East Side Buzz: Natalie Busby shop, Kawai Poke Co. opening, Evan + Zane, free hot yoga and more

New fashions, new food, free yoga and lots more: Here’s our latest crop of East Nashville news bits.

Natalie Busby opens East Nashville shop

Fun for fashion fans: Local designer Natalie Busby — whose self-named brand keeps a focus on “versatile, well-made garments with everyday life in mind” — just opened a new design studio and storefront in East Nashville, at 521 Gallatin Ave., #2 (previously occupied by clothing shop KITTY, which went online-only in late March). 
Inside the studio, you’ll be able to shop Busby’s own array of women’s fashions and some of the designer’s favorite brands, and learn more about how Natalie Busby pieces are designed and made: with a focus on natural and sustainable textiles and responsible production practices (with small-batch runs, and lots of handmade, hand-dyed pieces put together right here in Nashville).
Alabama-bred Busby came to Nashville last winter, by way of Boston, Austin and Chicago, where she’d worked for a mix of major fashion companies, including Ralph Lauren and Neiman Marcus. Being immersed in those big brands made a solid mark on how she built her own outfit.
“It was a great opportunity to learn the practicalities and logistics of running a retail business from large, successful fashion companies, but it was also an opportunity to reflect on the ways I wanted to do it differently,” Busby says. “Overall, there is a lot of waste in the fashion industry and there can be a really large disconnect between large mega-companies and their end-consumer. In launching my own line, I wanted to be really intentional about minimizing waste and creating a product that feels both approachable and modern to the customer.”
Busby’s end products — shirts, dresses, tanks, sweaters and more, all built on clean, timeless lines — were inspired by “a desire to create modern wardrobe staples to inspire a versatile lifestyle,” and, simply, grown-up needs. 
“As I approached my 30s, I lost interest in fast fashion and short-term splurges,” Busby says. “I wanted to begin building a closet that had quality pieces that were meant to last.”
Busby says the new East Nashville shop came about kind of accidentally — she was hunting for a studio space, not necessarily a shopping spot.
“But when I found the space itself, it just seemed like such a cool idea to have both a design studio and shop in one,” she says. “It is so beneficial as a designer to work directly with customers. It is an incredible resource to have immediate customer feedback at your fingertips and it helps me to stay connected with my audience. I love seeing the pieces on different women, ages and body types. It helps me to evolve and refine the product line with the customers in mind.”
She’s also hoping to offer something unique and rewarding, by creating a different kind of shopping experience — a space that allows shoppers to look behind the scenes, and gain genuine insight into the design and production process. 
“There is a lot of work that goes into creating a garment from start to finish,” Busby says. “I hope that sharing pieces of this process can help deepen customers' appreciation for craftsmanship and build a lasting connection to the pieces they choose to buy.”
She held a grand opening celebration at the shop in late June, and the East Nashville space is now open for visits and shopping Tuesday through Saturday, 10 a.m.-6 p.m., Sunday noon to 4 p.m.
Starting in August, Busby plans to host Third Thursday evening events at the shop “to connect with the neighborhood and Nashville community,” and other one-off events are making their way onto the NB calendar too (including a Girl’s Night Out event on Thursday, August 16, 6-8 p.m., and a fall ’18 collection showcase on September 20).
To explore and/or shop online, stop by nataliebusby.com. Updates and lots more looks on Natalie Busby’s Instagram feed, @nataliebusby.

Kawai Poke Co. sets East Nashville opening date

Back in December, we tipped to the in-the-works Kawai Poké Co., and their aim of bringing “a taste of Hawaii to Music City.” 
At long last, we’ll soon get our hands on their “hand-crafted poké dishes, tropical breakfast bowls, and traditional Hawaiian favorites”: Kawai Poké Co. announced this week that an opening party is set for Friday, July 27 at their new home of 901 Woodland St., #105.
Free treats, giveaways and other celebratory tidbits are on the schedule for the opening party, as are introductions to Kawai’s menu, which, alongside its titular poké, is set to include smoothies, baked goods and more.
Not familiar with poké? Kawai’s description of the Hawaiian speciality: “bite-sized cubes of fresh marinated seafood, served over a bed of rice or mixed greens and topped with an assortment of fresh vegetables, pickled condiments and flavorful sauces.”
Kawai Poké Co.’s space is part of the Wabash, the new retail/restaurant hub that’s also home to the Candle Bar and the massive WeWork coworking space.
While you wait for the doors to open, good way to whet your appetite: Check out early menu snapshots and regular news bits on the Kawai Poké Co. Instagram feed, @kawaipokeco

ICYMI: Evan + Zane at Basement East

The hardened Westworld fans among us probably already know this, but for the uninitiated and casual viewers: Series star Evan Rachel Wood is a local, and a musician too, and this week, she and guitarist Zane Carney popped by the Basement East in East Nashville to deliver a batch of covers with their duo project Evan + Zane, all the songs nodding to the color blue.
This isn’t Wood’s only musical endeavor — she got her in-a-band feet wet with duo Rebel and a Basketcase, alongside multi-instrumentalist Zach Villa. Of late, though, seems like she’s been quite busy with her other creative endeavor, playing Dolores Abernathy in the massively successful HBO series, whose second season just wrapped.
Watch a capture from Evan + Zane’s Basement East show above.

Hot Yoga of East Nashville launches free Wednesdays

We’re a little late on this one, but Hot Yoga of East Nashville’s Twitter feed just hipped us to a recent addition to their schedule that cash-strapped, health-conscious East Nashvillians might be intrigued by: Free Yoga Wednesdays.
The local yoga studio launched the offer in June, and it works just like it sounds: They’ll have free yoga classes each Wednesday, open to all, and that includes all 15 of the classes they’re offering from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. All you need to do is show up at the studio, at 807 Main Street, to take part (but there is a first-come/first-served policy, and classes can fill up).
“While yogis of all ages, shapes, and sizes will find similar benefits by coming to their mats, there is one glaring obstacle that many people face: financial difficulty,” a HYOEN announcement says. “We know there are folks who could benefit from yoga and can’t afford it. We wish to remove that obstacle.”
If you do choose to contribute a donation for your Wednesday class participation, 100 percent will be donated to East Nashville’s Martha O’Bryan Center, whose mission is focused on helping Nashvillians in poverty “to transform their lives through work, education, employment and fellowship.”  
Hot Yoga of East Nashville hosts various yoga classes throughout the week (all Bikram Method Yoga), and options range from $15 drop-in classes to 10- and 20-class and unlimited packages. Private lessons are also available in the studio.


— Special discount alert: Americana at the Ryman is a new musical revival bringing your favorite roots veterans and newcomers to the Mother Church all summer. Buddy Miller, Lee Ann Womack, Parker Millsap, Jim Lauderdale, William Fitzsimmons, Mark O’Connor Band, Brandy Clark, Alejandro Escovedo, Hayes Carll, Amanda Shire, Justin Towes Earle, Band of Heathens and more all take a turn on the Ryman’s iconic stage each Sunday, July 15 to August 19. In honor of America’s birthday this week, you can snag $29 tickets by using the promo code: ENV4TH. (Valid now through 10 p.m. on July 8, 2018. Restrictions/fees apply.)
— It’s been a long while since we’ve been able to get inside the Family Wash for a pint and a pie, and we don’t have concrete details yet, but owner Mitchell Fox told us this: “Still working towards reopening. The support to do so from the community has been uplifting.” We hope to have more soon.
— TV personality/Very Cavallari star Kristin Cavallari showed Us magazine around her “Favorite Nashville Hot Spots,” including KOKO’s ice cream and Cafe Roze here in the neighborhood. 
— Pet lovers who have chickens, bunnies and/or zoo/exotic animals in their families, good news: 5 Points Animal Hospital now has associate veterinarian Anna McRee Bakker on board and caring for those patients.
— Saturday at The Local in Midtown, NPR scribe/East Nashvillian Ann Powers will be the guest speaker at the Girls Write Nashville Volume 2 release show. (Girls Write Nashville is a songwriting and production community for local girls, aged 7-17.)
Walk Bike Nashville in East Nashville is celebrating its 20-year birthday party on July 20. There’ll be music, drinks and snacks and lots of bike love.
— Drive sober because it’s the right and safe thing to do, but also: “sobriety checkpoint Friday evening into early Saturday morning on Gallatin Avenue in East Nashville.”
Riverside Village Pharmacy hosts a Customer Appreciation Day on July 14 (same day as the grand opening of Riverside Village Clinic), and there’ll be free gifts to be had.
That’s all for this week. Have East Nashville news tips to share? Please email Nicole.

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