Interior designer and business consultant Tobi Fairley is making a strategic move into the Dallas market, opening the first design studio outside of Little Rock, Arkansas, where the firm is based.
This reporter chatted with Fairley, who shared details behind the move—why Dallas and why now.
What prompted this move? Is this something you've been hoping to do for a long time?
I have had clients there before, and I’ve also formed some terrific partnerships with other designers there like Denise McGaha Interiors. There is a good synergy between our firms, and together we decided to share the space at Maple Terrace. There are so many successful designers who have realized that this is the smart way to do business today—to share space for firms in cities that can be so costly individually. We will operate independently, but will maximize our resources in the space itself.
We’ve definitely been looking at offices in other cities this made sense for business and for our goals. Dallas is a vibrant market with an amazing appreciation for design and architecture. The stars just aligned when this space in the iconic Maple Terrace building became available—the building is home to an incredible arts and design community.
What is your vision for the Dallas office?
Our vision is exactly the same no matter what city we are in: to provide our clients with interiors that are fresh and simple, combining colorful, large-scale prints with classic furniture styles for a beautiful and functional result.
What are your hopes/goals for further expansion?
We have talked with designers in other cities about partnering for design spaces, particularly in New York and Los Angeles.
How will you divide your time? Will you be working from both offices?
I will still be based in our [Little Rock] headquarters, but it is such a short trip to Dallas from here that I anticipate I will be in Dallas often. I love that city, so it will be fantastic to be there more often. And in this digital age, it is so easy to operate businesses from different cities.
Having a satellite office isn’t a new concept for us, either. Cheminne Taylor-Smith, the Senior VP of Brand Marketing, is based in an office in Greensboro, NC.
Who will be behind the "Dallas" team?
We have a lead designer and a design assistant there who will work very closely with me. But our executive team will still be based in Little Rock.