Simply lovely. That’s how we would describe Emily Tulloh, owner of Nashville’s newest lingerie boutique, Beloved Intimates. As a young woman with a passion for beautiful underthings and the eye and aesthetic of a designer, Emily offers a well-curated collection of lingerie and a personalized shopping experience that turns basic necessities into everyday luxuries. We’re so glad Emily joins us today as our FACE of Nashville!
Where did you grow up and what brought you here?
I was born and raised in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, but have moved about quite a bit as an adult. My husband and I most recently lived in NY where I worked as a designer and he worked in advertising. When we were ready to leave the city to find our “forever home,” we chose Nashville for many reasons. My dad is from Nashville so I’ve spent A LOT of time here throughout my life. We also felt like it was big enough that we wouldn’t get bored and I felt good about opening a store here. We both wanted to be in the South again. We love it here. It is a beautiful city and the people are amazing.
You were a designer in NYC prior to opening your store here in Nashville. Tell us a little about what your experience working in New York was like.
I most recently worked for a new lingerie company called Jenna Leigh, which provided me great career growth. I helped to launch the brand from its initial development, working not only in a design capacity but also in product development. As a young company, we all wore many hats, but that gave me such a well-rounded view of the entire process. Now I know what it takes for a bra to get from my head onto the racks at Bloomingdales. Jenna Leigh has really established a place in the intimates market and I am still happy to see my designs in magazines like Cosmo and Elle. It is very rewarding.
What led you get open a retail business?
I have always wanted to open a store – specifically in Nashville – specifically in Green Hills. When I was young, we would always come to Green Hills to shop and my dad would always say, “You can have a shop in Green Hills someday Emily,” and I always loved the idea. There are so many amazing lingerie brands that I love that are not represented in Nashville. I wanted to share my love for these products and I found after being here for a couple of years that Nashville is filled with fashion savvy women who appreciate quality and enjoy the experience of finding something unique and effortlessly stylish that will add some everyday luxury to their wardrobe.
What do you enjoy most about the retail side of the lingerie business?
One of the things that I love most about working at Beloved is the unique kind of satisfaction that you get from knowing that you can personally impact the way that a woman feels about herself inside and out through the simple act of purchasing undergarments. It is an important thing to do for yourself as a woman and I absolutely love taking a woman through that process and helping her to find something that suits her budget, her body, and her style.
What do you spend time educating your customers about when they are in the store? Any misconceptions to dispel about lingerie?
Women need to keep in mind is that the first and most important thing about buying a bra is getting one that fits. I would say that 95% of women that come in are wearing the wrong size and a lot of them are shocked at the size that I bring them to try on.
I encourage women to think of their intimate apparel as being more than a special occasion purchase. Your bras and underwear should be seen as an everyday luxury. It is important to have the basics, but you owe it to yourself to have some beautiful matching sets. I promise it will change the way you feel and carry yourself.
What are the basic must-have pieces for a woman’s foundations wardrobe?
- An attractive yet effective shape wear slip to smooth your silhouette under dresses. They make you feel more secure and also lift and smooth you so that you look slimmer, more youthful and your clothes hang better. I recommend Result Wear – check out their website. This is gorgeous and sexy shape wear that doesn’t require lights out when you undress.
- A classic black lace bra and panty set is an absolute must have for me. It is very wearable and in my opinion, the go-to sexy piece in your wardrobe when you need a little pick-me-up.
- One black and one nude molded cup bra. The molded cup gives your bosom a nice, youthful silhouette (as long as it fits properly) and they give you a smooth silhouette under t-shirts and more sheer styles.
- A good strapless bra. Strapless bras are notoriously difficult to shop for, especially for those of us who are a little more endowed. The important thing to keep in mind with strapless bras, especially if you are a C cup and beyond, is that the band is snug. The larger your breasts, the more important it is that the band is extra snug and that there is a substantial amount of fabric between the cups to create that extra support. Le Mystere is my best one.
- Last, I think that having some great seamless or lace side panties is essential. Especially for every day wear, wearing panties that don’t have an elastic waistband do you a lot of favors. I recommend Samantha Chang’s essential lace thong. They come in a ton of colors and help keep your figure bulge free.
Biggest lingerie no-no’s?
- Thong, or any underpants for that matter, visibly seen coming out of your clothing
- Visible panty lines – like when you can see the entire outline of your panty through your white pants. There are definitely garments that require some thought when putting on your panties
- Wearing panties with a tight or elastic waistband under a knit or fitted dress
Who has influenced you most as a businesswomen and why?
I think that a large part of my influence as a businesswoman has come from some of my bosses I had in New York working as a designer – they were all women. I think that I learned to be resolute, strong willed, confident, and persistent and to learn from my mistakes. I also learned what I don’t want to be as a business owner and employer.
Do you have a mentor?
Yes! My sister Sarah. She has always been my mentor. She is the smartest, wittiest, most energetic and magnetic person that I have ever met and I have always respected her opinion and insights more than anyone else. She has always motivated me to do better and strive for whatever it is that I want to do in life.
What do you love most about living in Nashville?
Talking!!! One thing I missed about the South when I was in NY was chatting with everyone. I love that I can chat everyone up when I am at the grocery store, the post office, the gas station, etc. That didn’t go over quite as well in Manhattan. I swear that Nashville is the friendliest city in the country.
Your bio says you and your husband opened Beloved Intimates together. What’s it like working with your husband day-to-day?
My husband has a full-time job that is completely independent of Beloved, but he definitely also has a full-time job at home just working with me on the store at night. I do everything as far as daily operations is concerned, but he handles all of the advertising, branding, and online presence for the store. It is a lot of hard work on both of our parts, so it is definitely a challenge for us to remember to take a minute to breathe and just talk to each other. It is fun though. I am so lucky to have him working so closely with me on the business.
What advice do you have about balancing the demands of home and career?
None – I have no advice in regards to this. There is 0% balance in my life. I don’t manage my house, I don’t grocery shop, I don’t clean up my side of the bedroom. Perhaps it is still so early in the business for me that I don’t feel like I have the time to devote to anything but the business. I definitely need to get more balance. If anyone could give me some advice, you have my email.
How do you unwind/recharge your battery?
I love to cook, and this is a hobby that my husband and I share. So we really enjoy thinking about things to cook on the weekends or sometimes on weeknights. I also LOVE junking, so I drag my husband, his name is Dan by the way, to thrift stores and goodwill and antique malls on the weekend. I really like finding old furniture and revamping it for the house.
Favorite vacation or travel destination?
My idea of a perfect vacation is being on top of a mountain in the Appalachian mountains of North Carolina in the fall – staying in a cabin with a beautiful view, hiking during the day, going for long drives, eating at little country restaurants and diners that you find along the way, buying lots of apples, and sitting in a hot tub on the deck at night, looking out over the mountains with a glass of champagne. Ahh… The best part is that I can actually make this vacation happen pretty regularly!
Favorite restaurant for date night? Favorite restaurant for dinner with family?
Date night: drinks at Patterson House and dinner at Watermark
Dinner with family: Puckett’s or Sopapilla’s in Franklin
What books are you reading?
I only read good old fashioned paper books. Right now, I am reading Robinson Crusoe. I have recently enjoyed reading short stories by Southern writer Lydia Peelle. Her book Reasons for and Advantages of Breathing was fabulous.
Must-have fashion item – clothing, shoes, accessories – for fall?
Fall is my favorite time of year and the items that I look the most forward to are tights, boots, and coats.
Any special events you’re especially looking forward to in the next few months?
I have 10 family members coming to Nashville for Thanksgiving and I can’t wait for that! I am excited for my first holiday season at Beloved, too. Also excited to go to NY in February for the lingerie show Curve.
What three things could you not live without (excluding family, friends and God)?
Pickles, dogs, and boots
Thanks, Emily! To learn more about Beloved Intimates, visit the website: http://belovedintimates.com. And thanks, also, to Ashley Hylbert for today’s beautiful photographs. For more photos from today’s shoot, visit Ashley’s blog: here.