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Ruthie Lindsey on Coming Home

STORY BY RACHEL SCHWARTZMANN – Follow Ruthie’s story –  PHOTOS BY ALEAH MILLINER FOR THE STYLE LINE

Ruthie Lindsey is cultivating

a safe space for honest conversations. As a renowned speaker and (event) stylist, our featured interviewee has a knack for bringing people together in a way that is truly human. Coupling this with her eye for interior design, and genuine interest in the world around her, Ruthie understands what it means to build something with longevity. That’s why we were thrilled to have the opportunity to visit with Ruthie at her beautiful home in Nashville. In fact, you could even say today’s story is a full circle moment because, for a good portion of her adult life, home was a place that confined Ruthie more than it inspired her.

Speaking more to this idea, we first witnessed Ruthie’s incredible storytelling abilities earlier this summer at Create & Cultivate’s Live Your Adventure speaker series with Eddie Bauer. During the panel, Ruthie alluded to painful memories from a car accident that changed the course of her life. For many years, pain consumed her, and the idea of home became more of an escape rather than a refuge. After a life-changing epiphany, Ruthie garnered the strength and courage to turn things around – and in turn – finally feel at home in her own life.

Needless to say, since learning more about Ruthie’s story, we’ve been captivated by her inimitable spirit and her personal mission of building up the people and places around her. Now, in an entirely different phase of her life, today we’re honored to showcase the space Ruthie has made for herself: a home built upon eclectic design, making memories with loved ones, and providing sanctuary for all those who set foot inside.

Without giving too much away, discover our full conversation with Ruthie (featuring exclusive photos captured by Aleah Milliner for The Style Line), who shares more of her incredible story, her advice for the next generation, and the beautiful feeling of coming home.

Hi! My name is Ruthie Lindsey; I am a speaker based in Nashville, TN.

I feel so fortunate to get to do what I love for a living. It’s truly one of the greatest gifts in my life. It’s also the thing that helps to make my daily chronic pain from a bad car accident (and major complications from surgeries) feel purposeful.

Outside of speaking, I think I would say that the thing I value most is being a good and loving friend. My community is like family to me. I love doing life with my friends. The connection and love I have and share with my people are one of the things that give me the most energy and purpose.

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IT SEEMS THAT HOME, FOR A WHILE AT LEAST, WAS A PLACE THAT CONFINED YOU RATHER THAN INSPIRED YOU. WOULD YOU AGREE? TELL US MORE ABOUT YOUR CURRENT HOME AND WHAT THE IDEA OF HOME IN GENERAL MEANS TO YOU.

I would for sure agree. Being at home in my bed for years felt more like a prison. I felt confined to my bed, and because I wasn’t living any life outside of my bed or bedroom, it felt so hopeless and dark to me. I thought I would spend the rest of my life in my bed and that thought depressed me to the deepest level. Now my home feels like a sanctuary. I am on the road majority of the time, so I squeal with delight when I get home. Walking through my front door feels like a big hug to me. It feels welcoming, warm, so inviting and cozy.

How has being based in Nashville inspired you in both fashion and interiors, and are there are any local designers you’re particularly excited about lately?

I think Nashville’s style and aesthetic fits me and my personality pretty perfectly because it’s really casual but still stylish. I feel like most people in Nashville are into really great basics but also love accessories. We are not afraid to rock a hat! I think that also translates in the way I decorate my home. I choose pretty classic furniture that won’t go out of style, but then I change up the pillows and throws and rugs… Pillows and throws are especially easy ways to change the feel of a room without spending a fortune. I really love my friend’s pieces from Nomad Collective. She collects and curates really unique pieces from around the world. I have some really unique pillows and blankets from her that I just adore!

 “Now my home feels like a sanctuary. I am on the road majority of the time, so I squeal with delight when I get home. It feels welcoming, warm, so inviting and cozy.”

 

 

 

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You’ve mentioned that you constantly travel – so when you return home, what is the first thing you do or part of the space that you engage with?

I do constantly travel. When I come home, the first thing I always do is turn on the lamps and light candles, and I almost instantly buy or pick fresh flowers. Lighting, smells, and plants are so important to me in a space. I even do it at my friend’s homes! When I walk into my best friend Adi’s house, I automatically turn off all the overhead lights, and I light candles!

What are your thoughts on the synergy between fashion and interior style and do you feel you have a similar approach to both your wardrobe and interior preferences?

I honestly don’t know a ton about brands, and I’m never up to date on trends. I don’t honestly care a lot about that stuff. I just buy what feels good to me and that I like.

I have friends that are super into it, and I love that they are, it just doesn’t really excite me, and I don’t spend a ton of time on things that don’t excite me. I would say that my home and my clothing are pretty similar though. I have a lot of basics. I wear a lot of denim and leather boots or sandals, and I’m looking at my couch, and there’s tons of chambray and three leather chairs! Ha, I definitely have a look!

How do you think creativity contributes to some of the world’s bigger conversations and how do you hope you’re able to play a role in this?

I am so drawn to beauty, but I love beauty with a story. Some of the most beautiful music I have ever heard is usually so tragic and painful. The most beautiful paintings I have ever seen usually feel tragic in some way. I think beauty and pain are always so connected. When people can express themselves creatively and use a creative format as a form of expression, it’s often the thing that connects the most with others. It can become this beautiful opportunity for artists to make their pain purposeful by helping others feel less alone in their pain.

I remember laying in my bedroom in my very small conservative town and thinking, “Woah, there are people out there that feel the same as me? I’m not alone in how I think and feel!” That was really powerful to me as a kid that felt a bit alone in my super tiny town.

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What is one question you wish people asked you more often?

Woah, that’s a great question! I don’t really know honestly! I love when people ask me how I am so happy because it opens up the door to talk about joy. I think joy always comes with incredible pain – You can’t really have one without the other. The depth you know from pain and loss is the depth you can know in real, true joy!

How would you advise the next generation of style mavens to leave an imprint in the world, simply by doing what they love?

People are so longing to not feel alone and are almost starving for authenticity and connection. Whatever it is you choose to do, be honest and vulnerable. Vulnerability is so brave and shows such strength. Whatever you do, show who you truly are, not who you think people want you to be. It draws people in, and also, more than anything else, seek to love people to the best of your ability. Be someone others love to be around, Actually care about the people around you, not for what they can do for you, but because everyone is worthy of being loved. I know that seeking to live out of that space has gotten me further than any other quality or skill I have… There are lots of better stylists out there and way better speakers, but I just try to be as honest, authentic, real and loving as possible. It’s served me well so far.