A family project on a grand scale opened next to Hamburger Inn last month.
The Dunn family opened Dunn & Co., a decor and clothing store, to showcase pieces they make themselves. Cheri and Eric Dunn and their four daughters are putting their creative talents on display. With very few exceptions, everything in the store was made by them.
“My sister and I have done craft shows at Hardy Murphy and (Eric) used to do construction, so we’ve always done this,” Cheri said. “That’s our nature. We’ve all got a creative bug.”
Ellen, their oldest daughter, owns Elevation Designs, a local graphic design business. Her shirts are on sale in the new store. Erin Hendricks’ paintings are displayed as well. Abbie Dunn is a seamstress whose pillows can be seen in the store and youngest daughter, Emmy Dunn, is also a painter.
“They’ve done it forever, and they’ve always been that way,” Cheri said. “They didn’t play with Barbies, they drew, they made things.”
Their daughters aren’t the only ones with talent. Cheri, a former teacher, makes handpainted signs with sayings on them, as well as doormats and planters. Eric does woodworking.
Concealment cabinets, stealthy decorative cabinets that open with an RFID chip, are a specialty.
“You can hide whatever you want in them,” Eric said. “It’s not accessible to anybody who doesn’t know it’s there.”
He said most customers use the cabinets to hide firearms or valuable items. They’re also customizeable, along with tables and other woodworking projects.
“We were surprised about how well opening day went,” Cheri said. “I was worried about the location, the traffic, the parking, but it hasn’t been an issue. The doors were opened for us, and we were able to do it, it just felt like it was meant to be.”
They chose their location on N. Washington Street for its tin ceilings, tall doors and vintage look, which Cheri thought fit well with their farmhouse aesthetic. The shelving and counters were all built by Eric.
“He’s one of those people who can do anything,” Cheri said.
Cheri said though they’re new to owning a business, they’ve learned a lot in a short amount of time. She said anyone thinking of doing the same should prepare well ahead of time. She said she attended a workshop for new business owners at the Ardmore Chamber of Commerce, something that helped her prepare.
“That taught me a lot,” Cheri said. “I had things happen since we’ve been in the store that, had I not gone, I wouldn’t have known how to handle.”
Eric said for him, being able to work closely with his family is its own reward.
“We’re all together, we’re doing what we like to do,” Eric said. “That’s time we get to spend together, and to be able to display it in the store, that’s a blessing.”