DECADES OF DESIGN

BY DOUGLAS KING

Dallas Market Center (DMC) is the go-to location for the design trade to locate top-of-theline furniture, décor, lighting, art and more. Dozens of showrooms, open only to the trade, showcase the latest trends and designs.

Cindy Morris, CEO of Dallas Market Center, began with the company in 1989, starting in the marketing division and eventually moving up to serve as COO prior to becoming president and CEO in 2015. Morris has been instrumental in the strategic growth of the center across key categories, and has overseen significant new business initiatives and effective international partnerships in Europe and Asia.

Before beginning her tenure at Market Center Management Company, Morris served as an account supervisor for the Madelyn Miller Advertising Agency, after graduating from Texas A&M University with a degree in marketing.

Morris is proud of DMC’s past and excited about its future. “This company was actually founded to serve the furniture and design community, so that portion of our business is part of the company’s DNA,” she says.

Dallas Style & Design talked with Morris to discuss design and the future of the Center.

What can designers look forward to in 2018 from DMC?
In the past five years we have made significant investment and outreach to the design community, and in the last three years we have made even greater strides to offer an updated marketplace and new programs to support design.

For 2018 we have tripled the number of design events from just three years ago and have several new and expanded showrooms catering to the design community. We now have more than 1.2 million square feet of design resources. The recent addition of new showrooms for Go Home, Loloi Rugs, Accent Décor, Gabby, Global Views and Studio|A Home, and American Leather by Contempo Designs are significant new destinations.

What changes have you seen in design from vendors in the past year?
You know, it’s interesting that partners such as Cyan Design, Arteriors, Phillips Collection, Visual Comfort, Palecek, Erdos + Ko, C. Maddox and many others are emphasizing a much more curated collection of products that are unique or one-ofa- kind or a small collection. The consumer wants to showcase something in their home that stands out, and our showrooms are delivering new options that meet that need.

What do you wish ASID members knew about DMC?
I believe they already know the rich history and the continuing programming we offer for Continuing Education Units (CEU). What I wish they would also understand is the number of new showrooms that want to partner with designers. There’s no better example than two of our shared showrooms. Light + Design on Ten is a showroom featuring several important lighting companies that cater to designers. The Gallery at the Interior Home + Design Center offers designers a collection of manufacturers ready to do business for furniture, home accents, art and more.

What do you wish the public knew about DMC?
For more than 60 years we have been a community partner helping to make Dallas a design destination, but what the public may not know is that the Market Center showcases the most comprehensive lifestyle collection in one marketplace. Designers and retailers now, more than ever, depend upon a marketplace like DMC to help them make smart decisions to drive their business and serve savvy consumers.

What future plans are in store for DMC?
It’s interesting. As our design business continues to grow, we are now welcoming more than 2,000 members of the design community each month. We have a significant design momentum carried along by the strong Texas economy and new residents. Our goal is to continue to offer the design community new resources and new inspiration to help them succeed. That means developing new showrooms and also promoting our markets as a chance to see the latest products, meet with company principals and hear from design experts.

Will there be any special events at DMC in 2018, aside from market and the luncheons?
We have launched several new series for 2018. We held the first Dallas Design Week in April, which brought together a strong collection of events and seminars. The September edition will be even better. We also launched a series of networking and educational events, called Gatherings, in the Gallery, which bring together designers to network and share information.

What one design item can you not live without?
You are asking at the right time since we just renovated a home. And, I will choose a category: lighting. We love all of our lighting manufacturers, so I am not going to select just one item, but Dallas Market Center offers more residential lighting options than any other marketplace in North America. Lighting provides us with more than the functional aspects: It’s decorative, it’s mood setting, it’s technologically advanced, and it’s critical to compelling design. That’s why we have more than 1 million square feet of lighting at the Market Center and many lighting showrooms now eager to meet with designers.

If you could have a dinner with three designers (living or dead) who would they be, and why?
David Hicks—a bold designer, who would probably offer bold conversation; Dorothy Draper—a female entrepreneur and a model for modern leadership; and Coco Chanel. I’m choosing the fashion designer because of her timeless designs that transcend a single medium.