Chandra Watson, Leigh Watson, Nealy Glenn
Owners, The Cordelle
TOPICS: Venue Management, Entrepreneurship
When they couldn’t find the ideal wedding venue to suit their needs, a trio of Southern gals took it upon themselves to create their own.
So Leigh Watson, her twin sister Chandra, and Nealy Glenn invested in a condemned 19th-century Victorian in downtown Nashville - the revitalization of the historic neighborhood aligned with their penchant for preserving the past. The Watsons met Glenn while studying at the University of Evansville in Indiana, and after graduation the three remained close as they navigated the entertainment scene in Los Angeles. For 15 years the sisters made a splash in the city’s hip Silverlake area as the solo and backup singing act The Watson Twins. After touring and singing with the likes of Jenny Lewis, My Morning Jacket, the Shins, Ceelo Green, Harry Connick Jr. and Willie Nelson, the Watsons were ready to weave themselves into a new community. Glenn was also game for a new industry after a decade of screen writing and acting in LA and New York City.
The self-described old souls were charmed by the rich merchant and steamboat culture of downtown Nashville’s historic Rutledge Hill neighborhood. After diving into the area’s historical archives, they named the event space The Cordelle, which pays homage to the ropes once used to tow boats along the Cumberland River. Sentimentally, it symbolizes tying the knot, community, and the celebration of momentous occasions. The start of the Cordelle would begin with the celebration of Leigh’s wedding and the last 3 years have followed with a myriad of weddings, photo shoots, artistic debuts, private, and corporate events.
The Watsons and Glenn instinctually knew their combined creativity, business savvy and resilience made for a strong team. Nashville’s Southern hospitality and enthusiasm only made their career transition all the more seamless.
For them, The Cordelle is all about the flow and feeling. The new focal point in their lives is purposefully sleek and minimalist, a vision that remained pure from the original architectural concept, to opening day in May of 2014. Upon arriving in Nashville, they have submerged themselves into the community, meeting event specialists and local artisans. To keep with the structure’s sentimental nature, the original brick patina walls and floor-to-ceiling windows were preserved. Farm tables tables rendered from the original flooring and a Southern Gothic-style porch, defines the space’s West Coast chic–meets–historical footprint.
Above all, The Cordelle’s visionaries want guests to make the venue their own by creating their own “true Nashville experience,” embodied by love, laughter and of course, plenty of music.