The Antiques & Garden Show Of Nashville

A Chat With The Co-Chairs

The Antiques & Garden Show was founded in 1990 by Nashville-born designer Albert Hadley. Architectural Digest called Hadley “one who taught America what style is all about,” and the show became a southern tradition for collectors, gardeners and those who enjoy beautiful things. Cheekwood Estate & Gardens and ECON Charities have been the show’s beneficiaries since it was founded. Hadley established the event as a way to give back to the Nashville community, and nearly $10 million has been donated to these organizations. 

We sat down with co-chairs Caroline Cook and Susan Weathersby and asked what visitors to the show will find. Cook is an author and published her memoir, Hungry: Celebrating Life After Overcoming an Eating Disorder. Weathersby is the current chair of marketing and development for Friends of Warner Parks. 

In [Honorary Chair] Bunny Williams' book, An Affair with a House, she talks about 'The Hunt,' where people poke around shops and estate sales to find unique items that reflect their personalities. What are some treasures that visitors can discover at the show?

Caroline: The show offers the unique opportunity to shop from vendors from all over the world who specialize in every aspect of the home, both inside and outside. Attendees have access to art, furniture, rugs, jewelry, accessories. There’s really no better collaboration in the country than what happens on the show floor.  It’s also a cool opportunity to browse and just enjoy the hunt!

The theme for this year's show, 'Welcome to Beautiful,' is based on the Herend Queen Victoria china pattern depicting colorful butterflies with vibrant flowers. How does the butterfly relate to the messages being shared about home and garden transformations?
Caroline: Butterflies are an incredible reflection of transformation, beauty, color, imagination and opportunity. The evolution of the butterfly also takes love and time, just like our homes and gardens. 

Susan: We chose the theme 'Welcome to Beautiful' because we want to encourage people to appreciate the beauty in everyday life, from their homes to their communities. The butterfly is a great representation of that message — it’s a beautiful creature that everyone can enjoy and appreciate.

Caroline and Susan, you both serve on the boards of multiple charities in our area. How did you become involved with the Antiques & Garden Show?
Caroline: I’ve been attending the show for as long as I can remember, and most recently, my husband has been involved with building structures for the show’s garden showcases. I felt so privileged to be asked. It has always felt like a family affair, and I love and appreciate what it does for our city.
Susan: I became involved in 2006 with the Junior League of Nashville. I volunteer because we live in an amazing community and I feel called to care for and give back to it.

Did you ever get to meet Albert Hadley?
Susan: No, but we wish we would’ve had the opportunity!

Will vendors reflect a Southern sensibility or will there be a myriad of regional styles?
Caroline: It’s a myriad of regional styles, but there’s always a fusion of Southern flair because we’re in Nashville. Our dealer chairs are intentional in their selection of vendors so that attendees experience a wide variety of styles, price points, interests and items to shop from, which means there’s something for everyone.

Will there be exclusive shopping hours for design professionals? 

Susan: There’s an industry-only event on Thursday called the First Look. Non-design professionals can also get a sneak peek of the show floor during the Thursday evening Preview Party. 

Ina Garten’s latest cookbook, Cooking in Real Life: Delicious & Doable Recipes for Every Day, will be released this March. Will we get any sneak peeks?
Caroline: We sure hope so! Ina doesn’t make a lot of appearances, so we’re humbled that she said yes to being our keynote speaker, and we’re looking forward to hearing what she has to say. You’ll have to come to the show to find out!


“We chose the theme 'Welcome to Beautiful' because we want to encourage people to appreciate the beauty in everyday life.” -- Susan 

“It’s a cool opportunity to browse and just enjoy the hunt!”

Related Businesses

Powell Gardens

Botanical Gardens

Powell Gardens

Kingsville, MO

Powell Gardens, Kansas City’s botanical garden, is set on 970 acres of lush, rolling hills. Known for its contemporary...

Museum at Prairiefire

Museums + Art Galleries

Museum at Prairiefire

Overland Park, KS

The Museum at Prairiefire provides ACCESS FOR ALL to understand and celebrate natural history and science. The Museum is open...

Nashville Zoo

Botanical Gardens

Nashville Zoo

Nashville, TN

Nashville Zoo is a progressive and dynamic zoological park serving Middle Tennessee, southern Kentucky and hundreds of...

See More

Related Articles

See More