- 1 of 3 Photos | View More Photos
The story of P. Graham Dunn is one rich in family and sacrifice; these values transcend into the practices and operations within the store today. Choosing a name draped in meaning, Peter honored the Graham Hutchinson family who saved his parent's lives when they offered their seat on an evacuation plane. Maintaining this sense of honor and integrity, Peter and his wife LeAnna built P. Graham Dunn to what it is today, a thriving, family inspired, American based store.
Accepting a mission to provide a home for runaway girls in New York City, Peter and LeAnna Dunn received their first taste of maintaining a woodworking business. As a means to occupy the girls, they were encouraged to carve plaques and gifts that were then sold at the Greenwich Village outdoor markets. Once the mission was complete, Peter and LeAnna purchased the equipment for woodworking and brought it home to their farm in Dalton, Ohio.
Installing the equipment in the farm's renovated chicken coup, Peter designed and completed each item while LeAnna took charge of the business's finances. For the first two years, Peter supported his young family by building silos for area farmers and perfecting his designs and manufacturing techniques in every spare moment he could find. It was an order for 3,000 items received in 1977, that allowed Peter to devote his time fully toward the business.
Over the years, manufacturing methods have evolved with the available technology in order to increase production speed and design possibilities. In order to compete with foreign manufacturers, P. Graham Dunn has employed the use of computers and lasers to create many of the items within the store. Now, in addition to the traditional pieces such as carved plaques, there are items with printed designs in a wide range of colors.
Built to foster a community environment, P. Graham Dunn offers a sense of transparency not often shown by a business. Windows throughout the retail store look out over the manufacturing floor, housed under the same roof. Visitors to the store are able to watch Amish and English work side by side to create the products available for purchase. In an effort to complete as much of the work in house as possible, items are designed by staff members, printed or carved and sometimes packaged for shipping.
Employees at P. Graham Dunn are valued and treated like irreplaceable assets to the company. Valuing the opinions, talents and capabilities of their employees, the company constantly works to maintain the best working conditions. The company has a history of basing their manufacturing decisions on the word of the employees who work with various pieces of equipment. Staff members from the manufacturing floor have modified many of the machinery visible through the windows in an effort to increase the effectiveness and productivity within the facility.
Customers who visit P. Graham Dunn will become aware of the relaxed atmosphere supported by the layout of the store. Rather than immediately being confronted with various products, visitors to P. Graham Dunn are greeted with a comfortable lobby. Cozy furniture arranged in front of a large fireplace brings to mind the living room of someone's home. A grand staircase leading up to the second floor welcomes visitors to P. Graham Dunn.
Arranged according to their theme, products are artfully placed throughout the store. Walking through the main thoroughfare, a visitor will notice the seemingly different nooks established by displays, showcasing various products. One such showcase involves two pallet swings built specifically for the area with the goal of establishing the environment for the products.
The product designs throughout P. Graham Dunn, vary across a spectrum from traditional to the trends of today. Reminiscent of the original designs by Peter, traditional style pieces with a simplistic, clean look are prevalent throughout the store. The current design trend of rustic or reclaimed wood, is also displayed, in a variety of ways. All designs, no matter their position on the design spectrum, are crafted with the same attention to detail and yearning to create an inviting piece.
Personalization of a variety of products is offered at a special counter and kiosk within the store. A fully stocked wall of pre-created templates are available for customers to browse. Items ranging from photo frames, plaques and dog tags can be customized to include personal engravings. Creating a heartfelt piece as a wedding gift can be finished in minutes either using customer-friendly software at the kiosk or with the aid of a P. Graham Dunn employee. Also offering the customer an opportunity to be part of the design process from the beginning, customers are able to bring in their own custom ideas.
A factory outlet is located in the rear of the store offering further savings and unique items to customers. The products sold in the outlet store usually contain a scratch, dent, or were a prototype, discontinued or overstocked item. These imperfect items still maintain a high level of quality.
Extending the customer experience beyond the walls of the store P. Graham Dunn maintains a chapel and walking trail. Creating a loop around the pond, the walking trail offers a peaceful retreat to gather your thoughts. Built to honor Anna Miriam Dunn Knutson, the eldest daughter of Peter and LeAnna, who passed away after a battle with cancer the chapel is open day and night. The chapel was built for everyone, for we have all lost loved ones. Visitors to the chapel are encouraged to write messages to lost loved ones or advice to others on the walls, ceiling, and benches in order to provide inspiration for others.
P. Graham Dunn is constantly looking to improve the customer experience through renovations and updates to various aspects of their store. One of the current projects is to completely redecorate the showroom floor. Customers can expect to see a pretty big change come next year with a heavy emphasis on design.
More information about P. Graham Dunn can be found at www.pgrahamdunn.com or by calling 800-828-5260. The main store is located at 630 Henry Street in Dalton, Ohio with satellite locations in Grandville, Michigan (4020 Chicago Drive S.W.) and Branson, Missouri (123 W. Main St.).