5 things you didn’t know about BARRY PLUNKETTBy NIKKI ROWELL,
He spent 35 years in healthcare administration before going into business. He and Barbara recently went on their 28th trip abroad. He loves wood working and refinishing furniture. He studied art for more than three years under Karl Wolfe. He is invested in the Fondren area.
Not your mother’s antique shop. That’s how Interiors Market owner Barry Plunkett describes his business.
“We are more of a boutique home store with fine antiques, contemporary furniture and amazing accessories,” Plunkett said of Interiors, which he runs with his wife, Barbara.
However, the two did not set out originally to start a business. Their individual interests eventually led them to start Interiors Market.
Plunkett, a Tupelo native, moved to Jackson to attend Millsaps years ago. That’s where he met Barbara.
They moved away from the area for a short time for Plunkett to attend graduate school, but the couple made their home in Jackson when Plunkett accepted a job at St. Dominic.
For some time while he was working at St. Dominic, Plunkett began renovating and restoring homes in the Fondren area as a hobby.
A friend of his pitched a business idea to Plunkett and the rest is history.
“She said let’s go to Europe, buy a couple of antiques and put them in the houses you’re flipping and people can see the houses and see the antiques and have the chance to buy those as well and that will pay for our trip to Europe,” Plunkett said. “I thought it was a great idea.”
That conversation turned into Belgique, their European antique import business.
“That two or three pieces of furniture morphed into 10,000 square feet of antiques,” Plunkett said.
They ran this business for about 14 years.
“That’s how we really got into the antique portion of it and learned more about fine furniture and European furniture,” he said.
Plunkett and Barbara have traveled to Europe multiple times, including visits to Belgium, France and the Netherlands shopping for antiques to ship back.
Then, nine years ago, the opportunity came up for them to purchase the storefront where Interiors is located now.
“We have morphed from the antique business to just my wife and I running this,” Plunkett said.
Now they have everything from antiques to modern pieces.
“I think our market made that transition occur,” Plunkett said.
He wanted to stay away from trends and appeal to the independent market.
Plunkett said they wanted to offer something for those who want to display their own personalities in their homes.
“We’re firm believers that when you walk into a house, this is your house, this isn’t a designer’s house. It should be this really looks like them,” Plunkett said. “We think we have an eclectic enough collection. We wanted to have that eclectic look.”
Another thing Plunkett said makes Interiors Market unique is the diversity of people with merchandise for sale in their shop.
“We have designers, we have young entrepreneurs breaking into the business,” Plunkett said. “We even have a physician who does this for her ‘happy place,’ because she works with sick children all day long and this place makes her smile.”
“We are so close to several of the hospitals, and we often have people stop in and say, ‘Can I look around for a while? This place always makes me smile,’ ” Plunkett said. “That makes us feel good.”