We had the good fortune of connecting with Blake Shirk and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Blake, maybe we can start at the very start – the idea – how did you come up with the idea for your business?
We have always been passionate about the idea of hosting people. This originally looked like Brandon and I designing hotels on a free software in middle school. From there, we would pester our parents to host foreign exchange students in High School, and while in college, we would continue to host foreign exchange students as roommates. At the end of college, we both backpacked internationally and were able to see a lot of unique concepts that were not in the states. Primarily, we wanted to bring the same fun and affordability that we often saw abroad back to the states, but we wanted to package it in a way that was more uniquely American. We surveyed hundreds of people and had thousands of conversations before shaping SOVA into what it is today. Through micro rooms, we are able to cut out what people don’t need and focus on modern design, cleanliness, and comfort. This means that we are able to provide luxurious mattresses, Eucalyptus sheets from Austria, amenities from Greece, electronic bidets that are popular in East Asia, furniture from Mexico, and more, all at a 30% discount to the average rate in Downtown Dallas. On top of that, we strongly believe that people travel to create stories, and we want to help shape that. Travel Guides check you in at the bar where local drinks wait to be tried. Our travel guides have the best recommendations on what to do in the city, and we even have our own calendar of daily events for even more fun! Ultimately, SOVA is defined by people of all ages all over the world who have become friends with us and graciously offered their own input into this story.
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?
Our inspiration to create SOVA came from our own passion for travel and adventure. After being shown excellent hospitality in over 40 countries, we are excited to pass it along to our guests. We set out to create a hotel experience in Dallas that is unlike any other – an experience that is focused on you.
We brought the best aspects of our global adventures and optimized them, outfitting them for the Dallas scene. Our luxurious micro-rooms incorporate elements from all over the planet. Our carefully considered public spaces put a strong emphasis on community and meeting new people. People are our focus, so we want SOVA to not just be comfortable, but fun.
There is a story and a person behind every aspect in SOVA from the furniture to the coffee. Ask us about the names and faces that have made SOVA a reality!
We are so excited to host you here in Dallas, our home city. We look forward to showing you around and letting you discover all of the amazing adventures Dallas has to offer. Our goal is to make your stay as memorable as possible, so please let us know if there’s anything we can do to enhance your visit.
We hope to see you soon.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
Stay at SOVA and we would love to provide our best recommendations tailored just for you!
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
The list of shoutouts would be far too large to drop here. Knowing that our gratitude extends far beyond these words, we would just give a quick thanks to Josh Kim, our 30 investors, Gulf Coast Bank & Trust, 42 Real Estate, Brooks Weir, Birch Construction, Nativz, SGDesign. Without you, we could not make SOVA a reality. We are looking forward to continuing to shape a story full of innovation, happy guests, and laugh tales.