We had the good fortune of connecting with Allison Bonifay and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Allison, maybe we can start at the very start – the idea – how did you come up with the idea for your business?
For the longest time, I focused all of my energy on pursuing a career in fashion. It was something I was very passionate about, and I’d excelled working with some very reputable firms in NYC so it seemed like my path was fixed. But after about 6 years, I was getting burnt out. The workload was insane, and it was taking a toll on my sanity. So, not long after we moved to Dallas, I started to question everything. I wanted something different but couldn’t quite put my finger on it so I decided to stop the bleeding and quit my job. I nannied for a few years to help pay the bills, but even though I loved working with little ones, I knew this was temporary. Around that time we moved into a new, more modern home. I began selling our furniture on FB marketplace and replacing it with vintage pieces that better fit our new home. In my searches, I kept finding treasures that didn’t quite fit our home/style, but I couldn’t resist getting them. Our garage quickly started to fill up and then I started to get storage units. I was either going to become a hoarder or start selling off some of my finds. To everyone’s relief, I did the latter. After a steady flow of pieces sold, a lightbulb went off that I may be able to turn this into a full time gig. In early 2017, I incorporated the business, got the insta handle, built a website and got started. I started doing pop up shows to get some brand recognition and they were a success. Everything I did from there was a stepping stone to where we are today!
Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
If I’ve learned anything as a business owner in 2020, it’s that you always have to be ready and willing to pivot. That has been our biggest challenge as of late. We had to take some risks in order to keep the business afloat. Some of those changes worked, some not as much. We’ve had to completely change our buying and sourcing process due to the pandemic. We used to source pieces so easily here in Dallas, but that’s not the case so much anymore. We are having to branch out to other outlets, travel to other states and rely heavier on vintage pieces being imported into the US. It’s been difficult, but I think we’ve done a good job of trimming the fat in other areas of the business so that we can stay competitively priced. The silver lining is we’ve been bringing in some rarer pieces we didn’t always have the guts to buy. We are hoping to keep a steady mix of items that fit a variety of tastes, price points and every now and then offer some truly special one of a kind pieces that are worth that higher price tag. Looking toward the future, we are wanting to expand our inventory capacity and make our space more shoppable. Maybe even start to offer open hours on the weekends – we want to get to know our customers on a more personal level. Instagram is great, but it doesn’t allow us to get to know our customers as well as I’d like and hopefully having open hours will help us fill that void!
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
These days there are SO many unique places to eat, shop + see! Some of my personal Dallas Staples that I’d always take a friend or visitor to check out are below! Eat & Drink: Fount Board & Table – charcuterie boards that look like art and a delicious coffee/tea Desert Racer – for a drink and dinner! Major Palm Springs vibe Thunderbird – patio drinks and good drunk eats. Frito pie, fried Bologna Sami + Sloppy Joe’s. Royal China – best Chinese in town! handmade noodles + dumplings. Must try their soup dumplings Humble Pie – hands down the best pie in town. All the old school classics. Coconut cream is my order Shop: Go Easy / Magic Hour – two shops next door to each other. Self care and curated home goods. Rare Heart Vintage – vintage clothing Beatnik – cool girl clothes Dolly Python – quirky vintage clothes and eclectic home goods
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
Starting a business is not an easy task in fact it’s one of the hardest things I’ve ever done! It wasn’t a success overnight it was years of hard work, long hours and a burning desire to make a dream into a reality! There’s absolutely no way I’d still be standing strong without the endless encouragement of my husband (the real MVP), family and many many friends! Modified Home’s story embodies so many folks dear to us that have jumped in to help in many facets of our journey. A business is built by a community not just one person and we are forever grateful so many helped us from the ground up!