There’s new life in the Fondren overlay district at 3320 North State Street as Funmi “Queen” Franklin and her husband, Brad “Kamikaze” Franklin bring their business, Kundi Compound, a bit closer to home.
We toured the space during an open house Friday and talked with the couple about their history and their hopes and plans for this new beginning.
What is the Kundi Compound?
Queen: The Kundi Compound is a creative co-op space, small business incubator, an internet cafe, and meeting/event space. We’re here to be a conduit for whatever is creative, cool, innovative, or artistic in the city. Entrepreneurs, artists, musicians, non-profits, community organizations, or individuals. We have anchor tenants who will be joining us and we also offer memberships.
How long have you been in existence?
Queen: May 2019 will mark two years that the Kundi Compound will have been in existence.
What programs or services do you offer?
Kaz: First, we offer consulting to aspiring entrepreneurs, the small businessman/woman who is having trouble visualizing a good idea and turning into a tangible business. We are a creative co-op, so ours is a space that artists, creatives, students, or business people can stop in and use the internet, study, plan, meet or just hang out. The coolest thing we do is offer meeting/event space to businesses, organizations, artists or individuals who need space for a meeting, training, conference or rehearsal and don’t have huge budgets or have trouble finding consistent space.
Why move from Midtown to Fondren?
Kaz: We needed to be able to offer more to our clientele. We needed a space that offered more opportunities and felt more like a lounge than an “office.” We want the folks we serve to be comfortable. So we needed a more convenient location adjacent to similar businesses/restaurants. We were very lucky to be able to lease the 3220 N. State Street location. The Franklins have lived and played in Fondren for almost 10 years. Fondren is the only neighborhood our youngest daughter has known. Fondren Park is the only park she’s known. We’ve seen this neighborhood grow and we want to be a part of that growth. We loved being in Midtown. We will return to Midtown at some point but, right now, fate brought us back to funky Fondren. And it’s going to be cool to walk to work!
What are your plans in the space?
Queen: Imagine arts shows, movie screenings, pop-up shops, retail space for creatives, comedy shows, and, in the same space, you could see a non-profit having a conference, or someone teaching a yoga or coding class. We plan on continuing the mission we started in Midtown and that is to ensure that the creativity, the talent, the civic passion that exists in Jacksonians does not come at a huge expense. Your creativity should not hurt your pockets and we plan on being a resource for those that need creative spaces. We want folks to stop by and hang out, use the wi-fi, eat lunch, etc.. With Rainbow no longer in the neighborhood, we hope to fill that void. We’ll have three different spaces available for rental and we also have a kitchen that we hope to find someone who’d like to open a coffee shop or cafe in.
What do you want folks to know about Kundi and YOU personally?
Kaz: This is a family business run by longtime residents of the neighborhood. We are vested in Fondren and its growth. I have served on the OurFondren board and love every inch of this community. It’s literally one of the coolest places in the country. Where else would we want to move the Kundi Compound?
Make an appointment to tour the space: Kundicompound@gmail.com or 601.345.8680.