By: Katie Anderson
February 3, 2012
As designers we often ask ourselves; how valuable is interior design? How is the consumption of high priced merchandise contributing to culture, society or humanity? Is it possible that design can go beyond the superficial and have a meaningful impact?
There is an expression bandied about in the design profession, more often in those TV design shows and other media; that a single accessory such as a pillow or a rug “ just ties it all together”. Although this is a rather contrite expression, the right piece of furniture, well displayed d’ object d’ art or a beautiful rug can actually ground the interior of a room and transform the space.
This idea of “ tying it all together” has a deeper meaning when it comes to our newest featured artisan; Stephanie Odegard. Ms. Odegard is an icon & pioneer in the world of luxury handmade rugs. Her original designs are exquisite, the colors & textures are gorgeous, but what makes her work so beautiful and unique (in our opinion) is how she has used her talent and business acumen to create a far reaching continuing change in the industry of handmade rugs.
Below is an excerpted recent press release and is a wonderful description of how Ms. Odegard’ s efforts have been and continue to have a direct effect upon the quality of life and preservation for a people’ s standard of living and culture. We are very big fans and recommend her work not only for the beauty of her original designs but for what she stands for, tying it all together.
“Odegard’ s mission was and is to bring more responsible industry and business practices to the production and artisan crafts and to enhance communities where otherwise child labor and poverty would define and direct production. Part of this on-going devotion to Stephanie Odegard’ s mission is the importance of accountable design.
It is out of this responsibility and dedication to this mission that Stephanie Odegard presented her original hand-knotted hemp Verte carpets. They were the first hand-knotted hemp carpets to appear in the U.S. market. Rarely touted for its inherent qualities, hemp is a natural choice for warm weather and seaside interiors. Hemp boasts natural anti-mildew properties and blocks UV rays more effectively than any other fiber, so colors will last. Hemp is one of the most durable and long lasting natural fibers in the world, and is naturally pest-resistant so hemp forests need not be sprayed with insecticides, supporting Stephanie’ s environmentally sustainable philosophy.
Grown in western Nepal and prepared by natural methods, Odegard’ s hemp carpets are woven of natural; ash washed, and dyed hemp fibers to create soft color ways. The Collection also includes rugs in soft, subtle colorful combinations of hemp, wool, silk and other plant and wool fibers to complete a line that is both bold in weave and texture and subtly natural in palette.
In keeping with Odegard’ s commitment to the revitalization of the local Himalayan wool industry, all the wool is hand carded, hand spun and hand-knotted by Nepalis and Tibetans, in Nepal. These hand-knotted carpets, which are long lasting and durable, are made from a construction unique to Odegard that is only available at Odegard and its authorized dealers. And, as with every Odegard rug, each carpet is completely hand made with only sustainable raw materials and is certified with the GoodWeaveTM label, ensuring that no child labor was used in the production of any carpet. Stephanie Odegard continues to create new designs and collections while continuing the mission of Odegard Inc., to marry the interests of the upscale designer market with the age-old tradition of hand-knotted carpet weaving. Odegard is deeply committed to GoodWeaveTM, and its fight to end illegal child labor in the worldwide carpet industry. A specific percentage of every Odegard carpet produced and imported is paid to GoodWeaveTM, ensuring that each and every hand-knotted carpet is made child labor free. Coupled with its promise for product quality and integrity, the Odegard brand is synonymous with luxury, stand alone design and far reaching social responsibility.”