INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. -- Just a few years ago, Will Acton and Reida Silva were working in the eyewear industry.
That was, until Acton decided it was time for a change.
“He wanted to come to work, have a good time and provide a place for people to laugh and be entertained while they’re here,” said Reida Silva.
He also wanted a pet-friendly space where he could bring his Pomeranians, Catfish and Pumkin, to work with him.
So, he created such a place and named it Pumkinfish.
“The name Pumkinfish is after the owner’s Pomeranians: Catfish and Pumkin,” explained Silva, now manager of Pumkinfish. “There had been some marketing people that said, ‘That’s not a good name.’ But we loved it. That was his first choice, his only choice. He was not budging.”
Much like his choice in store name, owner Will Acton’s Pumkinfish is unapologetic and full of fun and flair.
For about the past 2.5 years, Pumkinfish (located at 429 Massachusetts Avenue) has been the must-visit one stop shop for gifts and novelties that are sure to be the biggest hit at any get-together.
They sell everything from hilarious magnets, mugs, tea towels, baby clothes, accessories, bath products, bar ware, coasters and other fun items.
“You cannot come in and not leave with a gift for someone because it is very eclectic, very different, very unique,” she said. “Everything is very eclectic, but [goes] together so well because Will is very good at that… He’s got a fabulous sense of humor and he wanted to bring all of that to the store.”
Have a housewarming party coming up? Help stock the bar with some of their drink mixes and other products.
“We have a really nice bar selection. We have our bourbon barrel selections, we have our Woodford Reserves. Anywhere from syrups to bitters, cherries, mixers—everything you can imagine,” Silva said. “You can put your whole bar together here.”
After you’ve chosen the perfect gift, pair it with a card from their selection of four to five different card lines. You’ll find them underneath a very tongue-and-cheek display titled “Vintage E-Mail.”
But don’t expect these cards to be your run-of-the-mill Hallmark greeting.
“Some are a little racy and that’s OK. Some are just hilarious!” Silva said. “It’s just so fun to listen to [customers] say it out loud or read the cards out loud… and it never gets tiring to listen to them say it and laugh.”
Some of Pumkinfish’s top-selling items are the various games, key chains, cups, coasters, candles and more from their incredibly popular Golden Girls section.
“Sometimes it’s hard to keep everything in stock as fast as we can because people of all ages and I’m surprised at some of the younger folks that really know who the Golden Girls are,” she said. “I mean, thank goodness for TV Land – can I say that?”
Like Silva, Pumkinfish is candid and unfiltered. We couldn’t even show some of their items because the wording—while hilarious—wasn’t exactly TV friendly.
But that is what she says makes Pumkinfish so fun.
Four Things You Need to Know About Pumkinfish:
- Will Acton opened Pumkinfish after deciding he wanted a change from his career in the optometry field. He wanted a place where he could come to work and have a good time, laugh, and—most importantly—pet-friendly so he could bring his beloved pups. He even named Pumkinfish after his Pomeranians: Pumkin and Catfish. Unfortunately, Catfish passed away several months ago, but you’ll often find Pumkin serving as the “official greeter” inside the store.
- Pumkinfish has a huge array of items: everything from bar ware, tea towels, housewares, cookbooks, baby clothes, mugs, coasters, cards, accessories, a large pet section and more! But don’t be surprised if some of the tea towels and other items have a few foul words on them. Here, it’s all about fun and humor.
- Don’t forget to check out their Indiana-themed area as well as some of their other locally-sourced items like tea from Bloomington’s Cup and Kettle as well as some of their popular bath and body products from Garb2art cosmetics in Columbus and New Castle-based Beehive Body Company.
- Unable to pop into the store on Mass Ave? No worries! You can shop online on their website for the perfect gift— even if that gift is for yourself!
“This is a hustle bustle world and when you want to do something different, you go shopping, you just don’t want to look around—you want to laugh! And we have so much laughter and that’s what it’s about,” Silva explained.
That said, Pumkinfish is not the store for the easily-offended.
There’s a good mix of locally sourced and/or inspired items and items with tame one-liners. But there’s also plenty of stuff that might make your grandma blush.
“[When customers read some of these items] they might be a little puzzled at times but they are just so funny,” said Silva. “The way they read it back or say, ‘Can you believe it? Oh my gosh!’ And then the laughter, it’s just nonstop!”
Another area that’s sure to bring a smile to your face is their pet room, where you’ll find collars, leashes, pet-themed stationery, dishes, treats, pet-friendly “beer” and “wine”—with names like MosCATo and Malbark. Some of their most popular pet-related products are the pop culture inspired items like pet canvases.
“It’s all the celebrity faces whether they’re actors, actresses, singers. It’s just they’ve brought them to life with cats and dogs and put them on canvas,” Silva said.
For a bit of Hoosier flair, you can head over to their large local section where you’ll find plenty of Indiana-themed products. You can also support other local vendors and artisans by shopping some of their locally-sourced items like teas from Bloomington-based Cup and Kettle.
Or, head over to the bath and beauty section where you’ll find bath bombs, lotions, soaps and much more locally-sourced goodies.
“We have the Beehive Body Company… She’s from New Castle. It’s veteran-owned. She’s a veteran, served our country, retired. She’s a funny lady,” Silva noted. “Also, we have Garb2art. She is from Columbus, Indiana, and does an amazing product with a lot of essential oils.”
For more information about Pumkinfish, check out their website by clicking here. To see more photos and reviews by local Yelpers, check out their Yelp profile. You can also connect with them via Facebook and Instagram.
While on Mass Ave, check out these other hot-spots located within walking distance of Pumkinfish: