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Reese Witherspoon’s Draper James To Open First Store

Another actress-turned-entrepreneur is making moves in the retail space.

This time, it’s Reese Witherspoon, and she’s expanding her fashion and lifestyle brand, Draper James, from online into the physical realm.

Witherspoon told Garden & Gun that she first developed Draper James (named for her grandparents) because she “couldn’t find the sort of items I wanted anywhere else.” With the first brick-and-mortar Draper James store set to open in Witherspoon’s hometown of Nashville this fall, the Southern-centric style of the brand will physically debut in the very region whose spirit the company founder credits with inspiring the brand.

The Southern-style products in which Draper James trades — many of which, the Garden & Gun story points out, are actually sourced and developed in the South — include dresses, jewelry, engraved julep cups and embroidered linens.

“Southerners have such pride in their work,” Witherspoon remarked in her interview with the outlet. “I was tapping into a community that already existed. I started the company myself and funded it myself so I wouldn’t have to do what someone else wanted. My goal was to create a retail experience that spoke to Southern people. I feel like Southerners have their own unique sense of style, and I wanted to be a part of telling the story of what it means to be a contemporary Southern woman.”

“We’ll be located on a busy walking street in the 12South neighborhood, which is so exciting for me,” she went on to say. “When I was growing up, we had this amazing store in Nashville called McClures, which is closed now. I have so many memories as a kid of sitting there while my mom tried on clothes, running into everyone we knew while we shopped. I want to recreate that environment. A gathering spot where the mom brings kids in, and you drink sweet tea while you browse. That community. The charm of the old Southern department store feeling.”

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