VoyageDallas asks Rupal of AOI Home to share some input about the business and the Dallas Design District. Read about AOI Home’s history, mission, and Rupal’s story here:
VoyageDallas: Rupal, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
I’ve been visiting Art of Old India since I was child. My father, Pankaj Dalal, started the business and I always enjoyed visiting the showroom and seeing what pieces he had found. I always knew that I wanted join his business. I studied Art History and earned an MBA to help me develop a foundation to help and grow the business.
We moved to the Design District in 2004 and it has been amazing to see the area develop. There are so many galleries and locally owned shops. The Design District is such an important part of the city.
VD: Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
We want more people to know that the Design District is open to the public! Many people think that they have to be an interior designer to visit shops in the area, but that’s not true. Come out an explore the area and you’ll be amazed at what you can find.
VD: Alright – so let’s talk business. Tell us about Art of Old India – what should we know?
Art of Old India was founded by my father, Pankaj Dalal in 1974. He wanted to share his love of travel and international design with the world. He traveled the globe to find one-of-a-kind pieces from India, Iran, Afghanistan, Turkey, and East Africa and showcased them in our showroom in the World Trade Center.
In 2004, we moved to the heart of the Dallas Design District. The 25,000-square foot building now showcases one of the largest collections of antique and modern architectural elements in the country. The showroom is filled with grand doors, columns, ceiling panels, and other architectural items. We believe it is important to save these beautiful pieces as historical destinations are being demolished in India. Many of the antique elements have been given new life by adding modern inlay and overlay work.
We are known for our architectural pieces. A hand-carved door, or inlaid ceiling panel, can really set a home apart.
We also sell a collection of Jayshree Dalal jewelry and tunics.
VD: Is there a characteristic or quality that you feel is essential to success?
We only source pieces that we love. We try to find things that are unique and only sell items that are made by hand. The quality of hand-made items is amazing and it allows you to appreciate the piece in a different way. We are always available to help clients find the perfect piece for their home. When clients view our collection, they can usually see how much effort we take to find special items.
- Prices range from $20 for accessories to $15,000 for architectural pieces.
Check out VoyageDallas‘ article, “Meet Rupal Dalal of Art of Old India in Design District,” for the full spread.