Scott + Cooner Celebrates 25 Years of Excellence In Design
The duo behind one of Dallas’ most well-known furniture showrooms
looks back on two decades in design industry
When Lloyd Scott and Josy Cooner teamed up to start their own showroom in Dallas’ Design District 25 years ago, they never imaged the kind of impact their forward thinking would have on the city’s design scene.
While they currently occupy an expansive 21,000 sq. ft. space, employ a sizeable team of professionals, and recently opened a brand new showroom in Austin, Scott + Cooner had very humble beginnings.
“I had worked for Brueton, a high-end furniture company out of New York for seven years,” said Cooner-Collins. “After the birth of my son, I needed more flexibility. Lloyd had mentioned she needed a partner and I knew we could create something special. We had an afternoon conversation in a small dorm room office with only catalogs and small finish samples and formed a partnership.”
The women were introduced by Cooner’s husband at the time, Joel Cooner, and established Scott + Cooner, Inc. in 1995. Despite their differences, the women say they always admired each other's work ethic and their personalities complement one another in the most important areas.
“We have the same taste, drive and ambition,” Cooner-Collins said. “But we always say Lloyd is the giddy up and I’m the whoa. We just have different energies.”
They also share a love for contemporary modern design, which there wasn’t much of in Dallas when they first started out.
“Less than one percent of one percent understood contemporary modern like we did,” Scott said. “There were always modernists here in Dallas, you just had to poke around to find them. We were part of a movement to bring this contemporary modern taste to the city.”
Today the showrooms bring the best in European furniture design to Texas, with carefully curated selections that marry opulence with functionality. Each piece has been carefully vetted by the skillful eyes Scott and Cooner. Customers can work with expert designers to plan and customize their ideal living spaces down to the most minute detail.
The road to becoming one of Texas’ premiere showrooms wasn’t always easy. The duo experienced their share of tough times. From the aftermath of 9/11 to the financial crisis of 2010.
“Our staying power is a clear vision,” Cooner said. “An inner strength of understanding design, knowing our path and making it happen. In the beginning, none of the vendors ever thought of Texas as a place to visit. We changed that with strength and determination. We listened and paid attention to what our clients wanted not what vendors said we should display.”
Integrity, consistency and quality are values that Scott + Cooner have worked hard not to compromise over the years. It is something that has positively impacted their staff, some of whom have been with the company from the beginning.
“What attracted me to Scott + Cooner was that I was eager to learn more about the European design world with quality items,” said Melissa Lindsey, long-time Sales Associate for Scott + Cooner. “I have learned so many different things. I started as an intern and now I am a kitchen designer and sales associate, so I’ve learned a lot and so much has changed over the years.”
The showroom and the definitive style of its founders has had a lasting impact on the Dallas design community. Many admirers still fondly remember their first experience with the duo.
I will never forget the first time I walked into the Scott + Cooner showroom,” said Bill Hutchinson, Dallas Real Estate Developer. “I was walking around the Decorative Center, visiting the various showrooms and meeting the showroom owners, as I was under contract to purchase the largest piece of the Design District in 2014. I wanted to get to know my future tenants. when I walked inside this beautiful contemporary showroom I realized that none other than the wife of President George W. Bush was shopping there accompanied by two secret service agents.”
Hutchinson said what makes the Scott + Cooner showroom stand out are the larger than life personalities of the two partners.
“The impact that Josy and Lloyd have had on the Dallas Design District has been huge,” Hutchinson said. “Over the years, Scott + Cooner has become known as the premier contemporary and modern furniture showroom, representing the finest international lines of designer furniture in the world. Both Josy and Lloyd dedicate a significant amount of time to travel as they journey to find the most beautiful and highest quality furniture pieces in Italy and other parts unknown.”
Christine Allison, Editor-in-Chief and CEO of D Magazine, said Scott + Cooner has given Texas a master class in clean, original design.
“It's remarkable that in the 1990s, when Lloyd and Josy started out, we were all about roosters, mega-armoires, and brass candlesticks,” Allison said. “What an audacious move! Lloyd and Josy's grand wager -- that Texas would eventually embrace high-level modern and contemporary furnishings and accessories -- paid off.”
Others enjoyed watching the talented duo turn the Dallas design landscape upside down in those early days.
“Their modern furniture lines gave a resounding no to the yards of floral chintz and the heavily carved period furniture that were in vogue at the time,” said Peggy Levinson, a consultant who worked with Lloyd and Josy in the Dallas design scene for years. “It took years for the rest of us to catch up to their forward vision. Now, they hold the preeminent spot in Texas design showrooms because of their hands-on approach to business, representing the best contemporary lines worldwide, and always keeping the showroom exciting. People go to Scott + Cooner to buy the best furniture, but also to be entertained, enchanted, and inspired.”
Hutchinson said the duo’s passion for what they do is infectious and it’s something others can feel when they’re in their presence.
“They have such a love and passion for the business and for the interior designers who they cater to,” Hutchinson said. “Their constant engagement with the design community and their customers makes this showroom a center of fun events where the food and wine flows freely because joy and love is always in the air at Scott + Cooner.”
Cooner says that their plan for the next 25 years is to pay attention to design, what’s happening and how things can change.
“I feel so humbled each time I come into the showroom at how beautiful it is,” Cooner-Collins said. “We also have the most incredible team and work together in a happy way. It’s been a great journey with Lloyd and I’m very proud of the projects we work on, and to be able to make places impactful.”