Deeyn Rhodes knew she wouldn’t always be in fashion. What she did not know was what change she would make. That is, until she opened Nannie Inez. Now in its second location on South Lamar, Nannie Inez is making waves in the Austin design community.
From Fashion to Furnishings
After eight years in New York and two in London, the Texas-native made her way back to Austin. With a track record like Chloe, Paul Smith and Stella McCartney, Rhodes’ own project was only inevitable.
How did she get there? Rhodes first job out of the University of Texas was an internship for Chloe, the world-renowned French fashion house. It was followed by having See by Chloe, the smaller sister brand, handed to her to grow the brand any way she saw fit. “I was just this kid doing it.”
Growing an international label instilled in Rhodes the necessity of good branding. “I grew the business from zero sales to department store distribution. It was a really rewarding experience… life changing in terms of becoming a professional.”
However a switch went off and Rhodes knew she didn’t want to be in fashion anymore. “I was just starting to get to a place where I was interested in my home and creating a space that I really wanted to enjoy rather than having plastic shelves and spending all of my money on shoes.”
Rhodes does still wear some pretty cool shoes, except instead of whizzing up the elevator in a New York high-rise to work in an office all day, she gets to kick back in the comfort of her own shop while being surrounded by the things she loves and is passionate about.
Inside Nannie Inez
The home decor store, named after her paternal grandmother, is an extension of her minimalist Scandinavian style. “I look for products that I emotionally respond to,” she says. “It’s a pretty rewarding experience when the stuff comes in and makes sense in [the space].”
The store is dotted with colorful pots, pitchers, trays, tea towels, books and more. “I’m open to any sort of aesthetic, but I’m drawn to something that’s a little more minimalist with pops of color.”
Rhodes is heavily inspired by London.Her style which was once more whimsical there is now more modern and sleek in her new Austin home.
Finding things that aren’t in other shops is Rhodes’ specialty and she is constantly on the hunt for unique items for the shop. “Traveling is usually when I find the most inspiration and really great things, but that is not something you can do all the time.”
“There is just something about good design. You can see when there’s passion in a project and you can see when it’s just a project.” Take for instance the copper and wool Elkeland wall hangings. Rhodes stumbled upon the visual studio, located deep in the Danish countryside, and is the first U.S. retailer to stock the brand.
Good design is something Rhodes prides herself on. The angular, house-shaped silhouettes painted on the walls spill down onto the floor to frame each of the vignettes Rhodes and Lonzo Jackson have created. Lonzo is Rhodes’ husband and right side brain to her left. He does all of the product styling and merchandising in the store.
What Rhodes can do all the time is look on the web and social media for new ideas. “I am constantly online,” she admits. While blogs may have been her main source of inspiration in the past, Instagram has taken over. “One image, one tag leads you to another profile to another website.”
The Next Step
If part one of Rhodes’ plan was growing a brand into a distinguished Austin home decor shop, then part two is growing the web business and finding time to step away and find a home-work balance in her life.
“I’m ready to have my Saturdays back and a house to relax in,” Rhodes says of her nearly completed Austin home. Retrieving some of the treasures she has collected from storage and displaying them in her home is just one of the things she is looking forward to.
Her design philosophy is simple: Do what you love. Do you. “That’s in your lifestyle and your design aesthetic and your business.”
Take it from someone who has built up international brands and created a distinct brand of her own. “Everything in this world is going to be a lot easier if you just drown out the noise and just worry about what you’re doing and not what other people are doing.”
701 S. Lamar Blvd. Ste. E, Austin, TX 78704
Hours: Monday-Saturday: 11AM – 6PM, Sunday: 12PM – 5PM
Written by Katelyn Orlowski
Photography by Chris Perez
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