Talking Shop With Tennessee Thomas

Designer, musician, DJ, boutique owner, and activist and friend of Soho Grand —Tennessee Thomas does it all. We chat to her about making your own toothpaste, choosing your clothing wisely, and generally giving a damn. Plus she shares her go-to NYC spots.

When did you first move to New York?

Five years ago.

What do you love most about the city?

The spontaneous nature of it. Never a dull moment!

What motivated you to open your store on 1st Ave, The Deep End Club?

I wanted a Clubhouse! An HQ! A hub for creative activity for my community.

Can you tell us about some of your favorite moments in the store since you opened?

Yes! Father John Misty did his record release launch for I Love You Honeybear last Valentine’s day. We did a neighbourhood trash pick-up with kids for Earth Day! We did a teach-in with the organization Wolf PAC who is fighting for campaign finance reform, reversing Citizens United on a state-by-state local level, to get corporate money out of politics. We had a teach-in with Lauren Singer who lives a “no impact” life and hasn’t sent ANY trash to landfills in three years. She taught us how to make our own toothpaste. In February I launched my first Deep End clothing collection and we threw a happening and many of my favorite voices from the community shared poems and essays as part of an open mic session. I shot the look book for the collection in all my favourite New York haunts with my friend Alexa Chung modelling, which was really fun! And now I have just formed a new band in the shop with Reiki master, magical musician and serene sister Erika Spring on bass and Jenny Lewis—one of my absolute favourite singer/songwriters—on vocals. It’s such a treat! We’re called NAF (Nice as Fuck) and we wrote an album’s worth of songs jamming in the shop over a few days. The band carries the shop’s message of peace and love, freedom, community and feminine expression… It is so much fun!

With The Deep End clothing line, was there something you were looking for in terms of fashion that perhaps didn’t exist?

Yes! I am basically just making all the clothes I want to wear. It has been so interesting to learn about all the steps involved in making clothes. I think with fast fashion, we take for granted all the work that goes into making each and every article of clothing. We should treasure our clothes! Buy less and choose wisely.

Are you working on any musical projects at the moment? Where can we hear / see you play?

Nice As Fuck is playing at the Bowery Electric on June 2nd and I DJ at Soho Grand Hotel every Thursday night!

Tennessee Thomas’ New York

BREAKFAST: Café Mogador


COFFEE: Abreço


DINNER: Fat Radish

BAR: Otto’s Shrunken Head


ARTS VENUE: The Deep End Club

SHOPPING: Stella Dallas, Legacy, Dusty Buttons

GROCERY STORE: Commodities