If there’s one thing that Luke Tidwell and Kevin Perryman want you to know it’s that “You Are Okay”. Since taking over Local Honey in 2012 Kevin and Luke have created a culture surrounding themselves based on the simple idea that no matter what you’re doing, what you look like, or what you’re wearing – as long as you’re being true to yourself – you are okay.
But this is more than a motto. This is how they live, run their store, and why Local Honey is one of Nashville’s biggest culture entities. The list of ways that Local Honey engages and embraces the community is extensive, ranging from hosting fashion shows to pop-up markets to concerts – not to mention that Kevin is a more than prolific DJ or that Luke is a prominent architect. But if you really want to see how genuine they are with their mission just visit the store.
The Local Honey store is more than a run-of-the-mill vintage clothing store (and recently hair salon) – it’s a community unto itself. As you enter, you’ll more than likely be passing a small group of people sitting on the porch drinking coffee over quiet conversation. I believe something as little as this, providing a space for others in your store (or in front of), is a large signifier of a stores personality. Inside you’ll find racks of vintage clothes and carefully crafted floor displays, (Native has a great primer on LH’s history and the floor displays) each garment tagged with a name, the three most prominent being: Magness, The Balee Collection, and Epicene. In Local Honey world these names are pretty important because here the clothes are more than just found and put on the rack, they’re curated, and each curators collection has personality (which you can hear more of around the 1:40 mark).
But staying true to their motto (“You Are Okay” – if you’ve forgotten) LH is consistently embracing spirit of self-expression in a city full of musicians. Kevin describes their relationship with musicians as being important because “musicians have the most freedom in our society to dress wild and express themselves in a more extreme manner.” When discussing local acts with the most expressive garb and throwback vibe, it’s hard for anyone other than Ranch Ghost to make their way into the conversation. As if plucked straight out of the 60’s these boys have a rich, unique sound – think a southern blues base topped with British invasion whipped-cream. Not to mention they all possess an inherently high degree of personal style that mirrors the clothes we had them performing around. This is probably best highlighted by the fact that the clothes that they are wearing for the episode weren’t styled for them but rather what they showed up in (fun fact: some members have been buyers for LH at points in the past).
When you think of vintage a number of things could come to mind, but that what makes Local Honey and Ranch Ghost so special is the way they’re changing the perception around that word. For them, vintage doesn’t mean old and worn; vintage means pulling from a rich history and creating something new. Vintage means moving forward regardless of opposition. Vintage means challenging old perceptions and exceeding expectations.
For Local Honey and Ranch Ghost, vintage is about being true to yourself and surrounding yourself in a community who feels the same – and we love that. — words by Greg