As shop names go, you don’t get much lovier-slash-cozier than “Welcome Home,” which makes it a pretty fitting moniker for Jessica Reguli and Roderick Trestrail’s East Side home goods, decor and accessories shop. To wit: Native Nashvillian Reguli left town for college and ambled around some afterward, but not only was she drawn back to the warmth of home in Nashville, she brought some love along with her — namely then-boyfriend now-husband/shop co-owner Trestrail.
And when it came time to jump into business ownership in 2013, choosing East Nashville was obvious.
“East Nashville is home!” Reguli says. “We bought our house in Inglewood nine years ago and have watched the neighborhood grow and change in so many exciting ways... It seemed that over the last couple of years some retail was really starting to move in and take hold, but no one was doing a boutique home decor store that seemed like our vision of what we wanted to create. I can't exactly explain it, but we felt the time was right for the shop we were envisioning to be a part of the neighborhood that we love.”
That vision includes everything from mixologist-cool barware to unique scented candles from regional makers, books, cozy pillows and blankets and handmade jewelry — all hand-picked by Reguli and set up inside the fittingly welcoming shop at 1882 Eastland.
As the neighborhood couple rounds into the second half of their first year in business, we figured we’d check in to get some background and a little peek into Welcome Home’s future.
The East Nashvillian: What led you toward opening a home goods shop?
Jessica Reguli: “I did visual display and merchandising for different companies for years, starting with Urban Outfitters when I was in college, then chain retail and a department store before I ended up at a boutique home accessory shop in Green Hills. My manager left not long after I started and I was moved into his position. I worked there as the buyer and manager for eight years, until last fall. I was dropped into the position with very little training or guidance and it was a real trial-by-fire education.
“I had thought for years that I would like to own my own shop someday, and the experience I got in that job helped me get prepared. I found that I love the creativity that drives the home decor and gift industry — I love seeking out new lines or products that are hard to find in Nashville, and I love the process of adding or changing a few items in a room to make it feel like a whole new space. It seems that our customers love that effect too.
“Roderick and I had talked about taking this leap for the past couple of years and it seemed that last fall all of the things were falling into place to make that leap possible.”
Welcome Home carries a lot of local products, like HollerDesign biscuit boards, and then lots of non-local stuff too, like Tatine candles from Chicago. What makes you feel like a certain maker or product is right for Welcome Home?
“There’s a combination of factors that inform my buying decisions — sometimes it’s as simple as a pattern, color or motif jumping out at me.
“In the case of Tatine and HollerDesign, I was drawn to the fact that these companies are small operations whose attention to craft and passion for their process shines through in the final product. I think the same could be said for Bittermilk's small batch cocktail compounds (made in Charleston) and our artwork selection from Dolan Geiman (also from Chicago).
“In other categories we approach things a little differently. For example: We knew we wanted barware to be a strong area, so Roderick talked to our friends at Woodland Wine Merchant about the kinds of products they'd like to see us carry, and that led us to seek out things like our bar tool selection, sphere ice molds and specialty beer glasses.”
Are there certain items or brands that you find get the most love in your shop?
“It seems like everyone who stops by leaves here with a new scented candle! I'm a bit of a candle addict so we have selections from five different brands… If the shop were bigger there would probably be more!
“Our book selection has been very popular as well — we try to keep a little stock in an ever-rotating mix of topics: cocktails, gardening, art, recipes, crafts... anything we find interesting."
You’re just about smack in the middle of your first year of business — what’s stuck out to you over these first months as an East Nashville business owner?
“Right off the bat I was struck by the sense of community and and real neighborhood support. We've already developed a lovely group of regular customers who will swing by just to say hi or make it a point to wave in the grocery store parking lot. On top of that, the other East Nashville business owners made us feel welcome from day one — everyone from our next-door neighbors at Ugly Mugs to the owners of fabulous retail shops like Pony Show, Hail and Hey Rooster General Store. We feel very lucky to be a part of such a warm and friendly community!"
Are there some new happenings at Welcome Home you can tip us to?
“We're going to start a series of pop-up shop events throughout the spring and summer. The events will consist of local craftspeople, designers, or creators setting up a booth inside Welcome Home for a few hours.
“The idea is to get some exposure for some super-cool small businesses by setting them up in our shop, and in turn, their followers and fans find out about us. The first one is this Saturday, May 10, the day before Mother's Day, featuring m.florita jewelry & Ashwood Estates Apothecary Naturals — two great lines full of great Mother's Day gifts.”
Stop by 1882 Eastland to check out Welcome Home, and for regular updates, follow Welcome Home's busy Instagram and/or like their Facebook page.