It’s not hard to imagine the history here. Every floorboard, every beam, every lovely, crumbly brick speaks of it. Even when it feels like the walls are closing in on us in our little shop—which we have crammed to the brim with our favorite finds—we love being here in this old automobile factory, now known as Marathon Village.
Marathon’s tenure as an automobile factory was actually pretty short lived; from 1914 to 1918 the Marathon automobile was made here. After that, the factory closed, and there it sat. Until the 1980s, believe it or not. Then, a particularly foresighted businessman scooped it up for a price that makes us blanch now. Only in the last decade has it become one of Nashville’s epicenters for entrepreneurs, artists, and entertainers (hey there Marathon Music Works, we’re talking about you) who have a thing for Marathon’s effortlessly industrial chic vibe.
Today there are 45 tenants in the complex. We’re only talking about six companies in this post, but so very many of the Marathon Village spaces are occupied by worthwhile and inspiring local businesses that we hope you will support.
Otis James: It's no surprise that necktie and newsboy cap maker Otis James ended up in Marathon. His dandy, bygone aesthetic is right in tune with this old place. Believe it or not, it's only been five years since James whipped up his first tie, and his star just keeps on rising. Named one of the 75 Most Stylish Southerners by Southern Living earlier this year, James told the mag, "What I like best about Nashville's style is how unassuming it is. I would consider it a well-dressed city, but it is not over the top or in your face. People take pride in what they wear, but don't feel the need to be too flashy."
Lorraine's Artistic Jewelry Designs: Born in England, raised in Memphis--now if that isn't a juxtaposition of cultures we don't know what is--Lorraine Wilson has devoted her life to fashion and the arts. The jewelry designer makes all of her pieces by hand, using reclaimed or unexpected materials like coins, keys, and watch faces. Trust us when we tell you to go meet Lorraine. She's a riot. You'll love her.
Larry Wilkes Jewelry: You know who you'll also love? Larry Wilkes, who runs his own jewelry making biz--Larry Wilkes Jewelry--from a shared space in Lorraine's Marathon factory. As co-owner of D. Luxe Home, Larry splits his time and his creative inspirations between our shop and his namesake business.
Antique Archaeology: An untold number of the visitors to Marathon find their way here because of Mike Wolfe's American Pickers show; Antique Archaeology is the brick and mortar storefront where he unloads much of his finds from the History Channel show. For that we are eternally grateful and also just proud to share a building with a company that cares so deeply about--and has brought so much attention to--all things rusty, strangely beautiful, and valuable. These are things we can really get behind. Well, not exactly behind... more like down the hall.
Garage Coffee Company: Thank goodness for Garage Coffee Company. Not only do they keep us caffeinated and well-fed and keep our hallway smelling like cappuccino, but we are crazy about the way they've embraced the Marathon vibe and made it their own. It's part biker bar (without the booze; 'round here, we leave the booze to Corsair Distillery) and part man cave, souped up with gear-and-grease motorcycle-themed fixtures.
5 Points Digital Imaging: We can't say enough good things about this particular neighbor of ours, who once took up residence in East Nashville's 5 Points nabe but now calls Marathon Village home. If you're ever in need of business cards, prints on stretched canvas, banners, signs, tradeshow displays--really pretty much anything you can dream up--leave it to 5 Points Digital Imaging owner Kevin Anthuis.
We invite you to visit our shop, D. Luxe Home, located in Suite 5 of Marathon Village, at 1200 Clinton Street. And if you'd like you can read more about Marathon Village here.