Last June, Jeremy Parker took a leap of faith. He quit his health care job to follow a dream that stemmed from hosting do-it-yourself paint parties and making wooden art creations.
“It turned into my dream of a brick and mortar,” Parker said. “I just felt like it was time.”
Unique Memories & Gifts, located in the shopping center on Marketplace Drive near Peking Restaurant and Papa Johns, features all sizes and types of wooden items, including interchangeable signs based on the season, blanket ladders, flag holders and birdhouses that you can paint yourself. The business makes specialty products and custom orders as well.
Before opening the space, Parker and his wife, Chelsea, would host paint parties at El Rio in Rocky Mount.
“We’re real grateful for them because they helped us get where we’re at,” Parker said.
As he walked through the 1,400-square-foot space, Parker pointed out the other items for sale such as the handmade wax melts, fragrance sprays and T-shirts. Larger furniture pieces, including live edge tables, can be found throughout the space.
Just down the hallway is a room covered in mirrors that can be used to host paint parties for up to 13 people. And for those who want to host their own socially distanced paint party, there are take-home kits for $5. “Everything is included in there,” Parker said.
Parker said the business is used to taking their paint parties on the road and can still do that. They’ve done paint-party fundraisers for church mission trips, bachelorette parties, and even a paint and pet party with therapy goats.
Soon, Parker will be acquiring equipment that will allow him to add engraving to his growing list of services the store offers.
With their six children — Dylan, 15, Katelyn, 14, Audryna, 10, Lexcyee, 9, Brylee, 7, and Dallyse, 5 — ideas are as abundant as helping hands around the store.
“We’re known as the Parker family of eight,” Parker said. “We are always trying to come up with something, always trying to do something new each day.”
Unique Memories & Gifts is located at 45 Marketplace Drive, Suite 101 in Rocky Mount. Hours of operation are Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. Weekend hours vary based on special paint party events. More information and details are on the store’s Facebook page.