Introduction! Tell us a little bit about yourselves.
We are best friends and we co-founded RILEY + DALLAS together in January 2017. We met in our late teens working at a restaurant in Burlington, and quickly became inseparable. We both have maintained fast paced high profile careers. Riley’s background is in Fashion and Visual Merchandising and Dallas’ background is in Hospitality, Events and Hotel Management.
Our business is an urban sophisticated event + lifestyle planning, styling and design firm with a focus on curating beautiful one of a kind experiences. We maintain an integral mandate to build meaningful relationships, grow + strengthen our community, and innovate collaboration with other small businesses, clients + friends.
How did you find the world of entrepreneurship? / Why did you start Riley + Dallas?
Entrepreneurship is a liberating [and challenging] journey that we continue to navigate as our business evolves. It has been such an exciting time in our lives, and a tremendous learning curve. It has tested us both personally and professionally, as business partners and individuals. We have learned more about ourselves and each other throughout this journey than we have throughout our entire 15+ years of friendship. It is very important to us that we do everything with intention and truly understand our own WHY. Entrepreneurship is a rollercoaster emotionally, mentally and physically, but the most rewarding, inspiring/creative and uplifting experience, ever.
We started RILEY + DALLAS because we both had a burning desire to have creative control. We have always been very much aligned when it comes to personalized service, attention to detail, and experiential planning and design. We push the envelope creatively and we will do whatever needs to be done to accomplish a vision, and through our own experiences, this type of elevated service is rare to come by.
What advice would you like to give to today’s women?
Treat each other and yourself with kindness. It is so important for women to build each other up and cheer each other on. There is so much room for all of us to be successful, and you never know another woman’s (or persons) story. Compassion, empathy and respect are the key ingredients to not only loving yourself, but others. We are SO lucky to live in a time where women are empowered to choose and create their own path. We believe in community over competition, especially when it comes to women. We are all unique and special and different, but we are also the same. You can be fierce and independent, and still be kind and compassionate. You should not be afraid to be unapologetic about being authentically, you, always.
How would define the word success?
Everyone measure success in different ways, but for us, success is staying true to who we are and being genuine about what we do. Of course we want to grow our empire, build a following, and be financially comfortable, but it is only true success when it all comes as a result of authenticity. There are so many great and talented people out there making a living just like we are, but we want our work to speak to who we are as people [women] and professionals.
What do you love most about being apart of the Hamilton Community?
Hamilton is a truly special community like no other. In a city full of aspiring entrepreneurs artisans and influencers, we are so grateful to be surrounded by like-minded people who support each other and truly embrace each others individuality and talent. Hamilton is a colourful community, that we are so proud to call home. In one word the Hamilton community equals, acceptance.
Favourite Place in Hamilton?
Restaurant/Patio: King William Street
Cafe/Market: Dundurn Market
Sweet: Hello Baked
Shopping + Retail: Fashion: LUV + i | Home: Pretty Grit
Nature: Princess Point
Follow Riley and Dallas on Instagram!
Peace & Love,