If you are looking for one-of-a-kind, look no further. Dunkington prides itself on art pieces, jewelry, and accessories that are custom, handcrafted, painted, or created in unique ways.
Dunkington Art & Jewelry, which opened in June 2020, is the only poured paint art store in the Starkville area. Before opening their physical store, Dunkington traveled the art festival circuit across the state of Mississippi. It was through these art festival circuits that they developed a following of customers who wanted a broader selection of merchandise, thus the retail storefront idea was started.
WHO’S BEHIND THE ART?
If you walk into Dunkington’s location in Starkville on South Lafayette Street, you will find owners Josh and Brandi Herrington creating functional art that will stand out for years to come. Dunkington celebrates handcrafted art that is as individualized as each customer that comes through the door.
The story behind the creation of this unique shop begins with Deborah Duncan, mother of Brandi Herrington, who began creating art pieces for friends and family as a hobby during her retirement. The popularity of her artwork combined with her desire to slow down and enjoy her retirement laid the foundation for her daughter and son-in-law to jump on board and take it to the next level. Thus, Dunkington (a combination of Duncan and Herrington) was born. Owners Josh and Brandi expressed their excitement towards opening a storefront by explaining that “being able to consistently provide affordable art that people connect to is a great feeling. Knowing every time a customer sees our artwork in their home and that it brings back a happy memory of whatever it reminds them of is something that never gets old.”
Dunkington offers a variety of functional art to its customers by using different painting techniques on various items making it “Starkville’s Most Unique Boutique.” When it comes to their retail art space, it contains multiple types of art so if you stop in with a need for wall art or wine glasses, Dunkington is sure to have just the right thing.
Jewelry is another specialty item they create. Dunkington offers earrings, pendants, necklaces, and rings to cater to many different styles and preferences when it comes to accessorizing.
The home section of their art is their most popular. Whether you want a custom color cowbell or a beach-inspired set of drink coasters, the list of home and personal items that Dunkington carries can bring a splash of color to your everyday life.
Dunkington keeps up with the geographical location of their artwork through their “Local Goes Global” scratch-off map of the world. Every time a customer buys something and tells them where it will be located, they scratch off that location in the state or country.
“It has been fun for the customers to be our first sale in Japan or Honduras, for example. They get to see their country revealed on our interactive map,” owner Josh said.
In addition to selling art pieces, they offer paint parties, host drawing classes, and provide fun interactive events like their Starkville Eats: Cookie Decorating Class or Starkville Drinks: Bourbon Tasting Experience in their event space “The Gallery at Dunkington.” They also participate in Partnership events like UnWine and Sales & Ales that take place at the Dunkington shop.
DUNKINGTON AND THE PARTNERSHIP
Dunkington chose to get involved with the Partnership to invest in the future of the community through the shared goals and resources their membership brings. “With being a new business there is a lot of mentoring that comes from joining the Partnership. It is a way to network with other people who share the same goals and ask for help and advice regarding all aspects of owning a small business.” owner Brandi said.
The website that the Partnership promotes Dunkington through brings exposure and thousands of new customers to the area that have an appreciation of all things art. That coupled with the ability to be involved in many Greater Starkville Development Partnership and Main Street Association events downtown gives their business lots of foot traffic from visitors and locals alike.
Brandi Herrington discussed the incredible impact that joining the Partnership brings. “Being successful in business is about finding your niche and becoming an expert at it. To be successful long term in a business you have to take that expertise and apply it to make your business better and stay relevant.” Brandi said.
SUPPORTING THE COMMUNITY
Brandi and Josh Herrington, Dunkington owners, are advocates for the community of Starkville. When asked why they chose to open their storefront in Starkville they discussed the many ways they wanted to give back to such a special community. “One of our main goals is giving art a place in Starkville. We want to make art affordable because art should be accessible to all income levels. Anyone can walk into our store and find something they can afford,” Brandi said.
Aside from giving back to the community through artistic expression and affordable art, Dunkington serves as the home of the grassroots non-profit organization Starkville Strong. Through this service, they keep food and hygiene items available for the six food pantries scattered throughout the area. Starkville’s community has rallied together to support the Starkville Strong mission and with Brandi and Josh’s support of the organization, they continue to ensure this central drop-off location is available to make getting items into the hands of those in need more accessible.
DROP BY DUNKINGTON
Dunkington’s hours are Tuesday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. The store is located under the lights at 109 South Lafayette Street in downtown Starkville.
Follow their social media for updates on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram!
Visit their website to learn more about what they offer and events that will take place in the future at: http://dunkington.com/.