Christine Visneau, Store Curator. Photo courtesy of Commerce Goods + Supply
Commerce Goods + Supply is a luxury retail experience that celebrates the rich history and storied makers of Texas. Curated by retail expert Christine Visneau and located on the street level of the historic Adolphus Hotel in Dallas’s downtown shopping district, Commerce is home to a highly selective mix of artisan goods to wear, use and admire, and elevated essentials for body, home and office, sourced from designers and makers located down the block and around the world. A number of Aesthetic Movement lines are featured in their store including Sir|Madam, Graphic Image, Siren Song, Izola, Noat, and Abacus Row!
Christine Visneau, Director of Retail and Sourcing of Makeready, is a celebrated designer and purveyor of hand-selected retail with an innovative eye for fashion, art direction, curation and design. Below is our interview with Commerce Goods + Supply’s store curator, Christine.
q&a with christine
How did you start working as a store curator and what does the title mean to you?
I worked at a boutique in Williamsburg, Brooklyn while in college at FIT and ended up buying the shop from the owner. At the time Williamsburg was such a hub for artists and designers because rent was super cheap. I would partner with them on their handmade items and develop exclusive goods which is where my love for independent design started.
It means stepping out of your comfort zone and not choosing items from a personal point of view, and truly creating a story that is inspired by the city, the design of the space and the customers you envision. This is the most challenging part, but you need to step into the customers eyes, creating an experience the minute they walk through the door, taking them on a journey. My favorite part is working with small designers. We love giving them a voice and a platform for their work. I also love the traveling involved working in both retail and hospitality, which always inspires me.
What was the inspiration for Commerce?
Commerce was inspired by the original shop that was located in the Adolphus Hotel back in 1912. It was more than a lobby gift shop. Old photos show that it was a destination where guests and locals hung out. We are located on Commerce St in downtown Dallas. The Goods + Supply is inspired by the old department style shop that we now refer to as a lifestyle/concept shop. We wanted to give a nod to the commerce and trade that took place downtown and within our historic building long ago.
Commerce is located in the Adolphus Hotel and often sets the tone for the entire hotel experience.
“[Being a store curator means] truly creating a story that is inspired by the city, the design of the space and the customers you envision.”
How would you describe Commerce's customers and what keeps them coming back?
Our customers are curious, honest and very knowledgeable. They expect an authentic experience and put a lot of trust in our curation. Our team keeps them coming back. They have very strong relationships with our partners and share their stories with each and every customer. We also keep the curation fresh, adding new items along with our bestsellers.
How would you describe Texas style today? What makes it stand out?
You cannot ignore the rich history of cowboys, ranchers and oil money when it comes to Texas. But over the past 15 years the creative community in Dallas has grown so much, as we have a city that supports the arts and fashion so strongly. There are so many thriving makers and artists here that support each other, which I find unique.
Commerce was inspired by their local partner Stetson.
How did you visualize the past and present Texas style in the layout / design of the store?
We worked closely with our interior designers and branding agency, Swoon, to create a space that is a perfect blend of both a masculine and feminine sensibility. We were inspired by our local partner Stetson, which is our nod to Texas history, which happily sits alongside our more contemporary Texas designers like Miranda Bennett and Field Rations.
That sounds great! And finally, what is your favorite item in the store right now?
I need to choose a few - Heaven in Earth Goat Hair Face Brush, Maison Lebiche Bonjour Dallas Shirt, Siren Song Tea Towels, Vintage Gold Lockets…
“Our customers are curious, honest, and very knowledgeable. They expect an authentic experience and put a lot of trust in our curation.”
“…we have a city that supports the arts and fashion so strongly. There are so many thriving makers and artists here that support each other, which I find unique.”
Visit Commerce Goods + Supply online or in person to experience their story.