Sarah and I had the opportunity to attend the National Estate Sale Conference last week in Nashville. It was an incredible week of education, networking, and exploring! The conference was organized by estatesales.net, an estate sale marketing app, and they knocked it out of the park. The location, speakers, education, and professional partners were stellar!
The conference was held at The Loews Vanderbilt, almost all of the 200 attendees stayed at the hotel throughout the conference allowing networking opportunities at almost every turn. In addition to the scheduled programming, we were able to enjoy morning coffee and happy hour cocktails with our peers.
We were able to explore Nashville prior to getting down to business, arriving a day before the conference kicked off. Our first stop was Tootsies, the oldest bar in Nashville. It is located behind the Ryman (the original Opry) and became a popular hangout for country music stars who were seeking a cocktail before their performances in the good old days – alcohol was not allowed at the Opry.
We hopped around the popular Broadway strip and found our favorite bar to be Robert’s Western World. The decor, music, and food was perfection! It was all I could do no to come home with a pair of boots and a cowboy hat!
We enjoyed dinner at the famed Pinewood Social. The vintage charm and classic southern menu capped off the day perfectly.
The conference was so well organized with two full days of workshops, keynote speakers, and sponsor showcases. Attendees came from all over the country. It was such a treat to have transparent honest conversation regarding business models, business struggles, industry trends, and future goals with other professionals in the industry.
Session topics included leadership, auction options, appraisals, marketing, contracts, team dynamics, and so much more!
Estatesales.net built an app specifically for the conference which was so handy! It allowed us to view each session, post questions during each session, view each company attending, and post photos and links in a social feed.
The social feed was one of the best features, as you can see we enjoyed being social in real life and in the app!
We made a ton of new friends and we are looking forward to staying connected and up to date through social media. Through all of our opportunities to chat about our services and contracts we were able to discover that our estate sale service is the most traditional option that other companies offer. Very few offer estate liquidations and we seemed to be one of the only companies selling items on Instagram. The next conference is in two years so it will be interesting to see companies that we met in Nashville pick up on that model and/or how the industry will continue to evolve.
In additional to professional development at the conference, we were able to hit up some of Nashville’s retail hot spots for industry research and personal fun. You may recognize the logo at this shop…
The boys from American Pickers have a small antique store in Nashville. It’s mostly a tourist spot selling coffee mugs and t-shirts but they did have some fun vintage eye candy to enjoy.
White’s Mercantile is owned by Holly Williams, Hank Williams Jr’s daughter. Once a gas station, now a vintage store as you can see.
We enjoyed the antique furniture and smalls mixed with new linens, clothing, and home decor. The Southern charm was also very present and perfect!
White’s is located next to Reese Witherspoon’s store called Draper James. She is one of my favorite actresses, I joke that legally blonde gave me the guts to go to law school! Her store felt like what I imagine her home to look and feel like. Blue and white, stunning upholstery and wallpaper, white painted woodwork, you can picture it.
We were greeted with a sweet tea when we walked in which I thought was one of the cutest marketing ideas. I’m sure I’m not the first person to snap a pic for social media before I took a sip!
Savant was down the street in the 12 South neighborhood and PACKED with amazing vintage clothing, midcentury modern decor, and taxidermy. The owner was tucked in the back at a counter packed with vintage jewelry when we walked in. She was like a character from a book with her stories of the items inside her shop, her opinion on local estate sale purveyors, her head to toe vintage fashion look, and her wishlist of items she wants us to send her way from the West Coast.
Sarah loves her vinyl so a stop at Third Man Records was on her list, founded by Jack White from The White Stripes. It was an impressive location with listening booths, vinyl (new and vintage) and clothing.
Third Man was near Uncommon James so we had to make a pit stop. Sarah had no clue who Kristin Cavallari was but I gave her the recap from Laguna Beach to her current show Very Cavallari which I am a huge van of. I love the show because it’s a treat to watch another young woman run a business. Yes, her empire is bigger than mine but many of her day-to-day struggles are similar.
We flew home on Thursday evening giving us enough time to spend an afternoon at the Country Music Hall of Fame before we headed to the airport. Wow, what a neat place! The exhibits were so well done and educational, I’m glad we had the chance to explore it!
The amount of authentic ephemera and clothing was simply amazing! Check out the original manuscript from “Me and Bobby McGee”!
And Elvis’ gold plated Cadillac equipped with a record player, telephone, fridge, television, and bar in the back seat. Wow!
We stoped at one last honky tonk bar before we headed to the airport and it turns out we just missed Garth Brooks. My buddy – the original Marlboro man – manages the door and told us he just snuck out the back. Bummer!
As you can see, it was an eventful trip mixed with adventure and education. Sarah and I are looking forward implementing what we learned and passing on our knowledge to the rest of the Kuzak’s Closet team!