Shop Talk: Bink Davies
From housewares and home décor to specialty food and skin care products, Bink Davies has you covered.
Located at 668 N. High St., the bitch-slapped, modern day general store (the owner’s words, not mine) prides itself on carrying top industry, hard-to-find brands. However, as any good retailer knows, the merchandise is only part of the story.
How you bring it to the table, so to speak, is just as important, said Ben Johnson, the shop’s owner.
He should know. Though Bink Davies is just two years old, Johnson has been been prepping for a career in retail since childhood.
“You have to be a little nuts to want to play shop, ’cause it’s not the easiest way to make a living, but ever since I got that cute little cardboard grocery playset for Christmas when I was five, I was all in,” he said. “It had a cash register and a phone. Pretty sure it was an array of harvest gold, burnt umber and olive green ’70s splendor. [Sighs] But I digress.”
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The merch at Bink Davies can’t be put into neat little categories, and that seems to be precisely what the shop’s customers appreciate.
“We carry certain brands all the time, but others come and go depending on their collection for that season,” he said. “What I love is when a customer buys something from every range we carry.”
The shop’s demographic is all over the place and Johnson wouldn’t have it any other way, saying he is thrilled with the variety of its clientele.
“Straight, gay, young, which means anyone my age and younger, old, urban, suburban,” he added. “Our target demographic is fun people who really enjoy life. That’s a choice that is not controlled by how old you are or where you live.”
Still not convinced Bink Davies isn’t a country bumpkin gift shop plopped in the hip Short North? Consider its quirky best-selling item: a silicone lid that will seal any round bowl.
“It’s like magic Tupperware and it’s in the shape of a lily pad, which is so fun,” he said. “The seal is so tight you can actually lift the bowl. We are selling them like crazy! No more plastic wrap or aluminum foil. You can use it forever.”
Mighty Wallets, which are made of Tyvek and constructed without glue or staples, are another top seller at Bink Davies.
Johnson describes them as “super-strong, origami wallets, essentially. Great, functional design in cool and whimsical patterns.”
Photos by Adam Slane Photography.
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