Asher on Aspen: On the Road Again |

Asher on Aspen: On the Road Again

Shannon Asher
Asher on Aspen
(Getty Images)

I couldn’t help but notice people staring at me in the airport. With every passing step, I could feel eyes following me, looking me up and down with heads turning to get a second glance as if I was famous or something. I felt flattered, however, because I knew they were merely stopping to admire my western wear. While traveling to Nashville, I rocked my flower-embroidered Old Gringo cowboy boots and brown Stetson cowboy hat.

There’s a certain level of swagger that comes with this cowboy aesthetic and the getup undoubtedly causes some heads to turn. It’s a look that much of society isn’t quite used to seeing (especially in cities). Just like any fashion statement, this bold western style takes confidence and swagger to pull it off.

My recent trip to Nashville was centered around a work event for Kemo Sabe’s five-day pop up that took place at White’s Mercantile on 12th Ave South (an iconic old gas station transformed into a charming and ever popular general store). The pop-up travels around by means of a massive trailer that carries a bevy of western wear. Inside, you’ll find a cowboy heaven that could easily dress the entire cast of “Yellowstone.” The walls are lined with hats and boots while the center is filled with vintage jewelry, jackets, belts, buckles, and more.

Throughout the course of our time in Nashville, people kept asking, “Where are you heading next?” I adored this assumption that we had set out on some sort of tour with a band traveling from city to city. Maybe someday the roadhouse crew will travel around in this fashion—just road tripping across the country spreading the cowboy culture.

The pop up stayed energetic and lively throughout the course of the weekend. One day, we presented live music from two local Nashville musicians. Undoubtedly, live music makes every situation better. People loved getting to hear some classic hit songs and sing along while they shopped. Another day, we drummed up an impromptu mimosa bar to offer people a morning cocktail as they perused our hats. The atmosphere consistently stayed lively and energetic with random dancing and cheering that would frequently break out.

While visiting “Music City,” I stayed at a charming boutique Bobby Hotel, located in the heart of downtown. Situated on historic Printers Alley, Bobby Hotel is just a short walk from the bustle of the downtown music scene. As a vibrant lifestyle hotel, each room was unique in that they all featured treasures from Bobby’s travels. My room, for instance, had an entire section covered in wallpaper with a city map of Amsterdam. Mixed in, there were diary entries from Bobby’s travels. The wallpaper was juxtaposed nicely next to Bordeaux red walls and curtains.

In addition to the funky bougee rooms, the rooftop of the Bobby was a scene of its own. The atmosphere was lively with a full bar, lounge area and rooftop pool. Who doesn’t love a ritzy rooftop bar in the middle of a city? I visited here one night to have a drink, and I ended up sitting down and chatting with one of Aerosmith’s ex guitar players. Only in Nashville!

When I wasn’t focused on the shop, I was focused on where we would go each night to see live music. One of the reasons why I love Nashville is because of the constant eb-and-flow of music that vibrates through the city streets. Of course, we explored Broadway and Nashville’s “Honky Tonk Row,” but we also explored some more local bars like Local, Winners, Losers, and Red Door. These are apparently the go-to spots for the Nashville locals, and they aren’t as popular for the tourists.

Going out dancing is always at the top of my agenda when I visit Nashville. There’s nothing more liberating than kicking up your boots and dancing the night away to some feel-good country music. I was determined to find an authentic honkytonk with fiddle players and two-steppin’. The Nashville Palace proved to be the perfect place. Filled with rich country music history, this venue was one place that I certainly didn’t feel silly dressing head-to-toe in genuine western wear.

I found that I fit in well in Nashville. The city and the music suit me, and I feel at home there. Who knows, maybe “Music City” is in my future. Maybe I’ll end up there someday. Until then, I’ll keep rockin’ my Stetson and see where life takes me.