Wedding bells are ringing at Culin-Arts’ new home in Oxford!
Culin-Arts storeowner Valeda Carmichael is a Mississippi native with a long-time passion for food and art. Twelve years ago in West Point, she decided to turn her dream into a reality and opened Culin-Arts. This past fall, she made the move to Oxford and conveniently located her store right off the Square at 404 S. 11th St.
Carmichael believes that the shop gives customers more than just your average home goods department store can give, as she goes beyond supplying costumers with not only kitchen essentials, but also with hand-made pottery, art pieces, jewelry, rugs, outdoor furniture, and even tailgating necessities for the Grove.
“There really isn’t a shop like this probably anywhere. There are a lot of awesome stores, but I sort of go over the top as far as variety, which separates me from other similar businesses” Carmichael said.
One of the most successful parts of her business is wedding registry. Carmichael sets up tables for each couple in the store and places everything they select on display. This allows other customers to get an idea what has and has not been selected.
Not only that, but Carmichael’s specific way of registry allows customers the chance to see the quality of the items they buy. Once an item is out of stock, it goes completely off the table and no duplicates are to be made, making many items rare and unique for each couple.
Although Carmichael’s customers in West Point hated to see her leave, she is excited and hopeful for Culin-Arts and her wedding registry to take off here in Oxford.
“The bridal registry was a big part of my business there [in West Point], so I’m hoping it is going to be a big success for me here in Oxford as well. Aside from the functional and pretty items in the store, I’ve had a lot of families buy paintings, for example, as they are kind of ‘forever gifts’, which is really cool,” Carmichael said.
Culin-Arts has 9 display rooms for customers to walk through, each of which are separately themed. Through out the store, beautifully painted canvases are on display along with other fun knick-knacks that are not only functional, but can also be used as décor for the home.
“I refer to a lot of items in here as ‘functional pretties” as a lot of things aren’t only meant for decoration, but you can actually use them. So in other words, if it looks like a casserole bowl, you can actually bake in it,” Carmichael said.
With all of the goods Culin-Arts has to offer, Carmichael believes that most items are very reasonably priced and the change of location does not encourage her to change her prices.
Not only newly weds to-be looking to set up a registry table, but everyone in the Oxford area is encouraged to visit Culin-Arts and check out all of the items that bring Carmichael’s passion to life.