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Small and Feisty, a Renegade New Showroom Challenges the Status Quo in Dallas

Pholio Co Connects Designers to a Dozen Innovative Design Brands in Texas and Europe

BY // 09.28.20

Pholio Co, a petite new design studio in the landmark Meadows Building, is rooted in the tradition of small European showrooms, with a pragmatic edge. At just 408 square feet, Pholio Co is nimble, easy to manage, and laid-back — three things owner Jessica Craig Pinzon insisted on after a decade of working in big corporate showrooms.

“In the U.S., showrooms tend to be pristine and so precious about everything,” says Pinzon. “Designers would tell me it was intimidating.”

The idea to open Pholio Co had been percolating for years when Pinzon attended her first Paris Déco Off in early 2019, an irreverent offshoot of the city’s Maison&Objet design fair. There, she visited a number of small pop-ups, including one created by StudioArt, a boutique Italian leather upholstery company, which had been set up inside a butcher shop.

The venue choice was unexpected, captivating, and started the wheels turning. “There is always such intimacy and innovation in Europe,” she says. “I learned that spaces don’t have to be what they’ve always been.”

Six months later, Pinzon left Donghia where for two years she’d been regional manager and planned to launch her own showroom, on her own terms. Pholio studio opened in March as a resource center for designers to connect with Pinzon’s favorite brands from around Europe and Texas.

Pholio Co owner Jessica Craig Pinzon
Pholio Co owner Jessica Craig Pinzon

In addition to StudioArt, she carries around a dozen lines including Glasgow artist Iona Crawford’s fashion-inspired textiles, natural-stone wall coverings, and floors from Italy-based Lithos Design, and Look Walls & Interiors of Dallas, which collaborates with local artists.

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Pholio studio is geared for getting work done: Tables and chairs are set up for designers and their laptops, and open shelving offers grab-and-go product samples of everything she carries.

In lieu of the massive and heavy fabric wings found in most showrooms, Pinzon got creative with smaller, easier-to-manage European-sized lengths of fabric, displayed on trouser hangers. The atmosphere is casual — designers can shop the studio or book virtual appointments, and Pinzon has been known to drop off samples at doorsteps.

She also hosts a podcast, The Hue, which helps connect local creatives with the public by sharing their stories. The first one, an interview with fabric designer Mili Suleman, trended on Apple’s top 25 design podcasts within the first two weeks.

Pinzon is already brainstorming her next innovation: “My dream would be to have a drive-up space where designers can grab samples at the window and get in and out fast. Wouldn’t that be great?”

Pholio Co, Meadows Building, 5646 Milton St., pholioco.com.

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