John and I met the wonderful mother-daughter team of Teddie and Courtney Garrigan a few years back in passing at High Point Market and exchanged some pleasantries, but we really didn’t get to spend any quality time together. We had heard about the duo’s incredible retail shop in Dallas, Coco & Dash, from various style-setting friends (and from their cover story in “Home Accents Today” magazine), but we hadn’t visited Dallas in ages.
So it was all, “So lovely to see you, let’s have dinner sometime…” And then done.
Happily, John and I recently attended Dallas Market to launch our lighting and accessories collections with Port 68, and we were lucky enough to visit the truly exceptional Coco & Dash outpost and spend time with these two witty, stylish, whip-smart gals over brunch and cocktails and award ceremonies and more cocktails and coffee.
We meeted and greeted, we concocted, we strategized, we gave out awards, and we laughed. Lots.
John and I were smitten with this high-energy pair. Over the moon.
So let’s ask these gals ten questions…
MADCAP COTTAGE: Tell us about your backgrounds. How did you come together as a mother-daughter team to start the phenomenon that is Coco & Dash?
COURTNEY GARRIGAN: Our backgrounds! I think the abbreviated versions are in order.
TEDDIE GARRIGAN: My degree is in Political Science, and I began my career serving in numerous local, state, and national political campaigns. I went on to become a founding partner at a Dallas-based PR, marketing, and strategic advisory firm and had the good fortune to work with clients in the United States, Europe, the Middle East, and South America. But I’ve always loved anything associated with interiors and retail. and I owned a high-end antiques store at one point.
CG: Mom is like a one-woman brain trust, and she can bounce around in that head of hers which is probably why my degree is in Counseling. However, I left graduate school to pursue something more creative. I started a children’s art studio and became a professional organizer. Wait. Maybe we’re both off our rockers.
TG: We opened Coco & Dash because we love retail and because we couldn’t find a place in Dallas that provided what we felt people were craving—a great mix of old and new home décor with exotic influences served up with a true understanding of the importance of the human dynamic in life.
MC: What is your vision for Coco & Dash?
CG: Our vision for Coco & Dash has always been based on inspiring a true love of home through unpretentious luxury, style, and comfort. People love the feeling of being in our store and not simply because we have beautiful things. The Coco & Dash experience is a combination of product, physical space, and atmosphere that revolves around people. You can’t fake it—it’s either there or it isn’t.
TG: At the heart of our brand story is the promise of creating a home that celebrates life. We want to be a brand that arouses the spirit of southern hospitality and a well-lived life. It’s also important to us that people know it’s well worth the effort.
MC: Are you designing homes, too?
CG: We are! Last year we began accepting a limited number of projects. We seem to attract clients who want to bring a freshness to the way they live but not without a bit of eccentricity.
TG: Let me add that expertise in project management, budgeting, and other business skills are a must! We would never have stepped into interior design (or retail!) without those skills.
MC: We love the pairing of new and vintage at Coco & Dash—tell us about that mix. Is there a rule of thumb for layering?
CG: For us, a mix of beautiful furnishings, books, and art provides a background for living well only if people and animals are included. Nothing is too precious to live with if you love it and share it with others—not a new philosophy but it’s the difference between a house and a home.
TG: Anyone who knows us knows we’re not good rule followers. Sometimes you have to un-layer to get where you want to be—in life, in business, and in design.
MC: What is inspiring you both right now?
TG: We’re always inspired by travel but I think we find our greatest inspiration from people—customers, clients, and our own small but fabulous Coco & Dash team. We especially feel inspired to be better and do more when we spend time with our friends in the industry.
CG: How can anyone NOT be inspired by the sheer volume of creative and business talent in the home industry? Our industry is all about people and living your best life.
MC: Who are your style icons and why?
TG: I’m always inspired by people who exhibit a certain fearlessness or determination in general. Today, my top five might include my very stylish and southern namesake aunt, Teddie, Stanley Marcus, Coco Chanel, Tony Duquette, and Edith Wharton. But there are so many amazingly talented people in this industry it’s really a very long list.
CG: The names that come to mind for me are Bunny Williams, Dorothy Draper, Miles Redd, Tony Duquette, and my mom. These are people who represent a lifelong love of home and hospitality which translates to caring for other people.
MC: Where do you both travel to find design inspiration?
TG: I’m truly inspired on a daily basis by books, old movies and architecture. But last year we travelled to Morocco, and the inspiration was unending. Every culture shares our love of family and home, and we always learn something new when our hearts and minds are open.
CG: We are traveling to Thailand next month and no doubt we will be awed. It’s always a happy challenge to see how we can interpret our experiences for Coco & Dash.
MC: How would you characterize the style you deliver?
CG: Our aesthetic is a mix of styles that are married through color, texture, and pattern. The idea is to help people create a home anchored in relaxed sophistication but not lacking in personality.
TG: I agree. Hopefully, our style is experienced as naturally exuberant while creating a bit of exotic or whimsical magic—nothing too formulaic or predictable—and providing a very comfortable backdrop for real life and genuine hospitality.
MC: Might there be a book in the works?
TG: That’s something we haven’t considered but who knows? We never say never. Except just now in that sentence.
MC: What’s next for your brand?
CG: We always remain optimistically open to opportunities that will enhance the Coco & Dash brand experience. We’ll continue to push ourselves to be better by adjusting our business model to include more great in-store experiences like our Inside Design Live event, pop-ups, and other ideas that promote a life of style and hospitality.
TG: Growing up as an Air Force brat I moved A LOT. My family lived in Europe for extended periods of time, and I learned early on that home is not so much a place but rather a feeling we can create anywhere. We’ll continue to carry the message that feelings are what give us our sense of place. It’s not that we possess a beautiful object, but that the object is associated with memories.