By 1994 interior designer Tad Watts’ successful health-care design business was entering a transitional phase with the advent of managed care and he could see the writing on the wall. At the same time, Mark Vaughan’s pending graduation from TCU, with a degree in Art History left him with every senior’s question, “What am I going to do now?” The pair had a passion for antiques, estate sales and things of beauty so they put their heads together and opened Domain XCIV in a nine hundred square foot space on Fort Worth’s historic Camp Bowie Blvd. Tad brought his keen sense of style and business savvy to the partnership. Mark, a self-proclaimed naïve optimist ran the store while finishing up his degree. His previous years in customer service and management served him well and he grew the business through his hands on approach by getting to know his clients personally. Sandwiched between a popular bakery and a Motts 5 & 10 the young business had plenty of traffic, but what kept clients coming back was the eclectic mix of European antiques, top-notch home furnishings, unusual gifts and the personalized attention they received over and over.
Three years latter, Domain was busting at the seams. So in 1997 the store was moved further east on Camp Bowie into forty-eight hundred square feet of cultural district retail space that had sat derelict for many years. Plans were in the works for the new Modern Art Museum of Fort Wroth, but the WWII era apartment buildings still stood in occupancy. Counting on the potential of future traffic and great exposure Mark and Tad took the leap of faith. Within a few years the area became one of the country’s premier museum destinations, bustling with thousands of tourist a year. Mark and Tad filled their new store with the same great mix of antiques and new furnishings as before but even more! Pepper Hollingsworth joined the sales staff and floral designer Linda Shobe came on board shortly after and both have been integral to the success of the business ever since. A full service luxury linen boutique filled a quarter of the selling floor while the entire back was chocked full of French and Italian pottery. Always on the hunt for the newest and best, Mark and Tad traveled exhaustively: antiquing on the east coast, market trips to NYC, North Carolina and California even buying full containers of beautiful European product in Paris.
Over a decade later Domain XCIV had established itself as the premier home furnishings destination, so expansion seemed only natural. In August 2006 a great building became available so Mark and Tad opened dh collection a block behind Domain. Showcasing their luxury linens was a primary focus and the new space allowed the owners to expand this category to spectacular effect. This store features a younger, cleaner look, appealing to a more modern sensibility. Synergy was created as a result of the close proximity between the two stores and business flourished.
A massive urban re-development project in Fort Worth’s cultural district forced Mark and Tad into moving Domain again. Enduring many delays and the economic downturn of 2008, Domain has persevered and on July 22, 2009, a few months shy of their 15-year anniversary opened in a gorgeous new 6,500-sqft space just catty-corner from their old location. Architecturally the store features soaring ceilings, patterned brick floors, antique architectural elements such as columns and old doors and a massive amount of store-front floor-to-ceiling glass exposure. Mark and Tad set out create a store that was unlike anything in the area and succeeded in spades. Honing their ever-evolving esthetic the pair have re-interpreted traditional décor. Their panache for mixing and layering styles, colors and textures has created a treasure trove of unique accessories and beautiful furniture. As they set about celebrating another milestone in business they acknowledge their loyal client base to whom they are forever devoted to and grateful for.