Usually airport souvenirs are something in an overpriced gift shop near your gate that says the name of the city you're in. But you can buy Nashville International Airport souvenirs that look like it's beloved carpet.
You can now buy all kinds of merch in the beautiful pattern of the carpet we're all obsessed with. Nashville entrepreneur Chad Allison took a photo of the carpet, then modified the design slightly to work perfectly on clothing and other merch.
He told Woody and Jim:
I wish I could say that this was an original idea. Truth is, its been done before. Jeremy Dunn did the same thing with the airport carpet in Portland OR. I was listening to the podcast 99% Invisible that featured Jeremy. I figured BNA Carpet Merchandise had already been created by someone here in Nashville. Surprised, it hadn’t. I bought the domain and began finding supplier that could produce the carpet items.
So far, Nashvillians are loving it says Allison, "The feedback has been amazing. It’s so much fun to read an email that is thanking me for creating the line. I believe people enjoy having something that reminds them of home when they travel. Socks are the perfect reminder."
By the way... socks are the website's best seller.
Then there's the nostalgia factor. As the airport expands, plans are in place to remove the famous BNA carpet and replace it with cold, sterile tile.
Chad's with us the change. "It's just not right to replace the carpet. "Any change is difficult. I think that BNA Carpet is larger than carpet. It's a sense of community for some and for some a place to see who’s traveling. I signed the petition to try and keep the carpet. I don’t understand the change… Doesn’t seem thought out. Not to mention carpet has a much higher slip coefficient than tile."