Raised Rowdy Staff Writer and definitely Not a Public Figure
If you look hard enough, you can find a lot of dreams discarded along Music Row and Lower Broadway in Nashville. Dreams that lacked the desire and push to make them come true. One entrepreneur is working her tail off to ensure her vision isn’t just another Music City memory.
It’s not a well hidden secret anymore that Nashville has become a mecca of creativity and enlightenment outside of being the country music capital of the world. Caroline Rudolph is not blind to this and knows when to strike an iron that’s hot. Parlaying her love of country music and vintage fashion into her new brand Not A Public Figure, the 23 year old Ohio and North Carolina transplant now calls Nashville home and is already making waves. From managing up and coming cowboy country, with a twist singer, Ian Munsick, to selling out her one of a kind designs in less than 24 hours, Caroline is primed to reap the benefits of her insight, creativity and hard work.
Bucking traditional trends while setting her own, we’re sure you’ll be impressed with Caroline’s story about how she came to meet Ian, how Not A Public Figure came to fruition and what her plans are for the future.
How does a girl from central Ohio get the country music bug that eventually leads to moving to Nashville? Was the move to get closer to the music, the scene, or did you have plans of something bigger?
I actually grew up between Lima, Ohio & Huntersville, NC my parents are divorced so I split my time between the two! I think I got the country music bug because it was honestly the soundtrack to everything I did in high school. Country concerts is the thing to do where I grew up. All my memories involved tailgating to pregame for country concerts, bonfires with country blasting from our trucks, stereos on our four wheelers when we’d go muddin, listening to it out on the lake, etc. Country music was literally everywhere & it made life so fun. When I figured out about Nashville I had that gut instinct of that’s where I needed to be. I only applied to one college and that was Belmont University in Nashville, luckily I was accepted. I didn’t even go to my high school graduation I skipped it to go to CMA Fest. I was always a little different than everyone else in my hometown. I think a huge part of that is because my parents allowed me to have a lot of freedom and let me travel. I had been to over 20 different countries by the time I did move to Nashville and that really impacted my mindset. I always thought big picture when I felt like my friends were always focused on getting married, having kids, staying where they are at. That’s great for them, but it was never me. I always felt like there was something more I could do with my life and somehow I felt like being in Nashville I could make that happen.
What fears did you have about moving to Nashville?
I never had any fears about moving to Nashville. I was so wild and eager to take on anything and everything when I was younger. Honestly, my fears regarding Nashville started to develop the longer I’ve lived here in town. Nashville is a very small and can be an intimidating town. You’re surrounded by successful people and people who are all trying to make it in the same industry so it can be difficult to navigate what’s real and what’s fake. I think my fears come from making sure this life is going to allow me to be genuiely happy, but as of now I think I’m navigating it pretty well and I realize it’s part of the game.
Has fashion always been something you were interested in? If so, is what you’re doing now resemble any of what you hoped it would be?
I’ve always loved fashion. I would go through all my grandma’s Vogue Magazines when I was really little. I could point out any couture brand by the time I was 8. Through out my teen years I was such a tomboy and hung around all the redneck boys so honestly all I wore in high school was camo, muck boots and ripped up jeans with mud stains on them. Even in my tomboy phase I was always ripping up and cutting my clothes to how I liked it to fit my body. It wasn’t until I moved to Nashville that I truly started to express my personal style. I dated a guy for a while who really inspired me to step up my fashion game. He was so up to date on all the high end edgy couture brands and got me into turning men’s clothes into something sexy a woman could wear. What I’m doing now fashion wise resembles me… it’s my past, present and future, which is all I could hope for it to be.
The brand, for lack of a better phrase, is ‘edgy forward’. Is Nashville ready, or perhaps willing to embrace a more redneck couture brand?
What do you hope for people to think of when they hear “Not A Public Figure”?
“Country music fans want real people singing about real life shit and they are proving that with Luke Combs’ success.”
I don’t think ‘country music’ is afraid to embrace artists that don’t fit this mold that’s been going on in radio, but I think the industry is terrified to break this lame monotonous cycle because it’s a trend. One of my biggest mottos is that a trend is always late. What’s being played on the radio is real late right now. It honestly blows my mind when the industry sees people like Luke Combs, Chris Stapleton absolutely crushing the game, yet they continue to factory produce these pretty boys with weak lyrics and even weaker pop production on their country albums. I’m all for evolving the genre but if you’re going to do it… make it unique, make it sound big. Country music fans want real people singing about real life shit and they are proving that with Luke Combs’ success. There are soooo many insanely talented country artist in Nashville that the industry should be putting all of their money into, but instead change isn’t happening because they are blinded by the fear of breaking an outdated trend. Also WHERE ARE THE WOMEN AT!? Girls like Meghan Patrick, Lainey Wilson & Hannah Dasher should be on the radio right now. Kacy Musgrave’s “Space Cowboy” is a country smash, but I never heard it being played on the radio. If I could give advice to people in the industry to help make this change that needs to happen in country radio it would be go back to your hometown. Go back to your small hometowns wherever you came from and reconnect with the people. Those people you grew up & who are working normal jobs those are country music fans who are buying tickets to concerts, merch, albums, etc. If you reconnect with those people I guarantee they will help you lose this fear of breaking this radio trend.