Made in TN Curates the Best in Local Brands

Article by Dawn Burns

Photography by Sarah Mackenzie Photography

Originally published in Franklin Lifestyle

Made in TN, a family-owned retail shop and online business champions small businesses and has created a strong online space and welcoming storefronts.

Nashville Native, Sarah Pounder and her husband Ilex began curating gift packages for a former employer to share with their top clients. While shopping small wasn’t as widely encouraged as it is now, the Pounders were passionate about including gifts from local artisans and businesses. Personally, the couple enjoyed visiting the Franklin Farmer’s Market and craft shows and wanted to share some of their favorite Nashville goods in these company packages. They found themselves drawn to the stories behind the brands and products. These thoughtful gifts were so well-received, the Pounders launched High Note Gifts, a mail order business shipping across the country. The Today Show even recognized High
Note Gifts as the best mail order business, sending high traffic and new customers to their website.

After seeing much success from High Note Gifts, Sarah and Ilex wanted customers to be able to purchase individual items as well as package options. The next step was launching Made in TN, where the goal was to give customers a taste of the many regionally crafted products that the Pounders had spent years genuinely being impressed with. Made in TN brings the best in Tennessee artisan food, homemade goods, soaps and skincare, seasonal and holiday gifts, books, stationary, locally roasted coffee and specialty items together in one place. While Made in TN began with a strong online presence, they felt it was also important to create a relationship with the community. “We wanted to get to see our customer’s faces and get to know them in a more personal way” Sarah states.

After one of their vendors decided to retire, their storefront in The Factory at Franklin became vacant. The Pounders felt this location would be the perfect space for locals and tourists alike giving them the opportunity to connect with their customers. After months of waiting, the couple got the exciting news (while on their honeymoon!) that they could take over The Factory space. Not only is the merchandise local but Made in TN sourced carpenters and artists from Middle Tennessee to build shelving and paint the brightly colored mural in the store!

Sarah and Ilex are proud of the organic way that their business has grown and they’ve taken next steps as doors have opened. Made in TN has also opened a second brick and mortar location at L & L Market on Charlotte Avenue in Nashville.

Made in TN offers a wide variety of items for out of town visitors who want souvenirs, wedding favors and great surcies ideas. Made in TN can also personalize items. Some of their most popular items are Goo Goo Cluster’s, Music City Suds Soaps, JM Thomason spices, Dear Mushka jewelry and Sweet Tea Candles. They want customers to be able to send a little Tennessee anywhere.

Sarah and Ilex have not only grown their brand but have welcomed their daughter, Aubri into the family business. Made in TN continues to support local makers and source all the unique styles of our state. ShopMadeInTN.com

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