Lying Lightly: Armadillo & Co. RugsAuthor:Abigail Stone
Serendipity is described as the “the occurrence and development of events by chance in a happy or beneficial way”. Certainly that holds true for the birth of Armadillo & Co, the Australian-based rug company. With showrooms in Sydney, Brisbane and Melbourne, they soft opened on Wilshire Boulevard in Beverly Hills a few weeks ago. The official opening is April 25th.
Jodie Fried was working in India as a costume designer when the 2001 earthquake hit. The disaster encouraged her to turn her focus to rebuilding villages; a few months sojurn turned into a three year stay. She eventually crossed paths with Sally Pottharst. Invigorated by the communities of weavers and artisans they encountered and committed to social responsibility and giving back, the two combined forces in 2009 to found Armadillo & Co. Pottharst’s background in finance and floor coverings balances Fried’s deep knowledge of fabric and textiles forging a partnership whose goal is to sustain and elevate age old methods through a contemporary design process.
The company’s credo, “our rugs lie lightly on the earth,” applies to the manufacture of their products — 100% handmade, using Fair Trade practices with natural and sustainable fibers — as well as to its commitment to their weavers. The Armadillo & Co Foundation was founded with the mission is to enhance and improve the lives of local Indian communities through the provision of educational, community and health facilities in underprivileged communities. Each year, the foundation commits more than $75,000 to social responsibility projects including schooling and scholarships.
The rugs, for both indoors and out, and the tabletop items the company creates, with materials that have been hand dyed and sun dried, are soft, durable and flexible. Neutrals dominate but the rugs can also be ordered in a rainbow of colors derived from natural tones, as inviting and gentle as your favorite blue jeans.
The 2,000 square ft US flagship was designed by Standard Architecture. The gallery-esque showroom boasts soaring 18-ft ceilings and beautiful exposed brick walls. The contrast of raw and refined materials creates a warm and welcoming ambience where visitors can browse and be inspired. As co-founder Jodie Fried explains, “We envisioned a space that was akin to the clean lines of a gallery with the community feel of a workshop, where clients can come in and work with us to select a design uniquely tailored to their needs.”
Armadillo & Co., 8715 Wilshire Blvd., Beverly Hills, CA, (424) 343-0634