Opened in 2017, the Beacon is a mom-and-pop corner brick-and-mortar shop for the modern creative in the Downtown Fondren Historic District of Jackson, Mississippi.
Locally owned and operated by an artist husband-and-wife duo, Jason Jenkins and Nicole Wyatt Jenkins, the Beacon is Mississippi’s only consciously curated art supply and general store. The shop boasts a wide variety of local, US and Fair-Trade quality goods, intuitively selected by hand to align with the Jenkins’s own values and ethical standards.
“We care deeply about how and where the product is made, what it is made of and source from socially responsible companies and small businesses that have eco-friendly practices,” Nicole said.
The Beacon also has used and vintage offerings available, such as collectible vintage typewriters and fountain pens (serviced, cleaned and restored in-house by Jason to work for another lifetime), antique hand-knotted rugs, vintage bicycles and home decor.
Nicole shared more of their philosophy in an effort to help you shop local this holiday season.
- Why do you stand apart from the competition (especially larger or national brands)?
We are social entrepreneurs, so giving back is woven into our business model. We donate to local organizations (most recently, Black Lives Matter MS, Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians ad Capital City Pride), donate art supplies to Jackson Public Schools, plant a tree for every pencil and paper product sold, donate a portion of CBD sales to The Last Prisoner Project and The Equity Organization to support criminal justice and drug policy reform.
We recycle locally with Environmentality, use post-consumer recycled paper shopping bags made in the USA, and ship in reused materials and plant-based home-compostable mailers. Our consciously curated social entrepreneurship business model, original cosmic otherworldly aesthetic and expertise from a life of art set us apart from the competition.
After 40+ years of combined retail experience, we created what we wanted to see in our hometown that didn’t exist before we opened and even eloped while building out our space, so it truly is a labor of love!
Jason, a Jackson native, has been bringing us the universe with his artwork for decades, so he jumped at the chance to create his unique vision right here in our little shop in our very own neighborhood. He painted galaxy murals all over our walls and the moon’s surface on the floor and designed our logo with original font by hand. His experience as a skilled professional, nationally recognized artist (most recently featured last month at DesignerCon LIVE, Los Angeles) and deep knowledge of all things art-related lends itself well to our ability to recommend the best supplies for any job.
- How has this year affected your business?
Although we had to close to the public due to coronavirus concerns (we are immunocompromised/managing multiple chronic illnesses ourselves and couldn’t bear to put our customers’ and their families’ health and safety at risk by serving as a transmission center for this uncurable unknown contagious disease), we have not stopped providing the excellent customer service once offered in person. We have been offering free delivery since March, we ship nationwide for only $10 USPS Flat Rate and are now available daily as opposed to our previous regular in-store hours.
- What do you want your customers and potential customers to know about buying from you and small businesses like yours?
It’s been a very tough year, especially for micro bootstrapping small businesses like us that didn’t have access to resources like PPP, etc. Please shop local businesses!