Alumni couple use their UNT art backgrounds to create eclectic Dallas boutique

Written by: 
Lauren Frock

Erin ('06) and Paul 'JP' Hossley ('03) owners of Neighborhood Design Studio. (Photo by Gary Payne)UNT alumni Erin ('06) and John Paul 'JP' Hossley ('03) are cultivating a creative community with Neighborhood, their eclectic home furnishing and design services boutique in the Bishop Arts District of Dallas. Their backgrounds in interior design and architecture helped them make their dream of offering affordable high-end custom design a reality.

"We want to offer our design services with a walk up atmosphere," says Erin, "to make the world of interior design and architecture as approachable and user friendly as buying a latte."

Interior design graduate Erin and applied arts and sciences graduate JP had never worked in retail but were inspired by the vibrant culture of places like Congress Street in Austin and the Mission District in San Francisco. So they wrote a business plan in early 2012 and by that spring held the grand opening of Neighborhood, the name which Erin says speaks to the community atmosphere of the Bishop Arts District.

"We find like-minded people who are on the same page as we are," she says. "That same community atmosphere doubles in the items we bring into the store — the work of local artists, designers and fabricators."

With art as a key inspiration, Erin and JP collaborate with other UNT alums, including interior design graduate Shannon Dwyer ('13), whom Erin met in her studio class at UNT, and drawing and painting graduates Ty Wilcox ('04 M.F.A.) and Cabe Booth ('95), Tom Sale (ΚΌ90 M.F.A.), Clay Stinnett ('04) and Chris Bingham. They offer their clients design services, furniture lines, one-of-a-kind accessories and unique local art pieces.

"The music and art community of Denton was a strong part of our college experiences," JP says. "The friends we met at UNT are still some of our best friends today."

Erin says the art at Neighborhood is modern, pop, minimal or local.

"Staying ahead of the curve is sometimes challenging," she says of the ever-changing world of interior design, "but we have found our niche."