Tribe Kelley: Inside the Good Vibes and Growing Fashion Empire From Florida Georgia Line’s Brian Kelley
There’s nothing “Simple” about it: the Florida Georgia Line empire is growing by the day.
FGL’s Tyler Hubbard and Brian Kelley continue to conquer the music world — expanding from country to pop with their chart-topping Bebe Rexha collaboration, “Meant to Be,” building their very own publishing house, Tree Vibez Music, with massive hits like Kane Brown‘s “What Ifs” and Jason Aldean‘s “You Make It Easy,” while working on their fourth studio album for Big Machine Records. On Friday, the duo released their newest single, “Simple,” providing a delightfully nostalgic, easy listening, feel-good anthem for summer.
Meanwhile, the duo counts themselves as restauranteurs (Nashville’s FGL House opened last summer on Downtown’s 3rd Avenue South) and spirit connoisseurs (with their Old Camp Whiskey label), among other numerous side hustles.
And while Tyler and wife Hayley have turned their focus to the world of parenting, welcoming daughter Olivia Rose in December 2017, for Brian and wife Brittney Marie, the fashion world beckoned as the natural next step for their own family. Shortly after the couple quietly wed in an intimate 2013 ceremony, Tribe Kelley was born.
“The name came from the night before our wedding,” Brian tells ET in an exclusive interview for the brand’s denim launch at their Tribe Kelley Trading Post in Nashville, Tennessee. “Tyler and Hayley dropped off a teepee and so Brittney and I, after the wedding, had a really cool ceremony, burned some sage, and that kind of became the logo.
“But the clothing line specifically was kind of birthed on the road. [Brittney] has been on tour with me for the past couple of years and we found ourselves altering our clothes and customizing things,” he continues, directing the attention to his wife. “This girl right here, she’s the boss lady and I’m thankful to be on the ride. She’s an amazing creative as well as an amazing businesswoman. She’s the brains behind this thing.”
“We just wanted to make it a family brand,” says Brittney, who studied psychology and business at the University of Georgia prior to launching her own Etsy shop. Before Tribe Kelley, Brittney cut her teeth repurposing vintage jewelry, hand-dying and creating clothing, and working with women in Guatemala on handmade items, turning profits back into their local communities.
The name, Tribe Kelley, was inspired by Brittney’s own Native American roots. At the Trading Post in Nashville, shoppers find themselves surrounded by crystals and antique displays sourced from the couple’s travels — including vintage tees for sale. For a look inside the store and how they’ve masterfully mixed “old and new” in their offerings, watch this week’s episode of Certified Country.
“Once we decided to do the denim line, I said, ‘Babe, that’s a good thing because I know my show outfit from here on out ’til I’m gone is gonna be double denim of some sort,” Brian teases, showing off his favorite Beach Man jeans paired with the Out West vest, perfectly exhibiting his many tattoos. Each item is 100 percent American made and ethically produced in a Los Angeles factory.
“We just believe that’s super important, to be able to shake these people’s hands that are creating these pieces and to be able to have quality control over it,” Brittney says.
The couple hopes to inspire consumers to be more aware of where and how various clothing brands are made, and to be conscious of what’s behind each price tag.
“We wanted these jeans to last,” Brian adds. “They are USA made, they are custom, they are strong. There are a lot of other brands that are made in other places that aren’t the best situations, so we’re proud we’re doing it the right way. We’ve seen pictures of how dye houses wash into rivers and mess up the whole planet in a way, so being smart with what we’re creating and trying to leave a better imprint is important to us.”
With the Trading Post up and running in Nashville, the Kelleys have set their sights on a new venture near their Florida home base.
“We bought an old house in Grayton Beach, Florida, right across from the historic Red Bar,” says Brian, beaming with excitement. “We went through the county and they allowed a grandfather note to be born again to make it commercial, so we’ve turned it into a surf shop with a little studio on the top floor.”
The store will appropriately be dubbed the Tribe Kelley Surf Post and will find the brand immersed in the world of wellness and swimwear.
“We’re just creating a vibe down there,” Brian says, noting that they’re happy to have saved the structure from being turned into condos. “That’s what our tribe’s all about — making sure what needs to stay, stays.”
At home, the couple draws inspiration from their role as fur parents to four pups. “We need to venture out into some dog clothes!” Brittney jokes. For now, they’ve designed a line of onesies and kids’ clothing items inspired by baby Olivia Rose Hubbard. Brittney teases that she and Hayley have already discussed collaborating on a complete baby line in the near future.
“Seeing Olivia smile and happy, all her little expressions, it definitely makes you want your own,” she adds.
While they haven’t come down a full-blown case of baby fever quite yet, they do have their sights set on continuing to expand their Tribe — all in good time.
“We don’t see this as being oversaturated, we want it to be organic and to have our hearts in every single area that Tribe Kelley or a Trading Post pops up,” Brittney says. “We have a lot of places that are dear to our hearts, but it has to be right place, right time and be for the right reasons.”
“We gotta be attached to the space,” Brian says. “We are drawn to unique spaces that we know people want to go or there is a really cool story at one point, so let’s bring some of that energy back and a vibe. It’s also fun for us to tinker around and learn about architecture and real estate.”
For more good vibes from the Kelleys, watch this week’s episode of Certified Country. In case you missed it, catch up on last week’s exclusive at-home interview with the Hubbards and their new bundle of joy below.