Walk into Dulce Interior Consignment Showplace today, return a week later, and you may find yourself in an entirely different shop. That’s because the selection is never quite the same.
“It’s always changing. We receive furniture every day,” says co-owner Jorge Fernandez. 114 DSD “We’re always moving things to accommodate new items, and that keeps the shop fresh for our regular customers. Sometimes they’ll see something they didn’t see before.”
Located on Oak Lawn Avenue a half block from the landmark Warwick Melrose Hotel, Dulce has been a favorite shop for consigners, browsers and buyers for more than 15 years. “Some consigners are regulars, and we have customers who are here every week,” says Fernandez.
Shoppers are drawn to Dulce’s exhaustive collection of high-quality mid-century modern and contemporary furniture and furnishings. A recent visit highlights the variety: tables with tops of polished tree trunk slices; a George Nelson for Herman Miller mid-century credenza with marble top; an antique claw-foot bathtub converted into a love seat; a four-drawer chest by Harvey Probber; and an antique Chinese buffet that fills a wall at almost 13 feet long. Elsewhere, chandeliers dangle from the ceiling, rugs sprawl across the floor, art covers the walls, and every available surface displays lamps and decorations.
Fernandez opened the shop in 2001 with his partner, Simon Veeren, after the two moved to Dallas in 1996. Fernandez was a dentist in Monterrey, Mexico, before coming to the United States and working in antique restoration and decorative painting. Veeren, from Guyana and raised in New Jersey, was in the computer business. With many friends who were artists and furniture builders, the two men dreamed of owning a decorative shop. When Veeren was laid off during a tech purge, they turned their dream into reality.
“We wanted to deal a little differently,” says Fernandez, explaining that in 2001 consignment shops in Dallas had more antiques and what he calls “brown furniture.” The partners wanted to carry a more modern and contemporary selection, and they wanted to represent local and top-name artists. Dulce specializes in contemporary, abstract and impressionistic works—from originals by museum- represented artists such as Robert Lowe to framed giclées by the likes of Chagall, Cezanne and Dali.
“When we opened the store we were a little scared,” Fernandez says. “We thought the space was too big at first, and then after four months we thought it was not so big. Now, we have to constantly move pieces around.”
That constant movement has helped build a regular customer base—from interior designers shopping for unique pieces for their clients to homeowners who have furnished their entire homes from the shop. Many customers submit wish lists of items they are looking for.
The common tie is they are “smart shoppers,” says Fernandez. “They’re trying to get high-quality, unique pieces but without paying retail.”
Everything Dulce sells is posted on its website, and an upcoming site upgrade will allow customers to purchase online in addition to browsing. That will be a plus for the numerous customers who live out of town.
Fernandez says that when the shop first opened, they were hesitant to turn away some items brought in for consignment, but they have become more selective about what they consign.
“We always ask for pictures to see if we can sell for them,” he says. “We have been learning from our customers what they want.”
That philosophy keeps the inventory moving and makes every visit to Dulce a fresh experience.
Jeff Hampton is a freelance writer based in Garland, Texas. Find out more at jeffhamptonwriter.com.