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Nikki Chu and Zara Taitt

Successfully launched virtually last year as a response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Dwell with Dignity’s Thrift Studio LIVE is returning in 2021! This year, it will be a hybrid experience with options to shop virtually or in person, thanks to a new partnership with West Village, a prestigious entertainment district in the heart of the vibrant Uptown neighborhood. Both shopping experiences will feature artfully designed vignettes plus other new, unique home décor items. All the items will be available to purchase (while supplies last) at extreme discounts with 100 percent of proceeds benefiting Dwell with Dignity’s mission to transform lives through design for those struggling with homelessness and poverty.

Thrift Studio LIVE will take place twice a year in the spring and fall. Thrift Studio, the nonprofit’s largest annual fundraiser and month-long pop-up store, will take place in late summer. 

In its efforts to champion equality, diversity and inclusion, Dwell with Dignity is elevating Thrift Studio LIVE to serve as a platform to showcase “Designers of Color.” The budding talent will be curated by award-winning celebrity interior designer, author, and trendsetter Nikki Chu.

Nikki Chu is a powerhouse in the world of product design and interiors. She has designed projects for Hollywood elites such as Gabrielle Union, Nick Cannon, Tyra Banks, Sasha and Malia Obama, and many more. She has collaborated with household brand names including Moet & Chandon, Home Depot, NFL, Pier One, Pepsi, Disney, and XBOX, to name a few. Nikki is a lifestyle and design expert for several television networks such as HGTV, E!, Oxygen, and OWN Network, and stars in her own makeover show called “UNBOXED with Nikki Chu” on the Aspire network. Her modern globalism brand “Nikki Chu Home” is firmly rooted in interiors, accessories, art, home decor, and accent furniture.

For its debut, Chu has selected Zara Taitt as Thrift Studio LIVE’s premier interior designer who will be creating a beautifully furnished vignette to inspire and shop. Taitt, the Senior Interior Designer and Executive of Operations at Jan Showers & Associates, has worked on a large scope of residential interior design projects throughout the United States and in Toronto and London, helping to earn the company’s recognition in the “Top 100 Designers and Architects” by Architectural Digest. In 2020, she was featured on Pholio Co.’s “Diversity in Design in Dallas” and Brentano’s “Framing the Future.” In 2021, she joined Dwell with Dignity as a board member. 

“This initiative to help create and sustain a more equal and inclusive industry of interior designers is incredibly important to Dwell with Dignity,” remarks Ashley Sharp, the non-profit’s executive director. “To launch it with such talented designers as Nikki Chu and Zara Taitt is a dream.”

Dwell with Dignity’s stance on social impact design also extends to the environment. The fact is 19.6 billion pounds of furniture ends up in a landfill each year. In honor of Earth Day, Dwell with Dignity is partnering with Districtt a Dallas-based start-up changing how furniture is consumed. Districtt offers upscale furnishings and home decor via a monthly subscription. By coupling this curated offering with seamless delivery and retrieval, Districtt provides design-conscious, urban dwellers furniture freedom and interrupts the low-cost, disposal furniture cycle. This circular furniture system keeps furniture out of landfills and reduces carbon emissions that contribute to climate change.  www.districtt.com

On Wednesday, April 21 (the day before Earth Day) between 5 pm – 7 pm, at the West Village pop-up, guests can shop Districtt furnishings, while enjoying complimentary signature drinks by Ketel One Botanical, Baileys, Tanqueray Gin & Tonic, and more. This event will kick off a weekend-long pop-up that Districtt is hosting at West Village where 10 percent of proceeds are donated to Dwell with Dignity. The event is produced by Pairr, a digital platform that connects users to customized, invitation-only experiences.  

Dwell with Dignity is a 501 (c) 3 nonprofit organization whose mission is to help families escape poverty and homelessness through design, one family at a time. We partner with the interior design industry and social services agencies to provide home furnishings to families who have managed to obtain permanent housing but do not have the funds to purchase the many items needed to make their new residence a home, including all furniture, art, bedding, kitchen supplies, food in the pantry and their first night’s meal. With the assistance that DwD provides, a huge burden is lifted from the families we serve. They can now focus on their jobs, their children, and their futures. Academics improve. Playdates are made. Plans are made for birthdays, holiday gatherings and family dinners, setting the stage for breaking the cycle of poverty and setting up future generations for success. www.dwellwithdignity.org

Dwell with Dignity will host the spring edition of Thrift Studio LIVE, a hybrid experience of online and in-person shopping and inspiring vignettes created by interior designer Zara Taitt, on April 19-30, 2021. Guests can shop virtually 24/7 at www.thriftstudio.com/live or in-person at the West Village pop-up shop located at 3700 McKinney Avenue, Dallas, TX 75204. Store hours are Thursday through Saturday, 10 am – 4 pm, and by appointment at info@dwellwithdignity.org. Masks are required, and social distancing encouraged. For additional information, call (214) 599-7974 or visit www.dwellwithdignity.org.