Designer Allen Jancik mixes passions for decorating and charity in one fell swoop at Dolly Johnson Antique Show


DESIGN WITH PURPOSE | Allen Jancik will man a food bank booth at the Dolly Johnson Show in Fort Worth this weekend.

RICH LOPEZ  | Staff Writer

For 11 years, you could see Allen Jancik’s hand in a number of homes and even some restaurants or bars. As the founder of AJ Environments, he has brought his interior design and collector talents to diverse clients, both residential and commercial. Come Christmastime, his firm even delivers the holiday magic with an array of decorations, both vintage and modern.

It’s fulfilling work for a man whose first job, at age 15, was assisting an interior designer. But working a booth at this weekend’s 49th Annual Dolly Johnson Antique and Art Show, he anticipates a far exceeding sense of accomplishment.

“I was asked to volunteer my services and raise merchandise to enhance the look of the entire show,” Jancik says. “But the merchandise for this particular booth is all donated and runs from accessories to furniture to vintage antiques and more. We wanted to bring in the best to obtain a high amount of proceeds.”

Jancik will not only stock the benefit booth that supports the Tarrant Area Food Bank, a nonprofit that provides services to 13 counties, he will also man it. For him, it’s an opportunity to do his part when normally, his busy schedule doesn’t allow for it.

“I travel a great deal of the time and work keeps me busy as well,” he says, “It’s hard to find time to do hands-on work. I’ll just end up donating [money].”

There’s nothing wrong with a financial contribution, but the cards played out in his favor and for a weekend, he could be surrounded in antiques and art, while lending a tangible hand.

“Fortunately, I’ve never missed a meal, gone hungry or wondered where my next meal is coming from,” he says. “Other people do worry about those things. Here, I’m able to commit and do something this small while doing what I do. That’s what’s been most compelling in being able to help.”

Jancik hopes the community will come out and venture to the benefit booth. He knows how high-end art and antique shows appeal to the LGBT folks — especially men. He even met his own partner of six years while antiquing. He laughs about it being a natural thing.

“Maybe that’s what the gay gene is,” he jokes. “Beautiful objects speak to us differently perhaps. I know for me, my appreciation for nice things developed from the people who affected my upbringing like my mother and grandmothers. I think design and taste have always been important to the community.”

Jancik’s professional side kicks in as he offers two pieces of major advice for would-be shoppers.

“What I love about this show is that it runs the gamut and someone can spend $6,000 or $60 and find something great,” he says. “But people need to come in with a list or a mission to avoid getting overwhelmed which is easy to do. Oh, and please know what your space can hold. Some things look different amid a 50-foot ceiling or even an endless sky. Just understand it’s not your 11-foot ceiling at home.”

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition March 9, 2012.