We had the good fortune of connecting with Ken Valencia and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Ken, what was your thought process behind starting your own business?
The thought process behind starting our own business was relatively simple and was based on one core idea – we wanted to open a “lifestyle” store to provide unique, one-of-a-kind merchandise that would be attainable for most. The idea was to offer merchandise that looks more expensive than it is. My business partner and I both have extensive backgrounds in luxury goods, but we knew there was a way to offer the same look and quality and an affordable price.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I’m most proud of how we’ve been able to diversify and expand our business model. We started out with one store offering a range of home accessories, furniture, jewelry and quickly expanded to two stores, and an art gallery, and a fourth in the works dedicated to affordable home furnishings. We also launched our private label clothing line, Bishop Street Apparel four years ago. So we literally dress you AND your home!! Our interior design projects have been wildly successful, especially now that a lot of us are spending more time at home. What sets us apart is our quality and affordable pricing and unique services. For example, we do not charge a consultation fee when we visit your home to discuss design projects. And the one thing I’ve learned in this area – use what the client already has and incorporate new pieces to update. So many toss everything out, I believe every room should have a piece you’ve loved and showcases your individuality. With the addition of our art gallery, Ellison Valencia Gallery, we are now able to create the perfect space for any home!
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
Of course I am biased when it comes to the best places to hang out in Dallas, but for good reason! The Bishop Arts District offers something for everyone! You can spend an entire day eating, drinking, shopping, and who doesn’t like that?! Especially now when being outside is preferred to maintain safe distancing. For breakfast I like to take friends to El Jordan, it’s authentic, locally owned, and delicious! Our neighborhood is comprised of locally owned businesses and restaurants, and the experience is unlike anything else in Dallas! Shopping for a unique gift! Check out our store Bishop Street Market, in business since 1996. Unique gifts, head a few doors down to Urban Owl. Another favorite is Indigo 1745, Stop for a quick cocktail at Whitehall exchange on the corner of Bishop Ave. and 7th St. before lunch at Dallas Grilled Cheese Co., try the Brie and Bacon Grilled Cheese! For dinner we love En0’s Pizza for pizza, Stock & Barrel for out of this world meat loaf, or Vera Cruz for authentic Mexican cuisine. Bishop Arts has become a hotspot for artists and muralists, so many to see and so many instagram-able photo ops!
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
Cody Ellison for sure would be my shoutout person! We have been best friends for 18 years, in business together for 9 years and I trust his instincts, his business savvy, and his impeccable eye for quality. Oh, and his ability to bargain is unmatched!
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