Na Nin boasts handmade flair with vintage aesthetic on Addison St.

by | Feb 6, 2015 | ART

Lamplighter Roasting Co. opened up on Addison St. in 2009, and sparked a transformation in that little pocket neighborhood. You could say its inviting outdoor space, with several picnic tables, outstanding coffee, and delicious food, located on a somewhat grassy urban street, has transformed Richmond.

Lamplighter Roasting Co. opened up on Addison St. in 2009, and sparked a transformation in that little pocket neighborhood. You could say its inviting outdoor space, with several picnic tables, outstanding coffee, and delicious food, located on a somewhat grassy urban street, has transformed Richmond.

Yesterday’s Heroes Vintage and Addison’s Handmade Vintage opened directly across the street from Lamplighter in two vacant storefronts at the end of the summer in 2013.

A third storefront, a stained glass shop, closed some time later when the owner of the shop moved to Indiana (she still runs her business online). But in August 2014, Kate Jennings moved into the former stained-glass spot and opened up her store, Na Nin. Jennings started her vintage clothing line in 2009 (RVA Magazine profiled her online business in 2011); now she has very own brick and mortar shop.

The store is very bright and earthy. Jennings carries products from designers she wants to expose, and that she believes are doing great things.

“I say that it is a positive and creative space focused on uniting and supporting all things good,” said Jennings describing her store. “I really want to celebrate, promote, and support other makers who are trying to support themselves with their trade.”

A photo posted by @naninstudio on

Na Nin is something new for Richmond. The shop offers items from designers and makers from all over the world, from Germany to Texas to Charlottesville. The phrase “na nin” is Korean for “I am.” Jennings spent a year teaching English in South Korea, befriending a girl she would teach a bit of English to and vice-versa.

“One of the things that she taught me when we were talking translated to ‘I am happy because I am with you.’ And ‘I am,’ you pronounce that as Na Nin,” said Jennings. “That moment of kindness truly stuck with me, and is a moment I look back to often.”

In this modern age in which urban residents seek any touches of natural and holistic world, Jennings taps into those senses. The store has vintage apparel, jewelry, accessories, beauty products, and homeware, as well as wax candles, sage, designer clothes and bags, unique “thank you” cards, and even fragrances Jennings makes herself. All of the stock can also be found on the Na Nin website.

A photo posted by @naninstudio on

“I’ve been studying essential oils for a little while on my own,” said Jennings of her fragrances. “Last February is when I put them out on the market, so they have only been for sale to the public for about a year now.”

“I wanted to create scents that remind me of certain memories,” she said of her homemade line of products. “For my first collection, they’re named after songs, inspired by songs that make me think of certain visions or different memories.”

“‘Cripple Creek,’ ‘Landslide,’ and ‘Farewell’ were my first three scents I released,” she said. “Since [then] I’ve released ‘Jolene,’ ‘Drifter,’ and a cologne, ‘Willin’.”

One of my favorite items in the store is a music-themed calendar. Each month has a song lyric written in large letters. The one featured in the store for the month of January says, “Baby, you got a heart so big it could crush this town,” a line from a Tom Petty song.

Na Nin Vintage is all about nostalgia. It is a clean and beautiful space, almost like a place where one would go to meditate. Everything in it is stunning; hanging and potted plants, pieces of wood holding up the clothing – the aesthetic reinforces the message that all of the products are natural and handmade.

“I just want it to be a complimentary to the area, a missing puzzle piece. There are so many wonderful shops and things going on and I just wanted to be a part of the community,” said Jennings on being part of the hip Addison St. block. “I wanted it to really reflect things that I appreciate that aren’t just a dime a dozen, and have a story behind them.”

A photo posted by @naninstudio on

Jennings and her neighbors are good friends. They support one another and do events and pop-up sales together, such as the Well-Worn Market. Jennings thinks Na Nin and the many other businesses sprouting up in the community in the past few years have changed the dynamic of Richmond.

“It’s pretty incredible to be working for yourself and doing something for yourself,” said Jennings of her business and the opening of her store. “And when anyone notices it, or says a positive thing about it, it’s a wonderful, beyond flattering, feeling.”

If you’re looking for a shop that is out of the ordinary, full of kindness and good energy, Na Nin is worth a visit.

Na Nin is located at 101 S. Addison St. Open Wed-Fri 11-7pm; Sat-Sun 10-6pm

For more information visit the shop online.

Brad Kutner

Brad Kutner

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