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Design District

5 Questions with Lisa Nelson, Executive Director of Dwell with Dignity

Dallas' best and brightest bring the creativity to this year's Thrift Studio.
By Caitlin Clark |

Each year, Thrift Studio blows us away with incredible vignettes assembled by Dallas’ top designers. Featuring donated treasures from local showrooms, the 30 day pop-up shop benefits Dwell with Dignity, a Dallas-based non-profit that aims to empower families in need by creating beautiful, inspiring homes. Now that the shopping event has made the switch from occurring biannually to only once a year, we’re anticipating a Thrift Studio that’s bigger and better than ever. We reached out to Lisa Nelson, Executive Director of Dwell with Dignity, to give us an idea for what we can expect when the pop-up shop opens to the public on Friday, April 24.


{1} Thrift Studio never fails to wow us with the creativity and attention to detail behind each vignette. What can Thrift Studio enthusiasts and newcomers expect to find come April 24?

MORE creativity and attention to detail. We increased our number of designers to 9 this year, and they are some of Dallas’ best and brightest. They are laying on the creativity and love in their designs. They all believe in our mission and have taken to heart how critical Thrift Studio is to the families served by Dwell with Dignity.


{2} This spring’s vignettes are being put together by such talented designers, all with very different styles. What are you most excited to see from this year’s installations?

That’s what makes Thrift Studio so fun! The mix is always amazing. This year, one designer is incorporating vintage items into her vignette, and another vignette is inspired by a Parisian “terrace/salon”. The designers we have each year never disappoint.


{3} Thrift Studio has always incorporated original art donated by local artists. How did this tradition begin and why is it important to have this element in the pop-up store? (Sorry, two questions in one!)

Artwork is a critical piece of the home designs we create for families. Most of the art we put in our families’ homes are handmade by our volunteers. We believe art completes a home, and exposing children (especially) to a nurturing home environment that includes good design and art can inspire a standard of living that will carry over to future generations.  Because Dallas is such an art-friendly city and designers always include art in their designs, it was a natural fit to incorporate art from local artists into Thrift Studio. The artists have been so generous with their works which have been a great seller for us. We have also started a new program in which some our resident children create their own artwork as well. The Children’s Art Gallery has been one of our most impactful additions.


{4} How has Thrift Studio helped grow and benefit the non-profit Dwell with Dignity over the years?

Thrift Studio accounts for over 50% of our annual operating budget. Thrift Studio has allowed us to add more staff, which has enabled us to help more families. And that’s what it is really about – helping more families in our community. We couldn’t do what we do without the income generated from Thrift Studio.


{5} Tickets to the Preview Party (happening Thursday, April 23) go on sale on March 13. Aside from being the first to peruse this year’s sure to be incredible findings, why should shoppers make it a point to buy their ticket?

The most important reason to buy your ticket is because we sell out! You don’t want to miss the beauty, the design inspiration and of course, the amazing deals. You will walk away exhilarated by the passion and energy that is the Preview Party event.


For even more on Dwell with Dignity and Thrift Studio, head over to our article from the D Home’s March/April issue featuring Lisa Robison, founder of the Dallas-based non-profit.

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