In 2012, Valencia left his job as merchandise manager for Donna Karan to open Home on Bishop. Located at 502 North Bishop Avenue, the lifestyle boutique offers almost exclusively hand-crafted home décor, clothing, jewelry, furniture, and more at affordable prices.
“The Bishop Arts District was just the only place where I considered having this store,” said Valencia. “It has an authentic, cool vibe that I really liked, and it was an opportunity for me to bring cool, hand-made, hand-crafted, affordably priced merchandise to Dallas.”
In the front window, a collection of eclectic vases in seemingly endless shapes, sizes and patterns are on display. Against a wall, a rack of newly-arrived fur shawls hang neatly, signaling the store’s shift into winter. Holiday-ready miniature bags adorned in jewels sit decoratively around the store.
After the success of Home on Bishop, Valencia purchased Bishop Street Market – a gift boutique originally opened in 1996 – which is located mere steps from his first business in the neighborhood. Then, about a year and a half ago, he opened Ellison | Valencia Gallery, which offers local art at affordable prices.
As a business owner and resident of the neighborhood, Valencia recognizes the changes that the area has undergone.
“The changes have been pretty quick. When we first moved into the store years ago, it was just a small neighborhood, and it started to grow,” said Valencia. “Now I get to employ more locals, and that goes back into the local economy. So, it’s been good not only for me, but good for the local economy, as well.”
As far as shopping goes, Valencia offers one piece of advice: stay off the internet.
“We’re so used to online shopping and Amazon gobbling up the world,” said Valencia. “With brick and mortar, you can actually go into a store, talk to a real person, try on the clothing, understand what’s behind it, how it was made, the process behind it, and having that interaction is so important – not just to me and my neighborhood, but I think globally.”