Member Spotlight: Dennis O'Hara from Theo Decor
This month we had the opportunity to chat with Dennis O’Hara, one of our Suite Project members and National Sales Manager for Theo Decor. In this 3-minute read, you'll learn more about Dennis, Theo Decor, and what drives them.
The Suite Project: Tell us a little about your company and your position in your company.
Dennis O'Hara: My title is National Sales Manager so I oversee all of the US and Canada. Our industry is primarily home furnishings where we work with designers and architects, mostly for people who are building, restoring, or redecorating their home.
We are a multi brand company manufacturing a variety of products like furniture, lighting, and textiles. We are slowly adding in other accessories like rugs and wall coverings as well, but we help the designers and architects source products whether it be a standard product or custom product. Because we are in New York City and there are places to buy furniture everywhere, we really had to differentiate our company and who we are by talking about the craft. What separates us from other companies like Crate & Barrel and Restoration Hardware is that we are working with artisans in California who specialize in building frames for furniture as well as sourcing accessories from Belgium. Our pieces are manufactured one piece at a time. Even standard pieces are considered custom due to the individual details the customer selects such as finish, upholstery and hardware. We strive to be not only a source for an individual product, but to be able to help the designer pull a whole room/project together.
SP: What led you to this career?
DO: It was all an accident. I was a wedding and conference planner, living in Atlanta at the time. I had previously lived in Denver for 18 months while I was working with Marriott and was then given the opportunity to go back to Colorado for something personal. I chose to do that and just ended my old career, went out and basically started over. So I had no job at the time, then later met a gentleman who owned an interior design showroom, was interviewed at a dinner party and the following week I accepted the position. I was fortunate enough that his background and history of the industry was so extensive that it was a lot of on the job training.
SP: What was your first job?
DO: I managed a family restaurant which is how I developed my interest in hospitality management and became a wedding planner. It is now a 4th generation Italian Restaurant in South Jersey that my great grandfather started in 1924.
SP: If you could write a book about your life, what would the title be and why?
DO: This is an interesting time that we are in right now so what comes to mind right away is the Talk Talk song, It’s My Life. I am one of 6 kids and we tend to argue politics a lot; whenever we would disagree with something, I would end every argument with singing “it’s my life”...
SP: What is your worst habit?
DO: I drink Coke
SP: How would you convince someone to do something they didn’t want to do?
DO: I do this every day. When working with designers on making selections I have to be able to present a lot of products and get them to buy into and understand why it’s the right product for the job. This is done by having a transparent conversation, sharing of success stories related to product and suggestive selling...”how would I use it”.
SP: How has being part of a co-working space benefited you and what has been your favorite part of The Suite Project?
DO: In our industry, you are typically in a showroom. In New York City, there are two design centers: D&D and 200 LEX. If you’re a product company and you manufacture, you would be in one or the other. We were represented through a showroom, but decided we wanted our own and to do that we really wanted to focus on going to the designer instead of waiting for the designer to come to us. A coworking space allowed us an affordable rent that is customized to what we needed, which included a place for us to plug in and store products. As far as our favorite thing about The Suite Project, it’s convenient, centrally located to most of our designers, and it’s an easy commute. I also really liked that we were able to move in fairly quickly and just had to grow into the space ourselves without any build outs or designing needed.
SP: 2 Truths and a Lie
I am Irish and Italian
I have blue eyes
I have 2 Chihuahuas