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VOL. 38 | NO. 21 | Friday, May 23, 2014

New friends bond in 12South boutique

By Hollie Deese

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Frannie Preston Daughrity and Catherine Rector met just two years ago, a year before opening Cadeau.

-- Submitted Photo Courtesy Of Jud Davis Photography

Walk into the 12South boutique Cadeau Nashville and you are immediately enveloped by a rustic, eclectic and cool style that speaks very much to the local aesthetic.

Filled with new and refurbished items either made here or elsewhere in the U.S., the gifts and home décor shop opened last summer, a partnership between Frannie Preston Daughrity and Catherine Rector.

Introduced by their husbands two years ago, Rector and Daughrity have infused the store with a personality all its own, reflected in everything from the linens and furniture to the antlers and apothecary bottles that are for sale. And now customers inspired by the duo’s design instincts can hire them to help spruce up their own spaces as well.

Cadeau Interiors is their recently introduced range of interior design services, from ‘fluffing’ projects such as refreshing window treatments, swapping pillows and finding the right wall art, to full installations like whole room redesigns and home revamps.

Customers receive a special markdown for products purchased from Cadeau Nashville.

Rector and Daughrity each balance mothering young daughters with growing their business. Both look to Daughrity’s grandmother, Frances Preston, president and CEO of BMI from 1986-2005, as a role model.

Preston, who died in 2012, was the first female corporate executive in Tennessee and a giant in the music industry, championing performers’ rights across genres and guiding Nashville to its status as an international music center.

With such inspiration, the designing duo is setting its own course. They outlined some of their plans in a conversation with Nashville Ledger:

Q: What was each of your backgrounds coming into this business together?

Rector: “I started in event design and did that for seven years. But I majored in business and art with an emphasis on interiors, so I knew that was what I wanted to do. I always had a passion about owning a store, and Frannie knew that. And she needed a business partner, and we just hit it off. Cadeau Nashville was born.

Daughrity: “I have been in retail my entire life. My family is from Nashville, but I lived in Dallas and worked for Nordstrom there for three years while I was going to school. Basically, throughout my travels, I have always been in retail.

“I decided to open up my first store in Colorado. Then I came back to Nashville and traveled and tried to figure out what I wanted to do. Then I opened up Cadeau in Columbia, Tenn., which is where my husband is from and had some commercial property.

“They let me get my feet wet there, and then when they sold the property, Catherine came on board and that is where Cadeau Nashville came to be.’’

Q: What are some of the challenges you have faced as friends and partners?

Daughrity: “For us, I feel like it’s been easy because I have had a partner situation in the past where we were absolute best friends, had been best friends forever. Then you get too into their personal lives, and you know too much, and it’s worse than a marriage. And I wouldn’t want to work with my husband.

More info

Cadeau Nashville


2308 12th Ave. S.


“But for us, we make it work. Honestly, if there is an issue we nip it in the bud. We don’t let it go on and on and on so that five years down the road we hate each other. Because we have both been in bad partner relationships. We knew going into it that was what we didn’t want to do.’’

Rector: “And even though we have known each other two years, and yes, Frannie and I are very good friends, we have always had the business aspect in our relationship. That is how we began our relationship in the first place, because we both knew we wanted to do this business venture together.

“Thankfully, it has always been both business and friendship for us so we haven’t had to deal with those issues yet.

Daughrity: “We are both in agreement that if we do have those issues, we are going to talk about them and not let them fester.’’

Rector: “Exactly.’’

Q: Do you have any role models who inspired you to be entrepreneurs?

Daughrity: For me that is my grandmother, Frances Preston. She was such a female role model to me. One of my favorite stories is how she signed Isaac Hayes on a park bench because they had kicked her out of the Peabody Hotel because he was African American. At that time you couldn’t do that. She never let barriers bring her down.

“Being the CEO of a business in the 60s and 70s, and being a woman CEO, is huge. Everything basically revolves around her as my inspiration.

Rector: “I have a few people that I look up to as far as interior designers, but for me, the people I look up to the most are my family. I think Frannie and I are both very grounded people, and we both have our priorities straight. One thing my parents have always instilled in me is to just make sure that I stay true to myself. Frannie and I have been very fortunate to own a business that is a lifelong dream of ours, and we are doing things that we love. I think that is the most important thing.

Q: How has business been since you started Cadeau Nashville?

Daughrity: “It has been great. I have been shocked by it. I know the 12South area is booming, and in our area we get so much foot traffic, but it has exceeded my expectations.’’

Q: How does social media play into your marketing?

Daughrity: “It’s huge. We try to get at least a couple Instagram photos out a day with products from the store. We rely on social media a lot and use Instagram, Facebook and Twitter. There are some other apps out there, and we are talking to some people about it and trying to figure out where we want to go with that, but those are our main three.

Q: Will you be adding online sales?

Daughrity: “We will and we are in the talks to do that. I am not sure how it will work yet. It may just be that every month we sell our top 10 new products or five products, but not the whole store. We are talking about it.’’

Q: Why did you add design services?

Rector: “We always wanted to have that as part of the business. We just needed to get started a little bit and get our feet on the ground before we could open the doors to that craziness. But we are really looking forward to it.’’

Daughrity: “We have both taken on interior design jobs in the past, and people would come in and ask us all the time. And yes, we could do it, but we were really hesitant because Cadeau was just taking off, and we were both working like crazy. But people were coming in and asking and asking, and we were like, ‘Let’s do this.’’’

Q: Do do you find you each have strengths and weaknesses you need to balance?

Daughrity: “As far as my strengths, I love to be in the store. And Catherine’s eye for design is amazing. But I love the interaction with people and being in the store. That’s where I feel strongest.’’

Rector: “I feel Frannie and I both have the same strengths.’’

Daughrity: “We do!’’

Rector: “We have a wonderful manager Trevor (Tyson), and he’s our right hand. We wouldn’t know how to function without him. When we fall short Trevor rises up and saves the day.’’

Q: Is there anything you want people to know about the shop?

Rector: “We try to keep a lot of our things locally made, made in the USA and we try to stay as far away from reproductions as we possibly can.

Daughrity: “We do have a lot of one-of-a-kind vintage finds, and when they go, they go. So we do try to post those to social media when we do get those in.’’

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