The Dallas Market Center was always my go-to market for gifts when I owned my gift shop, The Grapevine. After closing that side of my business, I felt it didn’t offer as much for my clients, so I haven’t been in a couple of years.
Last year I attended in the Interior Design Summit at the High Point Furniture Market in High Point, North Carolina. While there, I was lucky enough to meet and become friends with the Vice President of Marketing for the Dallas Market, Michael Bauer, who highly encouraged me to revisit his market. He told me that they had really made some big changes to the market, and now offered a lot of great resources for interior designers.
I love visiting North Carolina, but I live in the central part of the country, and Dallas is just a quite drive (or flight) away. That made Michael’s news that much more appealing.
In January, I took off for Dallas with my best friend and sister, Cheril, and I am so glad we went! The Dallas Market Center has opened an entire wing just for interior design. Not only did we find incredible products, but they offered panel discussions with successful designers who shared their work, inspirations and designs. It was a wonderful experience that allowed us to learn about what is happening all around the world in interior design so close to home.
I met the fabulous designer Alexa Hampton, who is the Owner and President of Mark Hampton, LLC, which was founded by her late iconic interior design father, Mark Hampton, in New York City. My favorite work of hers is her lighting. She tells the story about how she was on bed rest with her twins, looking up at the lights wondering why they look like breasts. That spurred her to sketch some flush, mount lighting, which of course is a beautiful design that comes in many styles, colors and shapes. She was in Dallas as a panel speaker on design, and signed copies of her book, Decorating in Detail. Alexa is a top designer in magazines like Architectural Digest, House Beautiful and Elle Décor, to name a few. I was honored to meet her in person. I have admired her work for years.
One day at market was filled with all the buzz about Diane Keaton. Yes! The actress Diane Keaton!
She was there promoting her book, The House That Pinterest Built. I didn’t realize she had such a fascination with architecture and design. She has always been fashion-forward, but I had no clue about her design background as far as interiors. She explained how she had gathered ideas from Pinterest to create the home of her dreams. Her book is considered a style guide for inspiration, as well as a go-to reference for all those seeking their own creativity. I purchased her book and stood in line to have her personalize it for me. I found her personable and kind. She asked what I was shopping for and told me she would love to walk the showrooms in peace like I was able to do. I guess there is a benefit to being an unknown designer from Arkansas! I just love her and her book!
Once the meet-and-greet was over, this star-struck Arkansas girl had to get back to work. One of my favorites showrooms was Gabby’s. They had just opened their new showroom down on the atrium of the World Trade Center. The walls were covered with beautiful wallpaper, divided into vignettes that displayed their furniture explicitly. Their sofas were covered with bright fabrics and chests that can work in several areas of your home. I loved their bench seating, as well as the lighting. In fact, I ordered lighting for my own master bath renovation and chests for a client. And I will keep the sofas in my heart for a client down the road.
Looking back, I am so thankful to Michael Bauer for the insightful information and invite to the Dallas Market at the World Trade Center. I look forward to making the Dallas Market a part of my regular travels!