HOLLY WILLIAMS is a singer / songwriter who lives with her artist / musician husband Chris Coleman, daughters Stella June and Lillie Mae, and son Arlo in Nashville, Tennessee. She has released three critically-acclaimed albums, and also owns two of Nashville’s best retail spots: H. Audrey and White’s Mercantile. Both stores show off her “exquisite taste”, as described by gal-pal and shopper Gwyneth Paltrow. One, H.Audrey, is arguably Nashville’s most beloved women’s clothing boutique, and the other,
White’s Mercantile, is a completely curated shop stocked with Holly’s favorite items that she’s found while spending much of her life on the highway playing music to adoring fans. She describes White’s as a “general store for the modern-day tastemaker”. She may be from a famous family–country legend Hank Williams Jr. is her father–but don’t expect rhinestones and cowboy hats. Holly’s style embodies a modern-day chic simplicity fitted for shoppers around the globe.
Her retail beginnings were never planned, as music was always her focus, but in March 2006, Holly and her sister Hilary were in a serious car accident. Holly was left uncertain if she would ever be able to play guitar again, and Hilary faced over 30 surgeries throughout the next years of her life. It’s truly a miracle they both survived.
“I couldn’t leave Nashville and had to resort to a backup plan, in case I wasn’t able to tour again,” the now-33-year-old musician says. Prior to the accident, Holly had toured the US and Europe extensively, and along the way, discovered many different designers that she fell in love with. The life-changing event led Holly to open H. Audrey (aptly named after her first initial and middle name Audrey, Holly’s paternal grandmother). Clients like Sheryl Crow, Gwyneth Paltrow, Martina McBride, Taylor Swift, Nicole Kidman, Faith Hill and Robert Plant have come in to buy the latest trends from lines such as Helmut Lang, Rag & Bone, IRO, Golden Goose, and more.
Naturally, Holly was itching for another retail project, so she opened the doors of White’s Mercantile in December 2013.
She named the store after her maternal grandparents and drew inspiration from the mercantile that her great-grandfather once owned in the small town of Mer Rouge, Louisiana. Holly always dreamed of creating a one-stop shop.
USA Today writer Stacie Standifer remarks, “Time is our most valuable commodity, and [Holly] has created a locale that not only saves precious moments of ‘in and out’, but a concept that will likely bring national attention to the smart, trendy 12 South neighborhood where she lives. Her impeccable, modern taste is always on point.”
“I believe in quality over quantity in everything. I believe in investing in things that you will love and cherish for years to come, instead of mindlessly dropping money on things that will not keep relevant through the seasons and time and changes in your life”, Holly says. This is her philosophy with all of her stores.
In December of 2015 White’s Mercantile opened on historic main street in downtown Franklin, Tennessee followed by a Wilson, Arkansas opening in May of 2017, and a Leiper’s Fork, Tennessee location that opened its doors in August of 2017. This location is a 150 square foot old smokehouse that truly makes you feel as if you have stepped back in time!
In 2017, Holly also launched Whites Room and Board. A collection of luxury vacation rentals that she has personally renovated and curated down to the last detail, including her family farmhouse she bought on Craigslist! She says “I have a passion for creating unique and memorable escapes at historic TN properties that ultimately serve to inspire you and yours.
Now that the renovations are over – I hope to welcome songwriters searching for a creative getaway, families and couples craving quiet and restorative time, artists needing new inspirations, children full of curiosity, and anyone wanting to sit inside a warm, curated and welcoming space. Come visit and find a little peace, quiet and clarity from the daily grind! I hope you will make truly amazing memories here that will stay close to your heart”. Come see all that Holly and White’s Mercantile has to offer down here in Tennessee…