SHE WAS MADE FOR SUCH A TIME AS THIS
Mary sits down with Brooke Tometich and Mattie Jackson Selecman, the Co-Founders of Nashville's newest grace driven movement 'NaSHEville'.
“WE ARE HERE TO SUPPORT
THE FELLOW WOMEN OF
ALL WALKS IN OUR CITY.”
Brooke Tometich & Mattie Jackson Selecman
CLICK TO WATCH FEATURED INTERVIEW
Meet the girls
MATTIE SELECMAN, CO-FOUNDER
Besides a few years as a wine-drinking and book-reading vagabond (okay, really just some time spent in Austin and Napa), Nashville has been the stage for nearly every chapter of my life, both in childhood and adulthood. Growing up in a quintessential “country music family,” the gene for writing and storytelling led me to a BA in Creative Writing from UT Knoxville in 2012, at which point my daddy said with a sage sarcasm only a dad can offer, “You’ve got a gift, sugar, but you haven’t lived life yet; go find something you want to write about.” For the past six years, I thought that thing was wine. I loved everything about it: the history, the science, the art, the culture, the romance, and okay, the buzz. It brought community and connection among people with fully dissimilar backgrounds and opinions in a way that music and storytelling did too. My first “retirement,” that is from wine and food, came June 2018, when I closed my own wine bar restaurant to follow two different thirsts that far out-satiated the old one.
Words remain my passion, and faith sustains every fiber of who I am. I knew they were my true path. Plus, I had just married my handsome, best friend eight months prior and valued our time together far more than I did serving rosé and working weekends. It was a beautiful new chapter for us and for the future I felt God calling me to. From somewhere unexpected had come a surging charge to minister to women through writing. Being a new bride, adoption was foreign to me, but I knew, as did Brooke, that Jesus calls us to care for orphans and widows. So if I could do that, work from home, and leverage my passion to bring healing to broken women through words, I was in.
Less than a month after my retirement, I was all-hands-on-deck for Nasheville. I love this city, and the women whose roots are here have a tenacious ability to carry grace and unapologetic conviction at the same time, in the same handbag. I wanted to represent those women! Our future shone brighter than a polished Taylor guitar under spotlights, until I found myself in the spotlight without Ben next to me. Three weeks before our first anniversary, I lost my husband to sudden brain injury. And as fogged and blurred and broken as my life has become in the wake his death, my purpose and place with Nasheville has never been more clear, more complete.
Condolences, cards, and I’m sorry’s, though always purely and honestly intended, can never heal below surface level. Only those who have been burned can really walk with you through fire. I am here to walk with all those who have lost husbands, lost love. I am here to un-isolate, un-stigmatize, and rewrite what our lives as widows can and will be again if we are vulnerable with each other and resting in the God that heals what seems un-healable. I am here to share stories of all the women in Nashville; from loss to gain, from struggle to success. We all have a story, and very likely, one that if it were shared, could turn another SHE’S story from broken to beautiful.
BROOKE TOMETICH, FOUNDER
The only zip code I ever knew outside of Nashville was my years at the University of Tennessee. I love big hair, bigger earrings, and the biggest group of friends a girl could ask for. I’ve got at the very least, ten best friends. Though a southern girl through and through, I held little room for the polished, prim, and proper. No smock dresses or cotillion classes – I’d rather be doing the worm in the middle of the dance floor anyway. More time spent in pleasantries left less time to have fun. That’s why I knew at three years old, when I’d mastered braiding my Barbies’ hair, that hair styling was my future. What wasn’t to love? Talking the good, the bad, and everything in between with women all-day and knowing you helped them walk out feeling more confident than they came in – I was in. I saw my life laid out on this epic, canvas, like something taken and tapered out of a Steel Magnolias scene.
But as God would have it, one dream turned into a different one. After beauty school, I met my husband, got married, and you know the rest of the story. One year and one beautiful son later, your greatest treasure becomes your time. Part of you feels overjoyed yet part of you feels a loss for yesterday’s ambition. I know now that the ambition doesn’t ever die, it just reroutes itself. After Lyndon was born, I jumped in with a network marketing company that, for 6 years, supported our family full time! Consumed with learning everything I could about business, marketing, and networking, I looked up and found myself running a team of over 20,000 and speaking regularly to auditoriums full of passionate people.
As my career thrived so too did our desire to add to our family. This time we found a longing for adoption buried deep in places we hadn’t felt before. Twelve months, a messy legal battle, and thousands of breath-robbing tears later, we had our precious Louie. Though the final chapter so joyful, that season of our lives, the constant roller coaster between hope and fear, crippled me, yet in the process, restored my faith in ways I hadn’t realized I’d lost. We stayed close with our young birth mom, and as a result, started working with and mentoring teenage girls at our church. Everything about adoption – the process, the kids, the moms, education for the families – it arrested my heart and completely reset the purpose on my life.
I was fired up for something; something to help women and to bring change. I found myself in this overwhelming tie-dye of talents and passions that I didn’t know how to channel into one clear picture. The networking, which is simply relationships; the marketing, just the sharing of stories; the women and moms and the ministry. Distilling them into a business felt too overwhelming. But one word, one physical symbol of all that was laid on my chaotic, hungry heart, brought clarity – Nasheville. This word, I knew, could manifest the message and the community of women I so longed to share.