The Dallas Morning News
Dallas partners open wholesale decor business
Boutique, chain backgrounds fuel Aesthetic Content
Patrick Farrell and David Hairgrove love home furnishings. Together the business partners have spent more than 25 years developing and selling decor.
Yet each took a circuitous route to his dream career.
“We both wanted to be in the home furnishings business,” says Farrell, 45. “I have a degree in product design, but I worked for a few years as an industrial equipment designer. I was designing circuitbreaker covers. I wanted to stretch my creative wings.”
He got his wish when he was hired by Storehouse Furniture, initially working in visual merchandising and later as buyer of home accents. “I was setting color palettes and creating design standards,” he says.
This experience launched Farrell into buying and product-development positions at Pier 1 Imports, Urban Outfitters and the Teavana division of Starbucks.
Like Farrell, Hairgrove took an indirect road to his calling. In fact, it was only after years with American Airlines that he took the plunge into his new career.
“I opened my own retail store in Philadelphia. We had home furnishings and gifts,” says Hairgrove, 49.
It was in Philadelphia that the two met and formed their partnership, both in business and in life. Later, when Farrell’s career took him to Atlanta, Hairgrove joined him there, creating a business in residential reconstruction.
However, the partners felt it was time for a change, and they longed to return to family and friends in Texas.
“I thought, why not focus on creating a success story for us?” Farrell says. “We really are combining the best of two retail backgrounds together: my chain-store experience and David’s independent boutique experience.”
In June the two switched gears again and opened Aesthetic Content, a manufacturer of candles, housewares and lighting.
“This happened a bit organically from both David’s and my passions. He loves candles and lighting and I love home accessories and textiles. As we started Aes- thetic Content, we wanted to create a home decor brand that had a design and sensory appeal,” says Farrell.
Fragrances for the candles are custom-selected by the pair, who make a point not to imitate scents found at other manufacturers.
“We started researching how candles were made from the base ingredients up, starting with best waxes and wicks for a clean burn and working closely with perfume houses,” says Farrell.
The housewares category includes ceramic and cork bowls and serving pieces. “We strive to be eco-friendly and use sustainable products. Cork is a renewable product. It’s a great, resilient material,” Farrell says.
Lamps offered by Aesthetic Content are designed by the pair and outside artists and are constructed of handmade art glass, aluminum and crystal. Fabric shades are lined in silver.
For 2015, the partners plan to add pillows and throws to the product assortment they offer to stores. “We’re working on textiles. It’s a fun way to bring color and life into a room,” Hairgrove says.