Clinton Edminster is the owner and founder of Starlandia Supply, a new and reclaimed art supply store in the Starland District on Bull Street. Starlandia was founded in 2015 and has won numerous awards for its focus on reclamation and sustainability. He has also most recently thrown his hat in the ring for 2nd District County Commissioner. In speaking with Clinton, one thing is apparent, his deep passion for Savannah and the growth of our great city and the community within.
What does a typical morning look like for you?
Most mornings I’ll wake myself up around 7:30 and catch up on some news while making breakfast – my go to is eggs from the farmers market and toast from Auspicious. Some days I’ll stop by Foxy Loxy or Big Bon Bodega then walk over to Starlandia and start opening the store. This little routine hasn’t changed too much, even during the pandemic, but maybe it’s been more drawn out and there might be the occasional morning mimosa – especially on days that end with the letter “Y”.
What do you love about Savannah?
If you open yourself to the city it will teach you amazing things. Like all cities Savannah is a layer cake, perhaps unusually dense and very moist. I love the people – the support – the strong women that aren’t afraid to speak up and make change. Savannah is equal parts frustrating and incredible and like a puzzle I’m drawn to it. I find myself falling in love with our great city all over again – ten years after I moved here. I feel like I’m finding new ways to love it and it’s finding new ways to love me.
Starlandia has won awards for it’s innovative business structure and focus on reclamation and sustainability. Can you speak to why that is such an important part of community?
You can’t have a sustainable business focused on reclamation if you go out of business. It must, always, focus on being profitable and self-sufficient in order to maximize the value it brings to the community. You could even argue that we don’t really focus on reclamation but instead on providing the best value for our customers. However we’ve found that the best way to do that, to bring that value, is to reclaim art supplies and focus on re-use. Any material is going to have a price that is based on the raw value, the time it took to make, and the energy spent to get it to you. Most of the time customers have to cover the full price of that item. By reusing our items we can share that cost burden across many customers and lower the prices substantially.
The thing that makes you feel most accomplished?
I love sharing, thinking and finding new ideas and seeing them grow. I love seeing people meet new friends at events that I’ve produced and/or in Starlandia. There’s an incredible sense of accomplishment in helping people make friends. I’ll never know what that friendship might grow into and that’s even more fun – the mystery and the infinite potential of any two humans meeting for the first time.
What made you decide to run for 2nd District County Commissioner?
Frustration, a responsibility to our community, wild curiosity, and a touch of masochism. And also – why the hell not! I’ve been leaning into community organizing for over eight years in this city. My first work was focused around arts accessibility which then pivoted into land use, zoning, and infrastructure. A couple years ago I was appointed to the Board of Directors for Chatham Area Transit and for the first time could really get my hands dirty serving a $26 million organization. Politics, especially local politics, is about giving people the tools to live their best lives and I LOVE the challenge of figuring out how to do this. Win or lose, I’m incredibly proud of myself for challenging myself to run. It’s been an amazing experience – even through a pandemic. As I said before, I’m falling in love with this city all over again and this campaign has been a big part of that.
What is you favorite gallery or art installation in Savannah?
The Starland Mural Project – I might be a bit biased (I was the artistic director for it) but it is extremely awesome. We had seven local artists submit designs, made it through the permitting process with flying colors, raised over $17,000 (most of which was spent on local artists), and brought color, stories, and hope to our neighborhood.
If you had one night to spend in Savannah…what would Clinton Edminster do?
Honestly I’ve been sitting here thinking about that for over 20 minutes. I’m not sure… I’d buy a bottle of wine at Le Chai on Forsyth Park and let the rest of the world figure it out for me.