I'm so glad you enjoyed the drive down to Franklin during your trip to the area. I'm sorry you did not enjoy the town itself. I have to agree that there are many stores downtown that are pricey but there are many shops for the young/hip/budget needing group as well. Years ago the downtown area really catered to an older crowd I would say with limited shops and I really feel the variety has gotten much better. Of course there is always room to grow.
A few of the older shops that have become a tradition area are Faye Snodgrass and Heirloom shop.
I'm in my 30's and prefer Wessex & Rye (sells home decor remakes at a much cheaper price and great art upstairs).
The Shoppes on Main (i think is the name) is absolutely one of my favorites and sells just about anything for any age just a great shop and I can spend hours in there.
I also like a few of the newer shops like Brinks Outfitters (sells great outdoor clothing...ski clothes, jackets etc. great store). There is also a little jewlery shop that I found the other day on the opposite side of the street from Starbucks on Main street...I need to find out the name...great stuff for all ages.
And don't forget about What's in Store very "hip and young".
I also wish you had a chance to check out a few of the restaurants/bars in downtown and cool springs which absolutely cater to the young and hip:
Red Pony, McCreary's Pub, Bunganut Pig (day or night this place is great and just a mile from the main downtown area if that), 55 South and Sol...and don't forget mellow mushroom.
And in Cool Springs: Tin Roof, Drakes (turns into a dance club after 9 or 10), Dan Mcguiness.
Next time you come to the area feel free to message me I would love to show you the franklin I grew up in that I still consider all age friendly. Or just check out a few of the above places if you want to return. I think you will appreciate the uniqueness of franklin which I feel is trying to cater to all ages.