JEREMY RYAN + GAVIN O'NEILL
HELLO BOYS FOUNDERS, PHOTOGRAPHER, STYLIST
Written + Photographed By Kelley Mullarkey | Video Produced By Sean Stillmaker
Love & work. And art. The Ménage à trois of creatives in relationships. The pressure to balance living, working and creating together can be an overwhelming experience that can spiral into competition and result in the triumph of ego.
Jeremy and Gavin, the dynamic and supremely stylish duo behind Nashville’s reigning vintage shop Hello Boys, are living proof that true love only strengthens the joint pursuit of following one’s artistic callings.
Devastatingly inspiring and committed to creating a life driven by authenticity, passion and devotion, Jeremy and Gavin break the barrier of stereotypes that surround couples who live and work together, as told in majestic disorder's debut series Love & Work.
When Sean and I found ourselves unexpectedly stranded stateside for two months we began channeling Jack Kerouac’s On The Road and picked a place on the map that neither of us had been before – Nashville.
Filled with electricity and magical creative beings, our unpredicted journey led to a series of signs from the Universe telling us to come back to Nashville and investigate the real tastemakers on majestic disorder’s on going quest to reveal authentic personal style.
Stumbling upon Jeremy and Gavin was pure destiny. A joint partnership constructed with more love and creativity to circle the world twice, the duo remind me of beloved mavericks Patti Smith and Robert Mapplethrope at their height of their relationship in the 60s, but with a southern twist.
Originally from east Kentucky near the Appalachian Mountains, Jeremy moved to Nashville to pursue a career in music nearly a decade ago. Gavin, meanwhile, was from California and passing through to see some friends. Solidifying my belief in “coffee shop fate,” a once in a lifetime chance encounter brought the two together when they locked eyes at Ugly Mugs coffee shop in the summer of 2011.
“I walked in with my best friend and Jeremy was editing photos in the back. I was totally being facetious, I turned to her and said, ‘oh good my husband’s here,’” Gavin explains, the all American blonde haired, blue-eyed counterpart to Jeremy’s tall, dark and handsome country man.
Seated side by side the two are accidentally a perfect vision without even realizing it. Their effervescent essence bleeds straight into their creative hub of a home, the epitome of the perfect live/work space. Complete with a record collection that almost puts High Fidelity to shame and a wardrobe that exudes both of their regal aesthetics.
From the moment Sean and I entered Gavin and Jeremy’s jaw-dropping East Nashville loft we submerged ourselves into their unbelievable world radiating with innovation and excitement.
A place so bewildering, their enormous space compliments the two in nearly every way possible. Sentiment fills the air as the four of us sit together and devalue the trials and tribulations of working and living together, alongside navigating through the abyss of life’s (mis)adventures.
Extraordinary unpretentious and marvelously compelling, Jeremy and Gavin kick to the dust any sense of accepting norms or living out a mundane lifestyle. They also represent the existence of love and the power of commitment in an era ridden with divorce, social media anxiety and endless hook up apps.
“We use every moment to express ourselves, ”explains Gavin in his quintessential signature look – a vintage tee, suspenders, skinny jeans and Frye boots.
Enthralled with the idea of creating various life chapters together there’s something charmingly rebellious about their attitude toward creating in the moment. Both Gavin and Jeremy give life the chance to carry their ideas instead of constantly jumping toward or looking for the next “big” thing.
Jeremy, whose “nerdy chic” personal style mirrors his upbringing, originally studied contemporary music and voice at Bryan College before accidentally discovering his passion for photography.
“I was working as a marketing director and had just been laid off and made the decision to invest my entire savings on a new camera and equipment. It was the greatest decision of my life. I had gone back to school to study graphic design but wound up falling in love with photography,” Jeremy says in a smart button-down and bowtie.
Gavin grew up in northern California and spent majority of his adolescence racing as a competitive swimmer before venturing to University of California Berkeley to study the evolution of branding. Smart, sharp witted and equally my spirit animal, Gavin realized half way through college that art directing and styling were his true passions.
Worlds away from where they both began, Jeremy and Gavin have become ambassadors for leaving behind the past in order to find the future.
“We make a great pair because we make up for what the other one lacks,” explains Gavin in his 1950s inspired traditional menswear.
Before they landed the Hello Boys store, the brother store to Kim Davison and Tanya Montana Coe's store, Goodbuy Girls, the two began working together on various projects for Folk magazine. Gavin wrote feature articles that were accompanied by Jeremy’s photography.
“It was an incredible experience discovering each other’s talents. We learned so much about one another and what drives us to create what we love,” says Jeremy.
The ethos that Gavin and Jeremy apply to their relationship is the same that eventually spun them into working together full time. They are individuals who create astounding lives while welcoming the forthcoming challenges.
Gavin’s inquisitive nature has been a catalyst from his beginning days in Nashville wandering around the 5 Points in his suspenders and going into Goodbuy Girls and helping style customers.
When Kim propped the duo to open Hello Boys, they had the store up and running within eight weeks debuting at the 2012 Tomato Art Fest. Fusing their creativity into their business Gavin styles all the shop’s lookbooks and Jeremy does all the photography. The two then split their time working the store everyday.
But with Nashville being such a tight-knit community the duo have now taken on a new project, Cotton Mill Live, a series of live music recordings from the confines of their own loft as well as styling and photographing an array of clients.
Holding hands, Jeremy dressed with a “period at the end of the sentence kind of look” and Gavin in his sculpted leather jacket and turquoise boots, represent profound commitment and inspiration.
Never treating life as if it were a rehearsal, Gavin and Jeremy universally bring life to everything they create. It’s the most beautiful, memorizing thing.
Theme By The Penthouse Playboys