By Jer’Mykeal McCoy
Phresh & Professional
In the wake of the 2013 Nashville Fashion Week, two sisters stand firm not only on the foundation of a strong family but the ambition to chart a new path to not only be Nashville’s youngest but the city hottest in the boutique and fashion scene.
Meet Blair (right in the image above) and Baley (left) Bodden, the owners of Nashville’s newest collaboration of restaurant and boutique, Kocktail & Kouture.
Born in Montgomery, Ala., the two siblings grew up in Brentwood, Tenn. and attended the University of Alabama where they developed their talents. Blair, 23, studied fashion design while Bailey, 21, took on business entrepreneurship in preparation for their promising futures.
“Started out as a place for me to sell my own designs and I wanted to have a little bakery and maybe Champaign or something,” said Blair on the idea behind Kouture & Kouture.
That’s when her mother and sister go on board and what started as a mere idea began to unfold into reality.
While Blair dreamt of a boutique, Baley was thinking of a bar – so the two made their idea one.
From the ashes of their idea rose Kocktail & Kouture in Dec. 2012. K&K brings together dining, cocktail and fashion connoisseurs, that was made possible with the fashion savvy of Blair and business expertise of Baley.
In the age of do-it-yourself, the two played a key role in building their boutique instead of hiring extra hands for labor.
“We painted, I laid the tile, we ran the trim,” told Baley in her time building the K&K with her father – and that does not even include the chandeliers which came in 30 boxes and took over two weeks to assemble and hang in their space in the Velocity in the Gulch on 11th Avenue.
With a bond that extents a lifetime, the two sisters said that they never fight in an interview with Phresh&Professional. Instead, the duo utilizes their individual strengths for the betterment of the business.
Baley serves as the operating manager for K&K while Blair does more the creative marketing, advertising, and retail. The décor is Blair’s doing which gives an atmosphere of complete class that is great for catching a drink with friends after a day at the office to a new place to treat a date.
Kocktail & Kouture stresses the experience so much that they are willing to give customers 5% off on their bill for not using their phones.
“We want to give people the incentive to come in and actually interact and have an experience and look around an take in the atmosphere,” said Baley about K&K’s new initiative they plan to enact where customer would check their phones in at the door.
While they do realize the social media ramifications to their policy (in terms of customer not tweeting and instagraming during their meal) they do believe customers will be more likely to return after enjoying the experience.
Being apart of this years Nasville Fashion Week that took place April 2 through 6 was a great honor for the Bodden sisters. Especially for Blair, who showed her line in last year’s fashion week.
“It is such an important thing to bring fashion here and get those designers to come here and see our city and see how it’s growing,” said Blair about this year’s NFW.
Both sisters stressed that the week was to also show that Nashville is more than just “cowboy boots, jean shorts, and plaid shirts.” To them it was getting visitors to see that there are trendy areas such The Gulch here in the Music City where people dress in certain styles.
“If you go down to Broadway and see some girl’s dressed in a cute dress and heels, they live here probably,” said Baley.
The Bodden sisters hope that the success of Kocktail & Kouture will lead to a franchise in other mid-major markets around the country.
Be sure to catch some of their weekly specials with “The Happiest Hours” on Wednesdays and “Young Professional” Fridays.