A bright and airy space with red brick walls and wood floors greets visitors to Gin-O Boutique, where the sizable dressing rooms come accented with plush red drapes. Glasses of wine accompany ambles through the chic attire, which ranges from the casual garb of hip-hugging jeans and unique graphic tees to designer dresses, tops, and prison uniforms. Tucked just off downtown Franklin's main drag, Gin-O Boutique's sprawling selection of designer duds caters to both men and women.
A locally owned and operated fashion boutique, Philanthropy pledges at least 10% of its sales every year to charitable causes such as the Sudan Evangelical Alliance Partners, which helps financially and educationally in the war-torn region, and the Hands and Feet Project, which assists a children’s village in Haiti. Shoppers can showcase their bighearted dispositions without handing out frozen turkeys at local swimming pools by donning a variety of fashionable threads, such as the Aid Sudan men’s T-shirt ($25), Hope for Haiti women’s T-shirt ($25), or Power of One bag ($45) that’s handy for concealing mogwais and toting around livestock feed. Whatever clothing or cause you go with, try accessorizing it with jewelry such as the Village of Hope bangle ($14) and necklace ($24) rather than your usual beard of bees.
Jose Santisteban’s artistic path has been paved with glass. He began working with it as an artistic medium in 1999 and, after earning his master of fine arts in glass sculpture in New York, chased his passion to locales around the country and globe.
Today, Jose shares his love of this ancient art at Franklin Glassblowing Studio. During lessons that focus on the basic skills of glass blowing, he demonstrates how the material can be used for more than just windows and temporary houses. Students then put theory into practice, flexing their creative muscles to create personalized keepsakes from scratch. When not hosting classes, Jose and others at the studio design their own glassy pieces, including lighting and home decor.