Community activists and Jackson Free Press contributors Funmi "Queen" Franklin and Brad "Kamikaze" Franklin held a grand opening for the Kundi Compound, a small-business incubator in midtown, on Monday, May 1. Photo courtesy Brad Franklin
Community activists and Jackson Free Press contributors Funmi "Queen" Franklin and Brad "Kamikaze" Franklin held a grand opening for the Kundi Compound (256 E. Fortification St.), a small-business incubator in midtown, on Monday, May 1. The Kundi Compound, or "The Compound," is a creative space for local entrepreneurs, artists, musicians and more to meet and grow their business.
"We're calling it a collective creative computer co-op, as it is both a small-business incubator and a computer lab," Brad Franklin said. "We want cool people with cool ideas to come here and develop those ideas. Small-business owners without a brick-and-mortar location of their own can come in and have meetings here and plan out their next steps. We want to be a beacon in midtown for anyone without their own place, a space for businesses, organizations and projects of all sorts to grow."
The Compound's computer lab will offer Internet access and other computer services to Jackson residents every day from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. starting on May 8. The Franklins also plan to host summer coding classes for children in midtown. The Kundi Compound partner Regions Bank donated the facility's computers.
The Compound also offers video-production services on site and venue space for meetings, panels, training sessions and luncheons. It also has grant writers, and public-relations and marketing experts on staff to assist small-business owners. Jackson Black Pages, an organization that compiles and provides information on local black-owned businesses, will be hosting monthly mixers at The Compound on the third Thursday of every month and will also provide physical copies of the Jackson Black Pages directory.
For more information, call 769-208-5335 or email [email protected].
Curious George Comes to Mississippi Children's Museum
The Mississippi Children's Museum (2145 Museum Blvd.) is hosting a ribbon cutting for its latest traveling exhibit, "Curious George: Let's Get Curious!", on Friday, May 19. The exhibit, based on the famous children's book series by H.A. and Margret Rey, is on a five-year, 20-city national tour and is coming to Mississippi from the Minnesota Children's Museum. The exhibit officially opens on Saturday, May 20, and will remain at MCM until Sept. 10.
"Let's Get Curious!" is based on STEM education and will include themed programs on one Saturday of each month. The exhibit includes a construction trailer that children can use to design and construct a building in Curious George's neighborhood, physics experiments via a miniature golf course, a wind-power display in which children use wind machines to move yard art and wind chimes, and a spaceship to climb inside.
The ribbon-cutting ceremony is from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. on May 19 and is open only to museum members. Mississippi Public Broadcasting representatives will be on hand giving out free "Curious George" books, and the museum will serve themed refreshments. Children will meet Curious George, engage in arts projects and explore the new exhibit.
Visitors can purchase a family membership plan online or at the museum, with fees starting at $85 per year. For more information, call 601-981-5469 or visit mschildrensmuseum.org.
Stanton Optical Opens in Ridgeland
Stanton Optical (1210 E. County Line Road, Ridgeland), a combination eye-doctor's office and optical shop, opened three weeks ago. Visitors can get a prescription from doctors and bring it directly to the attached optics store to select a pair of glasses.
The shop has more than 3,000 styles of eyeglass frames to choose from, at least 80 percent of which are Stanton original designs. The store also sells a variety of sunglasses and contact lenses, and also offers a "buy one, get one free" deal on frames with an eye exam for first-time customers.
The store is open Monday through Saturday from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. For more information, call 601-301-4631 or visit stantonoptical.com.
The Hair Factory Comes to Ridgeland
Arlenda Comminie, who owns of The Hair Factory (1230 E. County Line Road, Suite G, Ridgeland), held a grand-opening ceremony for his business on Saturday, April 22. The Hair Factory offers hair extensions made with real hair gathered from all over the United States and has three other locations in Baton Rouge, New Orleans and Lafayette, La.
"I got my start working out of my truck back in 2011, and the business just grew from there," Comminie said. "It grew so much that I decided to open my first brick-and-mortar store in Baton Rouge, and pretty soon, I had people driving in from New Orleans and Lafayette all the time, so I expanded there last year."
The Hair Factory is open Monday from noon to 7 p.m., Tuesday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., Saturday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and is closed on Sundays. For more information, call 601-398-3371, visit thehairfactoryinc.com or check out The Hair Factory's Instagram page.