Southern Native opens new location in Seven Points

Trenedy Parks, Staff Writer

Southern Native is a southern-based clothing brand that recently opened its first location in Florence. The store is located at 1211 N. Wood Ave. Previously, the store was exclusively online and based out of Gadsden, AL. Southern native’s founders are Guy Phillips and Noah Freeman. 

Phillips is a Florence native and University of North Alabama alumni who sought out this location in Seven Points due to the area’s recent growth. 

“I went to UNA for business, and I knew that I was in a better position with the way that Florence is growing economically and population wise,” said Phillips. “I just knew that I would be in a better position here then I would be in Gadsden.”

The brand’s next goal is to eventually open a store in Gadsden, where Freeman still lives and manages the online store. It started out as a vintage thrift resale business and then grew into screen printing. The company uses designs Freeman and Phillips created themselves alongside those they hired artists for. 

The designs are southern-centric, including skulls and other paraphernalia relating to the south such as boots and southern figureheads like Conway Twitty. There are also many Shoals-related apparel items that feature one liners like “I Love that Muscle Shoals Sound!” On the website, the available merchandise includes short- and long-sleeves, as well as hats, decals, keychains, bandanas and other options. 

The brand aims to de-stigmatize the South. Its mission statement is on their website, 

“Many people call the south ‘Home’, and truthfully we’re not sure why you would want to live anywhere else,” said Phillips and Freeman. “Here at [Southern Native], we love to create products that help people broadcast their affinity for southern life. By way of our products, we want to help y’all be: southern as can be.” 

Phillips described how he grew up watching western-style media and how it has recently been perceived as a bad thing to live in the South. He hopes that he can help turn around some of the misconceptions about the southern way of life with this brand. 

“When we started out, I was trying to reverse the negative stigmas of the south. There’s a ton of issues with the south,” said Freeman. “But I just want to glorify the good parts about it. I’m influenced by south western and native media and design. So I took inspiration from all of that.”