My Dad Is Rad

My Dad and me at The Nest Vintage Store

My dad doesn’t really like getting his picture taken, but you should know that he is rad. Did you know that he put his retirement into getting me started at my first business, Budget Used Furniture, and then into buying the building that you now know as The Nest? Now, I’m no trust-funder, let’s get that straight right now. My dad worked as a craps dealer for 35 years and risked A LOT in putting his financial safety net behind a 22 year old with no business experience whatsoever. If that’s not love and believing in someone wholeheartedly, then I don’t know what is. And me? That was A LOT of pressure, so I worked my butt off to pay him back.

Anyone remember when The Nest looked like this before I rolled up my sleeves and went to town?

Anyone remember when The Nest looked like this before I rolled up my sleeves and went to town?

When I graduated from Santa Clara University with a degree in Spanish and Philosophy (useful, eh?), I came back home but didn’t know what career I wanted to pursue. I knew I needed to give my brain a rest though, so I started working at Harrah’s doing valet. Welp, it didn’t take long before I was begging to use my brain again (although I was in really good shape!), and my dad suggested that I look into owning my own business. At first, I thought he was crazy since I had just turned 22 and had no business experience whatsoever. But after working in a casino for so long and dealing with bosses and corporations who don’t care about their employees whatsoever, I could see where he was coming from.

We went through the Big Nickel together (am I dating myself here?) and circled a few businesses to go look at. The first was a used furniture store. Now, normally I’m a pretty risk averse person, but for whatever reason, two weeks later I owned that business. It was kind of a whirlwind, and honestly I can’t really remember what in the heck I was thinking, but I did it, and now I sure am glad! My dad spotted me the money to buy the business, and I paid him back after a few years. Then through a crazy turn of events including a divorce, the death of my mom, the birth of my son and even trying to sell Budget Used Furniture to a guy who ended up being wanted for so many counts of fraud that when the money for the sale never came through, I had to call the cops and they ended up arresting him after a car chase that closed a local middle school down for a couple hours (yes, that really happened!). Through all of that, I somehow ended up here at this thriving vintage store, The Nest, on Keystone, and I am so grateful. And my dad began the whole saga with a simple, “You should think about owning your own business” then a not-so-simple financing of a business to a naive (but driven!) twenty-something.

And if that weren’t enough, he watches my son at least two days a week, so I can get into the shop and make it cozy for all of you lovely people. They are best buds, and I’m honestly not sure what they would do without each other.

So, Dad, you’re the best, and I owe all of my success to your believing in me.

Your turn for a Dad Brag. Tell me about your dad and how he has been important in your life. Then bring him on into the shop for 20% off store-wide on Father’s Day!

Edible Reno Tahoe Magazine Features Me!

Photo by Shaun Hunter

Photo by Shaun Hunter

Remember those textile painting classes I did with Casey Sibley before she moved? Those were fun, eh? So fun that Edible Reno Tahoe Magazine decided to interview me for a spot on Tea Towels. Read on for why tea towels are so popular as an artist’s canvas nowadays and tips and tricks on how to make them!

Why do I love them?

A cute tea towel can make your whole kitchen,” says Tessa Dee Miller, who owns The Nest in Reno, a vintage boutique that also has hosted tea-towel-painting classes. “It’s the equivalent of a pillow as a home décor accessory. They are a great, noncommittal way to dress up your kitchen.
Photo by Shaun Hunter

Photo by Shaun Hunter

Raise your hand if you are interested in doing more textile painting classes! Tea towels? Scarves? What textile do you want to learn how to paint?

The Reno Social Podcast Features Me!

I was on my first podcast, y’all! I was honored to be invited on to The Reno Social Podcast by Sommer and Sam to talk about how I got started, how I try to balance being a business owner and a mom and more.

Tessa Dee Miller of The Nest on The Reno Social Podcast

A little BTS here… Sommer’s house is adorable! We were set up on the dining room table, and if it weren’t for the microphones and laptops, it wouldn’t have been any different than just chatting away with some good friends. These gals are super smart, spunky and obviously have good taste in guests. ;)

Check out this episode on Apple Podcasts or on SoundCloud and then subscribe to their podcast to get to know some pretty amazing business owners and people in our area!

Are you a regular podcast listener? What are some of your favorite podcasts? My all-time favorite: Invisibilia.

Happy Mother's Day!

Being a mom is no picnic. Well, except for when it is…

Photo by  Kendall Town

Photo by Kendall Town

Being a mom tests you in every way imaginable. And once you think you’ve finally mastered it, you end up realizing that this is only a stage, and now that it’s completed, the next phase of navigating uncharted territories begins. It’s like that kid of yours who still eats with his hands and can’t wipe his own butt is actually a wise, omniscient teacher that knows when you’ve learned your lesson and is on to teaching you the next one. He’s constantly ready to break you down and challenge everything you know about life. But then in the next moment, he throws his arms around your neck, tells you that he loves you and you slowly start to rebuild your parental confidence with a much stronger foundation and a clearer picture of what is really important in life.

Photo by  Kendall Town

Photo by Kendall Town

One of the biggest lessons I’ve been learning is that you have to put your own gas mask on first.

As contrary as it is to what society tells us about putting your kids first, you can’t pour from an empty cup. And as any mom can tell you, these kids demand a lot of full glasses of milk. Much easier said than done, I know, especially with all of our cultural pressures, but self-care is trending and for good reason. I notice that if I can get 20 minutes of yoga in in the morning, my patience for tantrums and pee getting everywhere in the bathroom except for in the damn toilet doubles.

Photo by  Kendall Town

Photo by Kendall Town

Second, you’re not going to do it perfectly.

You’re going to screw up. A LOT. And that’s ok. Just do your best—and perhaps set aside some extra money in the college fund for therapy.

Photo by  Kendall Town

Photo by Kendall Town

And last but not least, enjoy every damn minute of it. As cliché as it sounds, it really does go by so fast.

The last time I saw my own mom in the flesh was five and a half years ago. It seems like eons ago. The time passes quickly and reminds me to try to treasure every moment I can with my son and really everyone that I care about. We are never promised another day and should live accordingly: with grace, compassion and playfulness—never taking anything for granted.

Photo by  Kendall Town

Photo by Kendall Town

This Mother’s Day, love on your mom and kids for me, will ya?

And this year, as a way for me to love on all of you—mommas and offspring— please take advantage of a free professional portrait with your mom and fam graciously taken by Epics Photo Booth.

See, I didn’t take as many photos of my mom or with her as I wish I did. It just never occurred to me that one day she would be gone. To honor my mom, let me give you the gift of not making the same mistake as I did. I will never again capture a snapshot of that infectious laugh where she threw her head back and laughed so hard she couldn’t stop crying, but if your mom is still around, then you can. So please do. For me.

Sunday, May 12th, 12-3pm at The Nest.

That's Life: It's A Picnic // The Video

Photo by  Kendall Town

Photo by Kendall Town

The other day I decided to invite some friends over for a picnic/photo shoot. My friend Eddie, who has put together some amazing videos for me in the past, had this fleeting window to hang out and do what he does best before he jetted out of town. At first, I didn’t know what I wanted to do and was frankly blasé about the idea because I’m so over styled shoots I could puke in my mouth. (Yes, I acknowledge the hypocrisy of that since I’ve been doing them consistently for 10 years now, but that was before they, ahem, became such a “thing.”)

Don’t get me wrong. Styled shoots are beautiful to look at and they do serve a purpose in business, but there’s something that just gives me the ‘ughs’ about them now.

It’s not only because they are everywhere but because it is ultimately feeding into this frightening cultural movement driven by social media that makes us feel like we can only share our life when it looks perfect. That’s not real life, people!

So here’s the weird thing that I’m having a hard time reconciling in my head…this was a totally thrown together little picnic where I literally just invited some friends over and said bring the kiddos, I’ll dress you in some Nest clothes, and we’ll have a picnic. Nothing fancy…boiled eggs, carrots, and my son’s favorite: watermelon. (The kid can put down some watermelon. You’ll see in the video.)

Photo by  Kendall Town

Photo by Kendall Town

But when Kendall Town comes to photograph it, suddenly my crazy impromptu picnic looks like a fairy tale dreamland.

When you look at these pictures, you’d never know that as my friends Breanna and Ali and their boys were filtering in, I was running around my house like a crazy person because I had a guest at my house who was lovely enough to play with Owen that morning so I could sleep in. And sleep in I did because you take advantage of opportunities like that when you have a 3 year old that insists that it’s time to wake up once any sliver of light starts peeking through the window. Although well-rested, I ended up being totally behind and unprepared. I was going to get fancy and make fresh watermelon cucumber juice with my vintage avocado green Champion juicer for godssakes!

But I just ended up boiling some eggs, had Ali cut some watermelon and off we went into the Verdi forest, 2 camera-loving, bologna-vulture dogs in tow. There was nothing that felt glamorous about this shoot. Shit, I didn’t even end up brushing my hair!

Photo by  Kendall Town

Photo by Kendall Town

And why did I pick Breanna and Ali?

Because I don’t get to spend as much time with them as I’d like to. Yes, they are absolutely gorgeous individuals—inside and out—but they’re not professional models, even though they look like it here! I don’t use professional models in my shoots. I use my friends and customers because they are real people! And what better way to capture what life is really like than to just do life how we do?

The Nest Vintage Picnic Girlfriends

Yes, it turned out dreamy because Kendall is goddamn magic, but this is real.

I invite friends over, and we do picnics. No, I don’t normally dress friends in Nest clothes when they come over, so this was a bit of a special treat for them. Ali walked away with that ever-elusive treasure of a pair of perfectly fitting cutoffs. And that vest on Huck? C’mon, it must’ve been made for that kid!

And honestly, I love picnics. I do them at least once a week, even if it’s just my son and me outside on our grass. (Although we adore it when friends join us!)

The Nest Vintage Picnic Swinging Kid

Anyway, all that to say, we had a picnic. It was fun. Here’s the video of it. We’re not models. It wasn’t styled, per se. It was just a couple friends hanging out, watching kids run through the woods (sorry Calvin, you’ll be running soon enough…).

Kendall and Eddie just happened to be there capturing it to remind us that even though sometimes we think our everyday lives aren’t that glamorous, they really are fairy tale beautiful. No freshly squeezed watermelon cucumber juice needed.

Without further ado…

Special thanks to Vokab Kompany for letting us use “That’s Life” as the perfect soundtrack to our outing!

Macramé Making A Comeback


It’s common for era-inspired fads to come full circle (or never actually go out of style in the first place), so we love that this wildly popular 70’s fad has made a comeback in a big way some 40+ years later!

It doesn’t take more than a quick glance on Pinterest to know that we are all obsessed with the macramé wall hangings and plant holders popping up all over the place. But did you know they would be so much fun to make yourself?! Ok, they definitely required a bit of dexterity and patience too, but what a blast! So much fun that all of our inaugural macramé classes sold out.

Thank you so much for your support. We are so excited you joined us and always appreciate your enthusiasm for trying something new. We hope you love your hanging planters + we also hope you sign up for more macramé classes when we offer them again (hanging macramé chairs, anyone?).

In the meantime, here’s some pics from the past two classes…

Photo credit: Kendall Town and Alexis Turner

And pretty puhlease if you didn’t get to sign up for one of these classes but still want to, leave a comment below! If there is enough interest, I can put together another class sooner rather than later. And it doesn’t have to just be macramé either—holla at ya girl about what classes you’d like for me to put on!