Murals cover brick walls across cities around the globe, sending messages and making perfect Instagram backgrounds for tourists and locals alike. Waco is home to many beautiful wall murals including one at The Findery, a home decor shop located downtown. Baylor alumna Shannon Graessle was working for Four Columns Marketing as a social marketing strategist and was tasked with creating ways to further promote The Findery. Along with a team, Shannon came up with the idea for the wall mural. They hired K. Dunks Creative to bring their vision to life. Hear what Shannon has to say about the painting process and message behind this mural.

How did you get the idea for placing a wall mural on the side of The Findery?

Basically what it started as was a signage issue for The Findery. They wanted to do some sort of a cool sign like a marquee or something. But with city regulations, they are so close to power lines that it wasn’t possible, and so we kind of went back to the drawing board. How can we get people to notice The Findery? And, being part of painting a wall mural was on my bucket list.

How did your team decide what the wall mural should look like?

I kind of came up with the concept of ‘what if we did a Waco cityscape with some kind of phrase on it?’ So, I started working with our graphic designer that is in-house. We sat down and created this concept. From there, we pitched it to The Findery and they loved it. They are awesome because they are always down for anything creative and giving back to the community. We went to find a mural painter, and in Waco there are not a ton of people with that job description. She [Kalyn Dunks, the mural painter] took the image that we had made in Illustrator and put it on the wall. It was incredible how close she got it to our original version.

How did the phrase written on the mural come about?

The initial phrase that was on the mural was ‘Waco feels like home.’ That ended up being an issue because there is an entrepreneur that is no longer in Waco that had been selling a shirt that said ‘Waco feels like home.’ We didn’t want to step on other people’s toes, especially because it was a creative effort…we didn’t want to steal the thunder from another local creative.

We redid it to ‘city with a soul’ and that phrase came from a longtime Waco native. He came to us and said, ‘Hey I don’t know if you are aware back in the ‘60s Waco was known as ‘city with a soul’ because of all the social entrepreneurship that was going on and the up and coming aspect of the city. Waco is on the map to some degree, but it is making a name for itself outside of Magnolia or Fixer Upper. We changed it to ‘city with a soul’ and had a great response to it.

How do you think this wall mural has made an impact on Waco?

For me personally, I am a die-hard Wacoan at heart. I wanted to be able to leave my own mark on Waco and to give back to the community that made me feel at home and poured a lot into my own personal development and values and dreams for the future, and that’s why it was important to me to do something like that. On a greater-greater scale, people love murals because it is something we can all rally around, and it’s a kind of visible representation of what your community stands for. It is something that lives on past what the artists may have intended it and makes a greater impact. It shares your city in a way maybe one person couldn’t.

Photo Credit: Austria Arnold