to move just because you’re an adventurer…you’re on a mission… or you’re going for it – I like you already.