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Slightly hidden off the busy strip of Hillsboro across from Hill Center, is a full-service alteration shop for men’s, women’s and children’s clothing.
From detailed orders to minor repairs and other sewing work, owner Linda Say and the shop’s tailors and staff log hundreds of hours each month to ensure everything that comes through the door leaves as a perfect fit.
Say, who previously owned East Nashville dry cleaning shop Nicholson Cleaners for 20 years, took over the decades-old business nearly three years ago.
She and the former owner of Green Hills Seamstress share a common thread—and it’s more than just the same first name. "Linda's first sewing machine was given to her by Wade Elam, and she still had it years later when I bought the store," Say said. “Turns out, I also got my start from [Elam] at White Way Cleaners in Westgate … what are the chances of that?”
Q&A with Owner Linda Say
What is something people might be surprised to learn about Green Hills Seamstress?
We have four tailors here, which is rare, so we’re pretty much able to do any type of alteration. Most alteration businesses have seamstresses, but a tailor can do this line of work at a higher level. When we started, it was just me, my daughter and someone part time. Now between the four tailors, we have more than 100 years of combined experience. I think people would be shocked to know that because when you think of Green Hills Seamstress, you might think of a nice lady sewing, but it’s way more than that here.
You mentioned previously owning a dry cleaner in East Nashville before coming to Green Hills. What is different about owning this business?
I love being able to give that one-on-one service with people. After years of staying busy at Nicholson Cleaners, I’m now able to actually do what I love and having the ability to take the time with each individual customer is priceless to me.
What should people know if they want to have items altered at Green Hills Seamstress?
Ninety-nine percent of the time we are on a one-week turnaround. Some days it’s like a revolving door with people standing in the lobby, while other days we’ll have a couple quiet moments before things hit and it’s back to being busy again. Things really pick up when school starts back due to school uniforms or events like Swan Ball, the Eve of Janus and prom.
Dylan Skye Aycock is a Nashville-based journalist and photographer. As a reporter for Rover, Aycock follows transportation, housing and retail trends, as well as other hyperlocal and city-wide issues that affect residents in Green Hills and Belle Meade.
She previously contributed written and visual content to The Murfreesboro Pulse, American Songwriter Magazine and The Tennessean. Aycock earned a journalism degree from Middle Tennessee State University, where she honed her craft as editor-in-chief of Sidelines, the university's student-run publication. When she's not out on assignment or live-tweeting city council meetings, you can find her discovering new local spots or catching a show at one of Nashville's many music venues.