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Susan Dickenson

Retail profile: J. Douglas Design, Dallas, Texas

J. DOUGLAS DESIGN RECENTLY celebrated 23 successful years of providing home furnishings and interior designJ Douglas Design services from the same location in which it opened in 1989 - a 10,000-sq.-ft. showroom at the corner of Oak Lawn Avenue and Hall Street in Dallas.

Owner J. Douglas Bradford said he started his business with little more than a dream and a $25,000 loan from his father. Over the years, Bradford's sharp eye for design, honed while working in fashion and design in his post-college years, coupled with an unbridled enthusiasm for working with clients, has helped build J. Douglas Design's reputation as a premier provider of high-end furnishings and design services, not only in Texas, but throughout the United States.

Bradford estimates his inventory to be about 50% furniture, 20% home accents and 30% accent furniture, all of it individually selected. "When we buy merchandise for the store, we don't buy anything middle-of-the-road; all of our pieces are unique," Bradford said. "We cherry-pick our merchandise from the best of the best. If I wouldn't have it in my own home, I don't buy it. And it's a strategy that works well for us - almost all of our customers say J. Douglas Design is the most beautiful furniture showroom they have ever been in."

The company advertises locally and nationally in print, and is a preferred customer showroom of local luxury car dealer Park Place Motor Cars. "When one of their clients purchases a new Mercedes, Bentley, Jaguar, Porsche or Maserati, they are given a preferred customer packet which includes a card presentation about our showroom and services. They can bring the card in for a $100 credit towards a purchase or schedule an interior design appointment."

J. Douglas Design has built a respectable social media presence, with steadily growing J Douglas Design 2numbers on Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest, and a better-than-average blog on which Bradford shares design and decorating advice, color theories, style trends and vendor spotlights. The "interior stylists" of The Hunger Games was the topic of one recent blog post, an interesting take on "decking out our digs like the retro-futuristic, super-clean and super-luxurious Capitol of Panem."

Locally, Bradford's honors include recognition by Dallas consumers in ABC television affiliate WFAA's Best of Dallas (retail furniture establishment) competition, and by the Dallas/Fort Worth Builders Association as a McSam Award winner for Best Interior Design and Best Product Design (residential interiors). In May, J. Douglas Design was named to Home Accents Today's 2012 Retail Stars list.

Describe your showroom: The J. Douglas Design showroom offers more than 10,000 square feet of upper-middle to high-end furniture and complementary art, lighting and accessories, presented in inspiring vignettes. Our merchandising and layout can be described as eclectic - we love to mix things up. In fact, that is probably the number one thing our customers consistently compliment us on - our mix of merchandise and how we put it together.

What sets J. Douglas Design apart from the competition? Many of my competitors have opted to grow their business by expanding to multiple locations. I prefer to focus my creative and economic efforts on providing each of my clients exactly what they desire for their home. Because so many of my clients aJ Douglas Design, Dallas, Texasre repeat customers, I feel an obligation to ensure that I'm here when they need me. For that reason, I will always opt for quality over quantity. July 28 marked our 23rd anniversary here. I have been very blessed to have such great customers over the years and am proud to be a part of this industry.

How do you reach your customers/new clientele? I have been very fortunate in that my clients are my largest source of new business. Of course, I advertise, but word-of-mouth referrals keep me extremely busy. My clients know that when they care enough to refer a friend to me for design services, I'm not going to shuffle them off to some junior associate or high-pressure commissioned salesman. They get to work with me, and I give every one of them my very best.

Home accent categories you carry: Accent furniture, decorative accessories, lamps, lighting, wall décor, mirrors, decorative pillows, throws, permanent botanicals, area rugs, tabletop, garden/patio accessories, drapes

Key furniture and accessories vendors: Marge Carson, Maitland-Smith, Theodore Alexander, Century Furniture, John-Richard, Fine Art Lamps, Global Views, Phoenix Art Group, Christopher Guy, Feizy, Castilian, Fine Art Lamps, Currey & Company, Flambeau, Ren Wil, Soicher-Marin, Arteriors. We are currently the only furniture retailer in Dallas that offers the full Marge Carson product line.

Website: jdouglasdesign.com

Address: 3301 Oak Lawn Ave., Dallas, Texas, 75219

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