By Sarah Robinson/NEMS Daily Journal
For the past few years, drivers on McCullough Boulevard likely have seen larger-than-life animals made of iron thanks to Brandie Backes and her whimsical outdoor art store.
Irony by Brandie offers an eclectic collection of ornamental outdoor sculptures, chimineas and furniture. And the large iron pig, bull and pistol are actually barbecue smokers.
Backes makes frequent trips to Mexico to find pieces for her store, located next to what used to be Marie’s and most recently Knight’s Drive-In. In addition to the pieces she finds, she also creates her own.
With a background in commercial landscaping and not art, Backes said she always has loved welding together old scraps of metal and discarded pieces of industrial equipment she found in her father’s home workshop.
“Everybody has a little bit of artist in them,” she said. Backes makes her own collection of outdoor furniture and decor, primarily from recycled metal scraps.
Backes has seen her business grow quickly since opening four years ago. She started with only about 60 pieces and now sometimes sells several dozen or more a day.
She studied business at Itawamba Community College but said hand-on practice has been the best teacher so far. “I had no clue how much I didn’t know,” she said.
She said her parents’ support has been critical to her success in business. “Without their support, I really don’t think I’d be here,” she said.
OWNER: Brandie Backes
WHERE: 2308 McCullough Blvd., Tupelo
CONTACT: (662) 523-2648; Irony also is on Facebook.
HOURS: 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday through Saturday.
The Sunday Journal spotlights a locally owned business. To nominate a business, contact Dennis Seid at (662) 678-1578 or firstname.lastname@example.org.