Some Southern Hospitality with Coco & Dash
Play • 1 hr 8 min

Based in Dallas, Texas, Teddie and Courtney Garrigan are the mother-daughter dynamos whose creative flair is the foundation for their award winning home decor retail shop, Coco & Dash. Their distinctive aesthetic is showcased in an airy space that provides the backdrop for a retail vision that is a smart mix of one-of-a-kinds and home furnishings - classic and modern, approachable and exceptional - offered up with plenty of Southern hospitality.

While Courtney has developed a signature style that embodies beauty and function, she has a propensity for quirky finds that are seamlessly incorporated with classic elements. Passionate about her love of imperfection in design, she contributes a fresh approach to the retail business. Meanwhile Teddie is known for her keen sense of style resulting from a lifetime of travel. A devout southerner who grew up living in Europe, she brings a relaxed and fun sophistication to Coco & Dash along with a modern sense of luxury that is fresh, stylish, and timeless. With a love of all things home, Teddie and Courtney believe in the power and purpose of creating a sense of place no matter where you are. “Every antique carries with it a story and energy…They become the most important pieces in your home,” explains Teddie. And it was in this shared love of antiques that Coco & Dash was conceived on an annual mom/daughter antique trip. As Courtney drove down the highway, she turned to her mother and said “Hey, we should open a shop.” Nose in a magazine, “Okay,” came Teddie’s distracted yet easy reply and nine months later the trucks were pulling up in front of their new store. Courtney laughed at the memory. And now ten years later, at the top of their game as a beloved brand in the industry, they feel like they are just getting started. Their love and enthusiasm for what they do comes through loud and clear. “Our goal is always that people understand you can have that sophisticated style but it doesn’t have to be pretentious.”

While their origin story may sound like a flight of fancy, their business strategy is anything but. They believe it is absolutely imperative to have and understand your business plan–at the very least to have an executive summary. Every January, Teddie and Courtney sit down for two days and talk about every aspect of the previous year and plan out what they think will work for the upcoming year. When you have a vision, you know where you’re going. Their advice for those looking to start an antiques business is to do your homework. “You may know about antiques, but do you know about business? Understanding the back office stuff is one of the most important things, but also accepting that you can’t do everything. “We have people who help us with the things we’re not good at.” In building a team to support you, whether it’s your CPA, an employee, or the vendors you work with, Teddie draws upon the timeless wisdom from Indiana Jones: “Choose wisely!” “When you have the right people in place, everything runs much more smoothly,” agrees Courtney. Coco & Dash is a brilliant example of the importance of being willing to embrace change in your business. “You have to change in this business. We are constantly changing,” explains Courtney. “We are a completely different store than we were nine years ago.” One of the most notable changes was their quick evolution into more than antiques. “We realized that if we only did antiques we were limiting our personal style. You have to be willing to change strategies.” Teddie practically shimmers at the mention of it. “I love change! Change is exciting. It’s fun! When you are pulled towards something, try it. Investigate it! If you’re drawn to it, then it’s for a reason. You have to go with your heart!” One significant and recent change at Coco & Dash is their foray into Interior Design. “We didn’t choose interior design, it chose us!” Teddie and Courtney realized they were turning away opportunities as they time and again would tell clients they did not offer this service and so in the spirit of change they opened this service, along with their design studio as new avenues to meet their client’s needs and additional revenue streams. It is this willingness to change and to grow that have distinguished Coco & Dash as something special. “We’re always looking for that little extra piece of joy!” While they are constantly evolving as a business, what they do as a whole has remained consistent. If a willingness to change and evolve has been the wings of Coco & Dash, then communication has been their feet, keeping them grounded and steady. With backgrounds as a Communications Strategist and a Counselor (respectively), Teddie and Courtney understand that no business can succeed without good communication. “Communication for us is very important. We also let things roll off us to a certain degree.” explains Courtney. “We’re not thin skinned and we’re very direct. You can’t hold a grudge, or have resentment. You have got to talk about it and move through it,” agrees Teddie. Communication is not only important internally but also good communication with the customer/client base is imperative. Teddie and Courtney are always listening to their customers, to the people who come to them, and finding a way to answer them honestly.

“One of the most important things to us is that people always feel welcome. Being kind is the most important thing not only in our store, but in the world.” Teddie and Courtney call upon this philosophy as they navigate the ups and downs of running a business. “You have to operate your business in a fair way. We try to remember that the problems we have in our industry are first world problems. We try to bear that in mind and remember there’s always a solution.  Our motto for handling problems is simply this: Do the next right thing.” This down-to-earth point of view and gratitude for the people they have the honor and joy of working with has cemented them in as a beloved fixture of the design community. Teddie summed up the joy of running your own interior design store quite simply when she shared, “We bring beauty to people. And there is nothing bad about that.”

Last but not least this episode is sponsored by https://www.antiquedealertrainingprogram.com/

 

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