The Heights Is Hoppin

A New Natural Beauty Store Is Coming to Heights Mercantile This Fall

Nashville-based Lemon Laine has chosen the booming urban market for its second location.

By Abby Ledoux August 2, 2018


LEMON LAINE HOUSTON. Tag a friend in Texas! It's been months in the making and I couldn't be more excited to share that our second store will be located in Houston, Texas! We're planning to open later this Fall in The Heights neighborhood. The Heights feels like East Nashville's long lost sister. They're both filled with tree-lined streets, and both known for their cozy bungalows. They're both growing, but have been around for decades. They both support small businesses and make a point to get to know their neighbors. All in, there couldn't be a better place to call our second home. From the beginning, I have viewed Lemon Laine not as just a retail store, but as a place that shares thoughts and ideas--and ultimately a community that grows together. I want to thank each and every one of you for being a part of our journey and helping make our second store a reality! Cheers to many more to come! xo Laura . . . 💥Map designed by @studio.elizabeth

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Nashville natural beauty and wellness retailer Lemon Laine announced yesterday it will open a second location this fall in Heights Mercantile. The forthcoming 1,000-square-foot space will be designed by award-winning Content Architecture, the local firm that’s also behind fellow Heights Mercantile tenant Paloma Nails.

Lemon Laine founder and CEO Laura Lemon.

Houston was the ideal spot for Lemon Laine’s expansion thanks to its “cosmopolitan makeup and renowned hospitality,” a press release says. Founder and CEO Laura Lemon even sounds like a native: “Houston is the largest small town I know,” she says. “It’s one of the biggest and most culturally diverse cities in the U.S., but still has a friendly feel, with tree-lined streets and neighborhoods buzzing with people that say hello to strangers. That balance in a community really speaks to me.”

Born in Austin, Lemon grew up in Oklahoma where Texas was seen as "the big leagues." She knew she wanted to expand her business here but, like so many, knew little about Houston. After visiting here, Austin, and Dallas in search of Lemon Laine's next home, she quickly settled on the Bayou City. When it comes to natural health and beauty, it's "such an underserved market," Lemon tells Houstonia, and when it comes to friendliness—that distinct brand of Southern hospitality—it's off the charts, especially compared to other major metropolises.

The Heights specifically felt like home, similar to Lemon Laine's flagship east Nashville location where the store has grown into the fabric of the neighborhood after a year and a half of doing business. "We know our customers really well—they live a block away," Lemon says. "I never wanted to go somewhere that didn't have that personality and that comfort level."

Lemon Laine’s focus on community building and product education will extend to the Houston shop, as Lemon plans to host educational events and panels with industry experts about health, beauty, and wellness. The Nashville shop is currently holding weekly events on everything from hormones to herbalism, and once things are up and running in the Heights, Lemon wants to maintain that pace and tap local experts here.

Lemon knows a thing or two about all this herself, of course: She spent over a decade in the industry before opening her shop, working on product development for Juice Beauty, advising Gwyneth Paltrow’s beauty line for Goop, and marketing for natural skincare line Yes To and Walmart, where she led the charge to bring natural skincare products to the big box retailer’s shelves.

At Lemon Laine, curated natural products are sourced from local and national purveyors and organized in-store by use and function rather than brand. The Houston location “will mirror its sister store,” the release says, with an in-house oil bar staffed by “baristas” who concoct custom, organic facial serums for shoppers’ individual skincare needs.

That, and the educational opportunities Lemon Laine is built on providing, is what sets the store apart, Lemon says. "Of course anyone can get these products in Houston [already] because you can purchase them online, but it's really the experience we create in the store," she says"I think a lot of people don't know where to start in transitioning to natural beauty and wellness, and we do that work for them and make it not intimidating and become their friends in that way."

Though she'll keep her home base in Nashville, Lemon plans to split her time between the two cities, particularly as things gear up in Houston. "It's going to be a second home for sure," she says. She's also actively hiring: Lemon Laine's second shop will need three to five retail employees plus one manager, Lemon says, and she hopes to post a formal application online in the next week.

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