As a stylish fixture on the Nashville scene, British expat Jen Auerbach possesses all the warmth, charm, and fearlessness that the decor of her home would suggest. This vintage lover transformed a barn that was originally used to store the vintage motorcycle collection of her husband, musician and record producer Dan Auerbach, into a personal haven, and now home base for the organic skincare line she co-founded, Clary Collection. This tastemaker recently brought her discerning eye to a covetable curation on Chairish, and we took the opportunity to get the scoop on that gorgeous barn, find out more about Clary Collection, including what advice she has for other entrepreneurs, and of course, get her rundown of go-to Nashville haunts.
What do you love about shopping on Chairish?
I love the array of selection. I can truly say I’ve never not found what I’m looking for on Chairish, even if it’s a one-of-a-kind tramp art glass coffee table from the early 19th century.
Is there any particular product category where Chairish is your go-to?
I love how Chairish alerts me with my “new Nashville matches” and The A-List of course.
Favorite items on Chairish right now?
Hollywood Regency Burlwood & Brass Mastercraft Dresser and Hollywood Regency Slipper Chairs.
Favorite thing about designing with vintage pieces?
I love vintage. I love having something that has a history, and historically craftsmanship was at its best the further back we go. Vintage also compliments newer pieces in a home. I highly recommend it for contrast.
Are there any vintage styles, time-periods, or classic designers that you especially love?
I love classic French Art Deco. I love European Art Deco by Hildo Krop, I love the decadence of the early 1900s. I also like original Mid-Century Modern such as Alvar Aalto. Throw that together with a mix of Adirondack and folk art and you have magic!
What’s your go-to source for design inspiration?
Books like Ann Getty Interior Style, The Palais Bulles of Pierre Cardin, Domestic Art by Holly Moore, and Appartments de Garçons. I find lots of inspiration from my childhood, things I used to hate and thought were “old” and now I love. I love seeking inspiration from my parent’s home.
You grew up in England and Australia and traveled a great deal. How does travel influence your approach to design?
Being raised globally fed me with culture, from collecting fabrics from northern Thailand to collecting old 1800’s trunks, a family obsession also carried on by my husband!! I really love the modern Australian architecture and nothing gives me more satisfaction than having lived in a thatch roof cottage called “Apple Tree Cottage” in the English countryside.
What was the inspiration for the design of your barn? How did vintage pieces come into play in that space?
The barn originally belonged to my husband, Dan. My business, Clary Collection, was no longer a home kitchen-size business. My husband said I could take over his barn if I could find a home for his vintage motorbike collection which lived comfortably down here. It sounds like a generous offer, until I found out the insane storage prices. Little did he know what lengths I would go to for that barn. I offered his bikes to the local Lane Motor Museum and they came the very next day and collected them!!
The green paint color in your barn is fantastic! Can you share the exact color you used?
Sherwin Williams Organic Green (SW 6732).
Can you describe a typical work day in the barn?
After the school run I make the “long” walk down my garden to the barn. I have a wonderful team of women who have made my business what it is today. We spend the day handcrafting each product, infusing our organic herbs and straining until each is ready to be hand-labeled and sent off to its new owner! The barn is not just a production space, it’s a creative space, a refuge for all my girlfriends. We have held a mother’s event for Peanut, a dinner party for Domino and a breast casting session for breast cancer awareness “Keep a Breast.” Every day I spend in this barn I am grateful. Grateful to provide clean, safe skincare and grateful to work with strong, inspiring women.
Separate from creating Clary Collection products, is there another part of running a business that you love?
I love when I am asked to speak at an event or attend a panel. I used to be super nervous speaking and then I saw how receptive the crowd was and how enthused they were to learn about clean beauty. That’s a real buzz for me. Plus, I’m English. We love to talk. I love coming up with design concepts for our bottles and tins. Our balm tin is a copy of an old shoe polish tin I found in my basement when renovating.
What advice would you have for other women entrepreneurs?
Don’t be afraid to ask for help, and reach out to women-driven sites for inspiration. I gave birth and launched a business at the same time. If I can do that, so can you…but maybe don’t do the pregnancy thing at the same time.
What’s one of the biggest lessons you’ve learned about yourself from founding and running a business?
That I need to learn to walk before I can run. To trust my gut instincts and that a lot is likely to go wrong, and that’s just okay!
What effect do you hope Clary Collection has on the beauty industry as a whole?
I really hope we can educate the next generation. My generation was covered in Hawaiian Tropic and toxic hairspray. I hope that Clary can provide a skincare option for people to trust and share with others. I would love to watch our company organically grow for many years to come.
What’s one piece of skincare advice you routinely give others?
Read your labels. Chances are if you can’t pronounce the majority of the ingredients, you probably shouldn’t put it on your bodies largest organ, your skin!!
Besides your own, what are some other natural skincare or beauty products you love?
Oxalis deodorant, One Love Organics face cleanser, Kosas red lipstick!
Favorite travel destination to relax and recenter:
Mexico City and Golden Eye, Jamaica
Favorite thank you/hostess gift:
It’s nice to be nice.
Favorite entertaining essential:
Favorite thing to collect:
I love to collect jewelry. My best friend Brooke founded Arrow & Anchor Antiques and if I ever file bankruptcy, blame her.
Local Favorites: Nashville, TN
Favorite hotel to recommend to visiting friends:
Favorite local culture hub:
Favorite local attraction:
Cheekwood Estate & Gardens
Favorite local flea market/vintage hunting ground:
Photos by Emily Dorio