talent times two

Newlyweds establish roots in Dallas with a combination flower shop and art gallery.
by Kelsey E. Smith

     Late 2009 brought a taste of New York City to Dallas, when artists Adam and Alicia Rico opened Bows and Arrows, a combination flower shop and art gallery, in the Texas city’s hip “Lower Greenville” neighborhood and entertainment
district. The couple moved in August 2009 from the Big Apple to the Big D, where Mrs. Rico, who worked as a floral designer at Seaport Flowers in Brooklyn, N.Y., is originally from. But the distinct character of Brooklyn remained close to their hearts as they looked for the perfect spot to open their business, the name of which is a play on feminine and masculine concepts.

two shops in one

     Located in a former tattoo parlor, Bows and Arrows is surrounded by a host of specialty shops and pubs. “There are a lot of storefronts from the ’20s that have been restored,” Mrs. Rico describes. “The area has a very New York feel to it, and that’s why we decided to be here. It’s not too manicured; it’s a little rough and very urban.”

     The area also is ideal for drawing in the business’s target customers, whom Mrs. Rico describes as “young creative folks” in their 20s and 30s. She and her husband, both 28 and both with art degrees with an emphasis in painting, fit this demographic as well.

     Originally, the Ricos dreamed of opening an art gallery only, but with the economic downturn, they concluded that it could be unprofitable. Given Mrs. Rico’s floral design experience, adding flowers seemed a logical pairing. And the floral aspect of the business makes up for times when art sales are lacking. In addition to exposing the flowers to those who have an inherent appreciation for beauty in their homes, the business draws in bridal customers, whose weddings have become the “bread and butter of the business,” Mrs. Rico says. At press time, Bows and Arrows had handled floral décor for approximately 40 weddings, averaging $5,000 and accounting for nearly two-thirds of sales. Thus far, there is only one additional employee, but the Ricos hire friends with art and design experience to help as needed.

     While Mrs. Rico admits that the art gallery so far has not yielded high sales, “it’s our passion,” she explains. “We’re becoming known as a gallery that shows upcoming young artists, so a lot of them come to us now. We also go to open studios and tours and try to remain in the art scene in Dallas and elsewhere.”

     The Ricos select the art to be shown, and they display pieces that are more conceptual than decorative, ensuring the mood of the shop—which Mrs. Rico describes as hip, eclectic, vintage and foresty—carries through. Most pieces are offered on consignment, but the Ricos do purchase some for reselling, and their own creations account for some of the art on display as well.

... To read more, look to the December 2010 issue of Florists' Review.


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