Native McKinney strives to draw younger crowd downtown

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Native McKinney offers all things “desert chic,” as owners and sister duo Lanie Dunford and Nikki Olson like to say.

Native opened Oct. 16 in The Book Gallery’s former location in downtown McKinney and features gifts, cards, books, home decor, local handmade jewelry, art, pottery and native Texas plants.

Dunford and Olson said they hope their new store gives a younger adult crowd an excuse to come shopping downtown.

“There is definitely something for everyone here of all ages,” Dunford said. “But something we noticed when we would go down to The Square is a lot of the same home decor stuff. There wasn’t a whole lot for young people to be able to run in and grab gifts or something for your apartment, you know, just funky stuff.”

Growing up Dunford and Olson would often bring home different types of cactus and large pieces of driftwood from their family ranch to make into decorative pieces. It was not until their father suggested that they sell their creations that the idea to open a shop came about, they said.

“We really struggled with the name,” Dunford said.

The sisters said they came up with the name Native McKinney because the store focuses on local goods, including native plants and things made by local artists. The name guided their decision for inventory and what they brought from the family farm, Dunford said.

Olson said the most unique thing about Native is the option to make your own art, as the store has a plant bar and will host painting workshops.

“I think our biggest draw would be our plant bar,” Olson said. “You get to come in and pick a terrarium or make your own terrarium. … Everything will be a la carte, so you pick your pot, and you get to choose what add-ons you put in it. We want people to come in and just have fun.”

Dunford said she hopes people see Native as a space to hang out with friends and be creative.

“It’s amazing to see the community, especially since we [showcase]lots of different artists. It’s just neat to have them all in one space together,” Dunford said.

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Emily Davis
Emily graduated from Sam Houston State University with a degree in multi-platform journalism and a minor in criminal justice in Spring 2018. During her studies, Emily worked as an editor and reporter at The Houstonian, SHSU's local newspaper. Upon graduation, she began an editorial internship at Community Impact Newspaper in DFW, where she was then hired as Community Impact's first McKinney reporter in August. Three fun facts about Emily: 1.) She is a lover of mystery novels, movies, TV shows and podcasts. 2.) She has an 11-year-old, 3-pound Pomeranian. 3.) She loves lacrosse, and was captain and then coach of her high school team.
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