Monday, May 2, 2011

Weekend Update: Franklin Festival, Marti & Liz, and General Awesomeness

This past weekend was filled with relaxation, good wine, and even better friends. After recently finishing up another intensive and stressful doctorate course, I just needed one of those chill kind of weekends, and I think I succeeded. 

Friday evening was spent with my new fashion friend, Naomi Cox. Naomi is Manager of the Wolford store in Green Hills Mall (looooove their tights) and is co-producing this year's Naked Without Us fashion and music festival. After a failed attempt to hit up the 1st Annual Nashville Stache Bash, we relaxed at her apartment, sipping wine, obsessing over her adorable dog, and talking fashion with a few other folks. It was just the Friday evening I was looking for. When I got home I curled into bed and spent the next three hours watching Deliverance on AMC like a total creep. Gah. 

Love this 2010 photo of Wolford tights with local Coqutte Swimwear designs.

Kinda bummed we missed this!

Saturday was spent doing some necessary and borish cleaning during the day, then the Franklin Main Street Festival that evening. I was ridiculously excited about this because I used to regularly attend events like this when I lived in Lexington and absolutely love the small town charm of art and craft festivals. Oh, and bad carnival food- I die for unnecessary eats like corndogs and chocolate covered bananas. 

The event was to last until 10:00, as indicated on the flyer, so I grabbed up my gal pal Katie McEldoon, made the thirty minute drive to Franklin, TN, and arrived around 7:00. Even though the clouds were looming overhead, we were lucky it didn't rain. However, I think some of the vendors got a little anticipatory of inclement weather and began closing up shop around 7:30 and 8:00. I was disappointed I didn't get to see all of the vendors, because I absolutely love browsing hand made merchandise like colorful jewelry, photography, aromatic soaps, and other items. I was also absolutely surprised all of the boutiques on Main Street were closed! Most are only opened until 5:00 on Saturdays (which I think is a little weird to begin with), but not keeping shop open on the one weekend a year you know hundreds of potential customers will be walking past your store is just a poor business decision! That being said, What's In Store was still open, so Katie and I browsed through racks of sale clothes and jewelry, but ultimately left empty handed. 

Example of What's In Store jewelry.

As the vendors started closing up shop and the $5 bbq sandwiches had been eaten, Katie and I headed down the street where we saw a rickety parking lot carnival we absolutely HAD to check out. The place was packed wall to wall with anxious tweens and Katie and I ultimately got fixated on this one 'Hamster Wheel' attraction. I think we stood there about fifteen minutes, watching little kids climb into giant inflatable balls and bumble around an enclosure as they bounced into each other. I had to grab a few shots of this ridiculousness taking place in front of me:

In the center of these were tiny shoeless children having the times of their lives.

I had to grab a shot of myself and Katie with this absurdity happening in the background. (You can't really see it, but that's my new favorite gold necklace purchased at Local Honey.)

After the parking lot carnival, I demanded we check out a shoe store in Franklin my friend Naomi had told me about the night earlier- Marti & Liz. Have you been there?! OMG. My new obsession. The place is located at 2000 Mallory Lane in Franklin, TN in an unimpressive strip mall next to a Kroger. And honestly, the interior of the building isn't much to look at either- gondolas filled with unboxed shoes create shopping rows like a grocery store. 

I'm not sure exactly where Marti & Liz gets their shoes, but you can find an array of brands here like Michael Kors, Coach, Aldo, Nine West, BCBG, Dolce Vita, and more. And seriously, these shoes are CHEAP! I only made off with one pair this trip, some beautiful Nine West platforms priced at $24.99 pictured below. And these things retail for $90!!

These kicks are ridiculously hotttt..

Katie made out with a great pair of comfortable black wedges perfect for the work day and a pair of pewter Dolce Vita lace up wedges- both for around $50. 

Ok, seriously, this place is ABSURD, and I even considered keeping this little gem to myself. After talking with a sales rep, I found out they get new shipments in every Thursday and they never know what they'll have in stock next. However, you do have to be a little mindful. Some of the shoes were a little worn looking, and I almost made out with a pair of insanely sexy Michael Kors black stiletto booties, until I realized the left shoe was a size 7 1/2 and the right shoe was a size 8. I guess you just have to be careful on that one. But, you are sure to find some great deals here. 

I did look Marti & Liz up online, couldn't find a website and their Facebook page had only one fan. Weird. Also, reviewers on had mixed things to say about this retailer, including:

The Good:

"This place is the reason I own over 100 pairs of shoes.  A couple of years ago when I heard that a Marti & Liz was opening right down the road from my office I started bouncing off the walls in anticipation.  It is such a blessing, but is also totally sinful because I don't really NEED half of what I buy.  But who cares at an average price of $20-$25 a pair?!?!

Name brand shoes of all shapes and sizes can be found:  Nine West, Aldo, Steve Madden, Charles David, BCBG, Carlos Santana, Enzo, Kenneth Cole, Via Spiga, the list goes on and on.  New shipments are put out on the shelves on Thursdays, so that's usually when I can be found slowly roaming up and down the aisles. 

They have a little bit of everything, and some weeks are better than others, so the more often you go, the more luck you'll have." - Beth W. 

The Semi-Bad:

"Be careful when you do shop here though. From my understanding they sell these shoes so cheap because they have previously been worn on the runway. Even though they have only been worn once it is still important to look for wear and tear before purchasing.  And keep in mind that they only do exchanges not full on returns." -Kristen P.

The Ugly:

"I looked around a found a couple of pairs of shoes that were alright, but found mostly shoes for the older crowd I think. Upon closer inspection I noticed the shoes had a lot of flaws: a buckle missing here, a button gone there, heels that were worn down, a pair of flip flops were flat out broken. I asked one of the employees if this was a used shoes store and she said no, that they weren't used but overstock, like the kind of items you'd find at TJ Maxx or Marshall's. I'll have to call shenanigans on that. Maybe you can find some really good deals here, but I'm more in the market for cheap shoes that are new or at least don't need to have parts replaced before wearing them." -Ash C.

Sunday was spent receiving a surprise visit from my parents on their way back to Louisville, KY from a weekend with my Aunt and Uncle at the Beale Street Music Festival in Memphis, TN. (I spent the weekend chillen', my parents spent it at an awesome music festival... I wasn't aware until now that my parents are obviously waaaayyyy cooler than me.) I got to see tons of great photos from the fest and hear about the talented musicians they saw. 

All in all, this was just the weekend I needed.

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