Stella Dallas owner talks new pillow line and more of her favorite things
Amber Frazee likes pillow talk. But we’re not referring to bedtime conversations. The owner of Stella Dallas has a fondness for pretty patterned pillows that add a splash of color to any room in the house.
Frazee’s foray into home furnishings began after she graduated from Baylor in 2004 with a degree in journalism. “I loved writing, but something kept pulling me to retail,” says the Krum, Texas native.
Frazee began working at Crate and Barrel, with the goal of moving to the corporate office in Chicago. But when she met Dallas entrepreneur Stephanie Anne Kantis, Frazee went to work as general manger of Kantis’ Lovers Lane boutique, Stephanie Anne. “I learned how a big-box store worked and made a complete 180 to see how a small business is run,” Frazee says.
Frazee credits Kantis for giving her the opportunity to start her own store in November 2008, when Kantis wanted to relocate to Highland Park Village. “She knew my career goals and told me that since the store already had a built-in customer base, it would be an easy transition,” Frazee says.
It didn’t take long before Frazee opened Stella Dallas, which is named after a 1930s radio soap opera that her great-grandmother listened to, in the old Stephanie Anne space. In her new shop, Frazee sold everything from furniture and home accessories — including a line of pillows she designed herself — to stationery and other paper goods.
After five years at the space on Lovers Lane, Stella Dallas moved to the Design District in spring 2012, offering “a lighter take on traditional” decor and furniture, in addition to home design services. Frazee also recently amped up her pillow line, which has been sewn by the same woman since Frazee started her shop in 2008.
“It’s a more thought-out process and a collection that’s supposed to work together,” Frazee says. The collection comprises about 25 pillows of varying patterns. All the pieces are limited edition — made with fabric manufactured in the United States or England — and sell out completely. Prices range from $100 to $400.
Aside from posh pillows, here are 10 more of Frazee’s favorite things:
- My Missoni throws! I have four right now; I use them every day and take them everywhere. Road trips, hotel rooms, airplanes — you name it.
- Tory Burch Reva ballet flats. I live in these.
- By Terry’s Pink Party lipstick — very aptly named. It’s so bright and fun, like a party in a tube.
- MiH Jeans’ Paris cropped white jeans I got last summer at Cabana. As someone who loves color and pattern, it’s good to balance that out with some crisp white. I swear I wear these every other day in the summer.
- Kartell’s Louis Ghost Chair by Philippe Starck. When in doubt, this chair literally goes with any style, in any home, in any room.
- White slipcovered furniture. It sounds counterintuitive, but white slipcovers are perfect for families with kids or pets. Slip them off, throw them in the wash with a little bleach, and bang —good as new!
- My weekly blowouts at Hair by Charlie. Emily Littleton is amazing.
- Pink garden roses. Whenever I go to Central Market for groceries, I can’t help picking up a bunch for the house.
- Kendra Scott necklaces. I have two that I rotate and wear every day (the Rayne in white and the Betty in gold). They go with absolutely everything.
- This Figue scarf I got on a recent trip to New York. I saw it in the window and had to have it. Pink and gold is one of my favorite color combos.